FIT President Kevin Quirk travelled to Mexico City to celebrate International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) at Lenguas, the biennial conference jointly hosted by Interpret America and the Italia Morayta Foundation, whose focus this year was on indigenous languages. Mapuche poet and activist from Chile, Maria Teresa Panchillo, gave this year’s keynote address, championing the importance of indigenous languages and their survival. President Quirk joined a panel discussion with representatives from AIIC, GALA and Critical Link: Where to Now? Next Steps for Global Language Services.
Indigenous Languages have a special importance in Mexico, which recognises over 60 national indigenous languages, including indigenous sign languages.
Languages, and therefore translation, interpreting and terminology, underpin the human rights and fundamental freedoms crucial to sustainable development, inclusive governance, peace and social equity. Indigenous languages embody the world’s cultural diversity and are vital for us all, facilitating intergenerational transfer of intangible cultural heritage and knowledge to assist us in facing future global challenges.
These events are just the start, there will be IYIL events all across the globe throughout the year, honouring indigenous language and heritage. Celebrating indigenous languages, elevating their status and their use, helps to fight against their disappearance and extinction. Join us in 2019 to give support to indigenous language speakers, and the interpreters, translators and terminologist who assist them. In celebration of 2019, UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, FIT’S International Translation Day (ITD) theme for this year is Translating and Interpreting for Indigenous Languages.