Movie stars have the Oscars and musicians have the Grammys – but linguists have the Linguapax Award.
The non-governmental group Linguapax International recognizes individuals and groups working to promote the preservation of linguistic diversity, language revitalization, and multilingualism.
Promoting multilingualism is essential because, according to UNESCO, “there are 6,700 languages spoken in the world, 40 percent of which are in danger of disappearing.”
Submissions are still open for the 2022 award, which will be announced in September.
Previous Linguapax Award Winners
The international Linguapax Award has been given out since 20o2. The organization issues the award on International Mother Language Day to highlight the importance of multilingualism and multilingual education.
Past winners include linguists from Canada, Cameroon, and New Zealand just to name a few.
Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBT), the 2021 winner, was recognized for bringing “Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Early Childhood Education” to communities across Pakistan. And the 2020 award went to Marja-Liisa Olthuis who has helped revitalize Inari Sami, an indigenous language from northeast Finland.
Larry Kimura was recognized in 2019 for his work to preserve and revitalize the Hawaiian language. Since the 1970s, Kimura has fought for Hawaiian language immersion in schools as a key way to preserve Hawaiian cultural traditions.
When a language disappears, other aspects of the culture are lost. “Because identity is maintained through cultural manifestations – songs, dances, gastronomy and even religion. And the language disappears imperceptibly,” Kimura said in a press release.
Benefits of Multilingualism
Organizations like Linguapax International shine a light on the importance of linguistic diversity and multilingualism.
As experts point out, language is about more than just communication. Language is tied to culture and tradition. The promotion of multilingualism helps native speakers maintain their community’s identity.
Learning multiple languages can help you connect with different communities around the world. Experts also believe that multilingual education offers benefits for your brain.
Studies have shown that speaking more than one language can even delay the development of Alzheimer’s. Researchers are still uncovering exactly why multilingualism keeps our brains healthy, but some believe it is because multilingual brains are engaged in regular multitasking.
ALTA Can Help You Learn Multiple Languages
Inspired by the Linguapax Award to learn another language? ALTA can help.
While many people think you can only learn languages as a child, research suggests that adults can successfully become multilingual later in life. And as you learn another language, you’ll develop pathways in the brain that support cognitive health.
ALTA offers language training in addition to translation services. In-person language training courses are held at our Atlanta headquarters. And ALTA’s online program lets you access the same courses from anywhere in the world.
Just like an in-person course, our online program includes a conversation about your goals, personalized vocabulary training, cultural training, and regular feedback.
Training courses are available in a variety of languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, German, and Spanish. When you sign up for a course, we start by discussing your goals and availability to give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to learn the new language.
From there, you’ll be on your way to supporting your cognitive health while also helping to promote linguistic diversity.
Want to learn more about ALTA’s language training program? We offer courses for corporate groups and individuals. Contact ALTA’s language training team today to discuss your language learning goals.
Stephanie Brown is a New York City-based travel blogger and freelance content creator.
You can find her at The Adventuring Millennial.