Talking about linguistic rights
What is your attitude towards different languages?
As a starting point for your reflection/discussion, you could consider the following:
- the languages you use or deal with in daily life
- the languages (majority or minority) officially recognised in your region/country
- the languages represented in the media
- the languages of schooling in your region/country and how they are positioned in the school curricula
- the languages of neighbouring countries
- the languages you would like to learn
Do you know about your linguistic rights? Or the linguistic rights of people coming to live in your region/country? Do you know what linguistic rights are covered by the basic law or the constitution of the region/country where you live? If you don't know, try to find out.
Try to create a "language policy" for the school/institution you are working/studying in.
There are some interesting official documents that are relevant on a multilateral basis. Choose one and reflect on its relevance. Give brief feedback based on your personal views about the rights defined in the documents.
Example 1: Individual linguistic rights (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
Example 2: Girona Manifesto
Developed by the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee, the Girona Manifesto is a 10-point document designed to be translated and widely used as a tool to protect linguistic diversity around the world.
Example 3: European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
The Charter exists in different languages.
Try to make a short videoclip about linguistic rights and discrimination based on language.
To get an idea of how it could work, have a look at this video on languages and human rights.