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UN English Language Day 2024: Activities, History, FAQs, Dates, and Fact

The United Nations celebrates English Language Day 2024 on April 23, promoting its history, culture, and accomplishments as one of the six official languages and one of the two working languages.

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UN English Language Day 2024 Activities, History, FAQs, Dates, and Facts About American English
Source: Time and Date

UN English Language Day 2024: English Language Day is annually observed on April 23 by the United Nations to promote the history, culture, and accomplishments of the English language. The language is among the six official languages of the United Nations and one of the two working languages.

The languages that are recognized as official include Russian, English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. Moreover, they rank among the most widely spoken languages globally. Forty-three April is both the birthday and day of death of William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, according to some. In addition to promoting the English language, the United Nations observes English Language Day to honor the life and works of William Shakespeare.

The History of UN English Language Day

The English language’s historical development commenced in the 5th century A.D., when three Germanic tribes—the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes—invaded Britain. By crossing the North Sea, these Germanic nations migrated from what is now Denmark and northern Germany and expelled the Celtic-speaking original inhabitants of Britain. Indigenous Britons established themselves in the regions that are now Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Engla-land (land of the Angles) was the place of origin of the Angles, who also spoke Englisc. These terms are the origins from which England and English originated.

Homo sapiens of Germanic descent communicated in languages that later evolved into Old English. This language is incomparable to contemporary English to the extent that comprehension would be challenging even for native English speakers. Common words such as ‘be,”strong,’ and ‘water’ were derived from Old English, which is now considered obsolete but serves as the foundation for modern English.

The Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror, invaded and conquered England in 1066. Consequently, English became the language of the lower classes, while the language of the Normans, a variety of French, became the language of the royal court and commerce. Despite shifts in social standing, the English language continued to expand by assimilating Latin and French vocabulary.

During the 14th to 15th centuries, the English language regained its royal and commercial prestige after the people of the British Isles overthrew French rule. Additionally, literary and cultural advancements occurred during this time for the language. Luminaries such as William Shakespeare played pivotal roles in this progression. Shakespeare’s books and plays contributed to the English lexicon in excess of 1700 words, such as ‘barefaced,’ ‘compromise,’ and ‘cold-blooded.’ Shakespeare also coined the terms ‘blushing,’ ‘cater,’ and ‘barefaced.’

The English language experienced a chain of evolution and development beginning in the 1600s as a result of classical learning, international trade, and the printing press. The English colonization of North America contributed significantly to the expansion and rise in prominence of the language. Presently, the language continues to develop and broaden, assimilating vocabulary from numerous English-speaking nations as well as newly coined terms pertaining to commerce and technology.

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FAQs for UN English Language Day

Why is UN English Language Day celebrated?

The UN celebrates English Language Day to recognize William Shakespeare and the English language’s culture, contributions, and influence. The UN celebrates Russian, Chinese, and French languages on separate days.

Does ‘English’ come from English?

Not quite. It originated in Anglo-Saxon England, notably Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon dialects.

Which two Englishes exist?

British and American English are globally spoken. Other variations include Australian, South African, and Singaporean English.

UN English Language Day 2024 Activities

Coordinate a book-reading occasion

One of the most straightforward methods to commemorate English culture and vocabulary is through a book-reading event. In observance of UN English Language Day, which also honors Shakespeare, one may peruse his works, such as “Hamlet” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Arrange for the members of your book club to designate a specific day to engage in the study of Shakespeare’s works. If this is not possible, you may assemble family and associates to complete the reading.

Coordinate a challenge

Engaging in word trivia or organizing a spelling contest constitutes an additional method of commemoration. The participants may consist of family members or acquaintances’ children. You are required to purchase prizes for the victors, which may consist of captivating English novels or trophies. You are free to designate your living room or backyard as the site, hosting the event.

Build your vocabulary in English

Why not utilize the day to increase your vocabulary in English? You are capable of mastering words that typically pose a challenge to your pronunciation skills. Alternatively, you could consult your dictionary and commit to memory any unfamiliar or rarely used words.

Five essential elements of American English

It is not an official language of the u.S.

While English is widely spoken throughout the United States, no legislation designates it as the official language of the country.

It possesses various accents.

The ‘General American’ dialect of American English is utilized in the media, although at least ten distinct varieties of American English are spoken throughout the country.

The majority of state names in the United States are not of English origin.

The nomenclature of the majority of states in the United States originated from the Native American tribes that formerly inhabited those territories.

It predates British English.

The American English dialect emerged from an earlier iteration of the English language that utilized rhotic speech, which predates the contemporary soft ‘r’ sound adopted by the British.

It constituted a demonstration of dissent.

Noah Webster, the author of the American English dictionary, spelled the English words differently than their British counterparts to symbolize America’s independence.


Year Date Day
2024 April 23 Tuesday
2025 April 23 Wednesday
2026 April 23 Thursday
2027 April 23 Friday
2028 April 23 Sunday


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