The Official Languages of UNO
For those of you who don’t know, the United Nations has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. To be honest, it’s a miracle anything ever gets accomplished, but given that there are more than 7000 languages in the world, six sounds like an excellent compromise. But why Chinese?
Chinese as The Official Language of UNO
Well, for several good reasons, in fact, a very large number of good reasons. Around 1.4 billion people, i.e17% of the world’s population speak some form of Chinese, as their first language, making it the most spoken language in the world.
Brief Overview Of The History Of the Chinese Language
Furthermore, it’s an old language that is still being used today. Almost five thousand years have passed since it was first discovered. This means that Chinese people can now still read the words of their far-distant ancestors. No wonder, that the Chinese have such a deep-rooted trust in their ancient wisdom. For them, history and language are completely intertwined.
Reliving Thousands of Years
If one takes the time to study the Chinese language, it will be equivalent to reliving the incredible journey of thousands of years. And to gain extraordinary insights into their history, their culture, and most importantly, their values.
The language origin dates back 1000 years from the Sino-Tibetian language family. The fact that the language is so arduous and complex makes it even more difficult to find out where this language originated from.
However, historians and linguists claim that the genesis of the Chinese language can be associated with Cangjie. Cangjie was a historian who is credited for creating Chinese characters. This activity took place during the reign of the Yellow Emperor.
Evolution of Chinese Dialects
With time, we see that various dialects originated and spread throughout various regions of China. 20th April is the day when the Chinese language is celebrated. It is a day on which Cangjie is honored and remembered.
Why Is Chinese Language Day Celebrated?
The United Nations has been able to understand the linguistic importance of the Chinese language. Hence, they have taken the conscious decision to celebrate this language.
Removing Language Barriers And Cultural Diversity
The aim is to ensure that language barriers and cultural diversities are overcome. And people unite by understanding and relating to the diversification of languages. Moreover, on this day, people around the world are taught the history of this language. And how important it is to celebrate its rich culture and history.
When Did It Become Official?
In 1946, the United Nations made Chinese the official language of the UNO. And 30 years later it was included as a working language by the General Assembly.
As of now, Chinese is a functional language and various members of the UN utilize this language on a day-to-day basis considering the massive number of people that speak this language.
Hence, we see that world institutions are advocating for other cultures and nations to speak the language by showcasing its benefits.
The Love For Family And Unity In The Chinese Culture
The incredible longevity of the Chinese language has meant that essential Chinese values, such as the love for one’s family and nation, have been passed down from generation to generation for 1000s of years.
Just as the great Chinese philosopher Confucius found order and understanding in his studies of the past, many groups of young Chinese artists are taking inspiration from history, as they strive to revive and recreate their illustrious past.
Many of them create a musical piece by reimagining music, as it was played 1000s of years ago, based on details written in ancient Chinese literature.
The Chinese Language Is A Cultural Symbol
The Chinese language is an important symbol and cultural imprint of Chinese civilization, with its rich cultural connotations. For example, the Chinese character which is the theme of many festivals is composed of new but green grass and sun on the oracle bone script.
Carrier of Human Communication
Language is a carrier of human communication, the bridge of interaction between states, and the bond of mutual learning among civilizations. Chinese, as one of the UN’s official languages, plays an important role in promoting exchanges and communication among countries in the world.
The Chinese Language Provides A Gateway Into Chinese Culture
As more and more foreign people start to Learn Chinese, the world will have a better understanding of China. In terms of its rich history, its friendly and hardworking people. And in terms of its development through innovation, featuring its openness and inclusiveness.
The day exhibits the notion that China will embrace the world with a more open attitude and contribute to the world with its more dynamic civilization.
Over the years, the UN Chinese language has become an important window to understanding Chinese culture. It provides a unique platform to perceive China, but more than that, it enhances language and cultural exchanges.
Mutual Learning Among Civilizations
Moreover, it promotes exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, which is an indispensable path toward a better world. This automatically creates a good life for all the states around the world.
The permanent mission of China and Geneva and the whole idea of making 20th April a Chinese language day is to strengthen communication, understand cooperation with fellow UN partners, and work together to build a better world for all.
How Is Chinese Language Day Celebrated?
One more question: How can an individual celebrate Chinese language day on his own? Well, it is very simple. You can do that by taking the initiative to learn the Chinese language.
So how can you learn that?
Learning Via Online Platforms
There are various online programs available that can guide you on how to learn the language simply and effectively. Moreover, there are various college courses available on website portals, as well as YouTube channels, that provide a simple and exercisable plan for you to follow and quickly grasp the basic know-how of the Chinese language and culture.
The most important thing to understand over here is that the Chinese language is very complex. Hence, one should not try to learn this language on his own. The reason is, that the complexities might demotivate you in your initiative to learn the language.
Taking Help From Chinese Language Translators And Professional Translation Agencies
Therefore, it’s better to approach professional linguists or Chinese language trainers that can help you achieve your particular goal. On the other hand, since Chinese is spoken almost everywhere around the world, it provides great opportunities for people to apply for jobs if they are familiar with the language.
If you know your particular local language, and you know the Chinese language, it opens a lot of opportunities for you.
You can become a professional translator which is a great way to start your professional career and also allows you to celebrate the language itself.
Moreover, it will allow you to make great connections with people around the world, who speak the language and those who do not. So, ultimately, what you’re doing is bringing the world community together in a harmonious way.
Become Your Own Chinese Ambassador
And the best way to become an ambassador on your own is to teach the Chinese language to other people. You can start by teaching it to your family, your friends, and anyone enthusiastic about learning the language. This will allow you to appreciate the language and also bring awareness to people as well.
Visit Chinese Restaurants
Other activities can also be conducted on this particular day. You can visit various Chinese restaurants in your hometown. Almost every state, region, and country in this world has a little bit of Chinese cultural import. It could be in the form of Chinese music, food, movies, and other forms of entertainment.
So what you can do is try to take out your family and friends to a Chinese restaurant on the 20th of April. And the important thing is to mention the reason why you’re celebrating it. Utilize various social media platforms and advocate that you are celebrating this particular day. This will bring attention to the rest of the world as well.
In this article, we discussed the initiative taken by UNESCO to celebrate Chinese language day on the 20th of April. Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. Hence, it is also one of the official languages of UNO. A language that is spoken by almost 1.4 billion people in the world, is a great tool for bringing people, from various cultures and languages, together. It creates cultural harmony, bridges pre-existing gaps, and removes preconceived biases and stereotypes. Let’s join hands together and celebrate Chinese language day on 20th April 2022.