On the occasion of International Mother Language Day 2020, the Multilingual Manchester research unit at the University of Manchester and Manchester Museum are kick-starting a partnership that will put language diversity firmly and permanently on the agenda of cultural institutions.

More than 200 languages are spoken in Manchester, and the city’s language mosaic is being recognised as one of its distinctive identity badges. The City of Manchester is celebrating International Mother Language Day for the third consecutive year, with events and exhibitions taking place at cultural venues across the city from 20–22 February. The full programme can be found here: http://www.manchestercityofliterature.com/international-mother-language-day/

Multilingual Manchester has been working since 2010 to study the city’s linguistic heritage and to guide citizens, communities and practitioners on the benefits of multilingualism. It has recently secured a large internal investment as part of the university’s Creative Manchester initiative, based in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Manchester Museum is undergoing a transformation thanks to a £13 million project that will make it more inclusive, imaginative and relevant to the city’s diverse communities. It will feature a South Asia Gallery, a Chinese Culture Gallery and a new Exhibition Hall. The museum will mirror the city’s language diversity through practice and content, offering a space to reflect, perform and celebrate multilingu

alism, a platform for discussion and hub for encounters among individuals, groups and communities. It will connect to similar initiatives internationally, and lead other local cultural institutions to engage with languages.

The joint programme is being launched at an event at Manchester Museum on Thursday, 20 February, from 6:00-8:30pm, titled ‘How Do You Say ‘Our Kid’ in Kurdish? & Other Questions.’

It will be an evening of games, crafts and activities, with opportunities to explore the city’s languages through interactive artwork, performances, films, Q+A sessions, and more. Most activities are suited for adults and children.

Entry is free and there is no need to register.