The official languages of the UN
Today, the 24th October is United Nations Day!
The UN was founded in 1945 after the Second World War and strives for international peace and security. United Nations day was first celebrated in 1948 and marks the anniversary of the founding of the UN.
The official languages of the UN are – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. These languages are either the mother tongue, or second language of approximately 2.8 billion people. This also covers the official languages in over half of the World’s states.
According to the official UN website, “A delegate may speak in any of the official languages, and the speech is interpreted simultaneously into the other official languages. Most UN documents are also issued in all six official languages. At times, a delegate may choose to make a statement using a non-official language. In such cases, the delegation must provide either an interpretation or a written text of the statement in one of the official languages.”
Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish have been official languages since the organisation’s inception while Arabic was added as an official language on 18th December 1973 after a decision by the General Council. There are currently no plans to introduce a seventh official language but if there were to be a seventh, it would be likely to be one of either Portuguese, Hindi or Bengali.
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