important role of languages

Language Advocacy Day: Why CanTalk Champions The Important Role Of Languages

Maureen Mitchells Uncategorized

CanTalk representatives attended the fourth annual Language Advocacy Day (LAD) held on February 21st, 2024 in Gatineau, Quebec. From day one, CanTalk has strongly advocated language provision as a powerful communications tool to embrace, sustain, and fuel productivity within a truly equitable and inclusive society.

It’s all about thinking forward, not backwards!

In this gathering, CanTalk added its voice with others to restate and reinforce the increasingly important role of languages in social justice, economic progression, education, and health.  Joining a growing body of diverse organizations, for-profit and not-for-profit, the message was clear and strong: Language provision is more than a preference; not just a privilege, but a right for all to access!

What Is Language Advocacy Day?

Language Advocacy Day in Canada is an annual initiative that has been established in recent years by the Language Access Coalition of Canada (LACC). Inspired by National Language Day, which has been put on by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) for over 40 years in Washington, D.C., it brings together partners and advocates representing a multitude of different languages and language services to celebrate linguistic diversity, champion language rights and, ultimately, work together toward more equitable and inclusive language policies across Canada.

This year’s Language Advocacy Day in Canada brought together more than 60 language advocates representing a diverse array of linguistic communities, language service providers, academic institutions, and other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Among the spectrum of minority and newcomer languages represented were French, Indigenous languages, American Sign Language (ASL), and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ). The event provided a platform for mutual sharing and collaborative action toward a linguistically inclusive future.

Why Language Advocacy Is Important

From fostering unity and cultural awareness to developing linguistically inclusive policies, language advocacy is critically important for many reasons, including:

  • The recognition and affirmation of language rights as fundamental human rights
  • The understanding of language as more than just a means of communication but also an expression of cultural identity, knowledge, and world views
  • The celebration and preservation of Canada’s diverse cultural heritage
  • The building of bridges and connections between diverse language communities
  • The promotion of linguistic diversity
  • The fostering of respect and mutual appreciation for the successes and struggles of different language communities
  • The development of policies that broadly enable language access for all Canadians

CanTalk’s Role

CanTalk has been a champion of language rights for more than 25 years and remains at the forefront of language advocacy initiatives in Canada. Our innovative, award-winning language services have been built around the active improvement and promotion of accessible multilingual communications and we are proud to join other language advocates in further exploring the future of multilingualism in Canada.

For culturally aware language and translation services that recognize language interdependency as the key to an equitable future for all Canadians, contact CanTalk today. We’ll get you talking in 200+ languages in no time!