Definitions

What is Mother Tongue importance The most spoken languages

Mother Tongue

The mother tongue is one that develops from the first years of life and is acquired mainly through the interaction of people in our environment, starting directly with the family. This will always be the main process for developing language skills.

It is the first language that a person learns during their first years of life. She will use it as an instrument to think and communicate.

Why do we stop speaking our mother tongue?

As we said at the beginning of the article, many mother or native languages ​​are disappearing and this is due to various factors that may be:

  • External . Military, religious, cultural conflicts, etc. Another influencing factor is the displacements caused by conflicts, which force people to live in places to which they have to adapt and begin to speak the dominant language in those places.
  • Internal . Rejection of the mother tongue by the speakers themselves for fear of being excluded due to their language and traditions.

The importance of mother tongue

It plays a fundamental role in people’s lives, as it is the window to our first meanings and to the relationship with the environment, which will provide, with its development, a feeling of identity and belonging to a community and geographical areas. who share the same form of communication. 

Being able to learn or master additional languages ​​represents a great leap for people who master it, as it will allow us to more easily explore the window that other cultures represent and their integration with our environment and opportunities.

Why is it important to preserve the mother tongue?

Each language is associated with a culture and a different way of seeing reality. The mother tongue is part of each person’s identity and it is important to preserve it because:

  • Values ​​such as tolerance and respect are encouraged . The diversity of languages ​​helps us understand that there are different people and cultures that we must respect and tolerate. Values ​​such as tolerance and respect are fundamental to achieving peace.
  • Knowledge is preserved . When a mother tongue becomes extinct, a body of knowledge that has been transmitted from one generation to another for years disappears.
  • Cultural diversity is protected . The existence of different cultures helps us understand that there are other ways of seeing the world and to enrich ourselves with that learning of difference.
  • The protection of human rights is enhanced . Freedom, equality and other human rights are protected when the preservation of mother tongues is promoted.

What can be done to preserve the mother tongue?

There are various ways to preserve the mother tongue , which may be the following:

– Speak the mother tongue at home among the family . Many fathers and mothers stop speaking in their mother tongue to prevent their sons and daughters from learning and feeling excluded, especially when it comes to minority languages.

– Teaching in the mother tongue. Teaching the mother tongue at school is also another way to preserve it. You can use literature or science books in the mother tongue or play games, for example.

  • Translation of texts into the mother tongue . Both school textbooks and other texts such as novels, sexy girls and some of them have a fish-shaped lower body. Over time, the stories, etc., can be translated into the mother tongue .
  • Search for documentary origins of the mother tongue . Knowing the origin and history of the mother tongue helps to understand it better and understand the importance of preserving it and protecting it from disappearance.
  • Use technology . Technology can also be a great ally for mother tongues to endure. For example, the Tepeaca Higher Institute created an app called Kidikinda that helped learn the Mixtec numerical system. Video games can also be used to teach a native language, for example, there is the game Mulaka with which you can learn about the indigenous Tarahumara culture.

The most spoken languages ​​in the world

Making these ideas clear and understanding the importance of our mother tongue in the reasoning and learning process, we could say that these would be the 10 most spoken languages ​​on our planet and the approximate number of people who speak them.

1. English (1.132 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 379 million
  • Non-native speakers: 753 million

2. Mandarin (1.117 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 918 million
  • Non-native speakers: 199 million

3. Hindi (615 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 341 million
  • Non-native speakers: 274 million

4. Spanish (534 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 460 million
  • Non-native speakers: 74 million

5. French (280 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 77 million
  • Non-native speakers: 203 million

6. Arabic (274 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 245 million
  • Non-native speakers: 29 million

7. Bengali (265 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 228 million
  • Non-native speakers: 37 million

8. Russian (258 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 154 million
  • Non-native speakers: 104 million

9. Portuguese (234 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 221 million
  • Non-native speakers: 13 million

10. Indonesian (198 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 43 million
  • Non-native speakers: 155 million

International Mother Language Day (February 21)

Did you know that there is International Mother Language Day? Celebrated annually on February 21st, this date was created by UNESCO in 1999 to promote linguistic diversity in all nations of the world. 

Its objective is also to reinforce the importance of maintaining the mother roots of languages ​​and their culture. Many people still preserve their mother tongues, as is the case in South Africa with Afrikaans, one of the first languages ​​of South Africans following Dutch colonization, still spoken today by around 6.4 million inhabitants.

The origin of the celebration comes from Bangladesh, the first country to celebrate the date, through social movements to include Bengali as one of Pakistan’s official languages. From then on, this movement was a reference for the creation of the international date we know today.

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