SOAS University of London

SOAS World Languages Institute

Language Fest


Date: 21 February 2017Time: 12:00 PM

Finishes: 21 February 2017Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Atrium and Cloister

Type of Event: Festival

Celebrate  International Mother Language Day with SOAS World Language Institute on February 21st.  International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO ) in November 1999, International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

The Language Fest marks SOAS’ centenary and highlights the importance of languages and diversity to our mission. Learn, experience and be part of the rich work of SOAS' scholars and students. Learn about language families through a mobile by Judith Glynn, and SOAS research and preservation projects. Record your own language and pick up a muffin for each language you record.  Learn about Khoisan click languages and how to click. Tell us about the metaphors in your language which are not translatable and draw a picture of the metaphor.  Learn some sign language and watch recordings edited by Chouette Films of speakers of endangered languages talking abut their lives and see what the Endangered Languages Archive at SOAS holds. Understand how Bantu languages are related geographically and see how artist Mary Kuper is inspired by metaphors in her art work. Come to the highlight of the day where Zena Edwards and the Spoken Word Society run a poetry slam and open mic session.

Learn, experience and be part of the rich work  SOAS students and scholars are doing on, with and through languages. 


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Prof. Irina Nikolaeva's Talk On The Marvels of Tundra Nenets

Organiser: SOAS World Languages Institute, Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Hannah Gibson and Sheena Shah

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