English Current Affairs - 2020

After English and Mandarin, Hindi-the third most spoken language in the world

With 615 million speakers all over the world, Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world. English is at the top with 1,132 million speakers followed by Mandarin with 1,117 million speakers.

Highlights

On February 18, 2020, the Ethnologue published its yearly database on living languages of the world. It covered more than 7,111 living languages. It also published data on languages that were gone out of usage in the recent history and that included around 348 languages.

It also said that Bangla is the 7th most spoken language in the world with 228 million native speakers.

Ethnologue

The Ethnologue is an annual publication that provides statistics of the living languages of the world. It is published by SIL International since 1951. The publication released this year in 2020 is its 22nd release.

The SIL International is a non-profit organization that documents languages. It is mainly into promotion of literacy and translation of Christian Bible. It was founded in 1933 with the aim of translating bible.

English Language Day: 23 April

23 April is observed as English Language Day every year. 23rd April was chosen as the English Language Day to commemorate both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare.

The English Language Day was the result of a 2010 initiative by the Department of Public Information which had sought to establish language days for each of the Organization’s six official languages.

UN Languages Day

The purpose of the UN’s language days is to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization.

Under the initiative of UN Language Days, UN celebrates six separate days, each dedicated to one of the Organization’s six official languages viz.

  • Arabic: 18 December
  • Chinese: 20 April
  • English: 23 April
  • French: 20 March
  • Russian: 6 June
  • Spanish: 23 April

Language Days were instituted by the UN with an aim to entertain as well as inform, with the goal of increasing awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements of each of the six working languages among the UN community.