WHY PLURILINGUAL LIVING?
Because no matter when and to what extent we acquired or learnt our languages: they all matter and are part of our lives. Sometimes we use them all, sometimes we use only part of them, but it is our right to use – speak, read, write – them all, because all our languages matter!
THE MISSION OF PLURILINGUAL LIVING
IS TO SUPPORT PLURILINGUALS
MAINTAIN ALL THEIR LANGUAGES,
NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE AND WORK.
Language identity is a human right as defined in Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states that all individuals are entitled to “the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for [his/her] dignity and the free development of [his/her] personality.”
Enacted by the United Nations in 1948, the UDHR forms the basis for modern human rights law and governance. In recognition of language’s central role in sustaining communities’ cultural identity, the UDHR has been translated into over 500 languages.
The most basic definition of linguistic rights is the right of individuals to use their language with other members of their linguistic group, regardless of the status of their language.
They evolve from general human rights, in particular: non-discrimination, freedom of expression, right to private life, and the right of members of a linguistic minority to use their language with other members of their community.*
Individual linguistic rights are provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
- Article 2 – all individuals are entitled to the rights declared without discrimination based on language.
- Article 10 – individuals are entitled to a fair trial, and this is generally recognized to involve the right to an interpreter if an individual does not understand the language used in criminal court proceedings, or in a criminal accusation. The individual has the right to have the interpreter translate the proceedings, including court documents.
- Article 19 – individuals have the right to freedom of expression, including the right to choose any language as the medium of expression.
- Article 26 – everyone has the right to education, with relevance to the language of medium of instruction.
Linguistic rights can be applied to the private arena and the public domain.
*Varennes, Fernand de. (2007). “Language Rights as an Integral Part of Human Rights – A Legal Perspective”. In Koenig, Matthias, Guchteneire, Paul F. A. (eds), Democracy and human rights in multicultural societies (pp 115–125): Ashgate Publishing Ltd.