English Language Day 2022: History, Significance and all you need to know

The United Nations (UN) celebrates English Language Day on April 23 every year.

In 2010, the Department of Global Communications took an initiative which resulted in the UN establishing languages for each of its six official languages. The aim was to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity. Under that initiative, the UN duty stations across the world celebrate six days, each dedicated to one of the Organization’s six official languages.  The days are:

  • Arabic (December 18)
  • Chinese (April 20)
  • English (April 23)
  • French (March 20)
  • Russian (June 6)
  • Spanish (April 23)

The UN celebrates English Language Day on April 23 in honour of English playwright William Shakespeare as the date marks both his birthday and day of death.

Commemorating the legendary playwright, here are some quotes from his famous plays that give life-lessons:

  • “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” (As You Like It)
  • “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” (All’s Well That Ends Well)
  • Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  • “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” (Julius Caesar)
  • “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Hamlet)
  • “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” ( As You Like It)
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