document | Preserving and Promoting Minority Languages: The Neapolitan and Tsotsil Linguistic Communities

  • The authors of this piece work for the mutual protection and exchange of useful practices overall to contrast the fact that indigenous communities, national minorities and minoritized groups suffer from discrimination and the loss of their languages. Unfortunately, although everyone has the right to speak in their first language, the violation of such a basic human right continues to take place on all continents. This is one of the reasons why we wish to strengthen and promote different linguistic and cultural communities based on what international Declarations and Conventions state with regards to the protection and promotion of linguistic and cultural diversities, social and cultural rights and how each individual should be respected and dignified without distinction as to religion, race, culture, gender and language. It is important to emphasize that although there are different international Declarations and Conventions that underline the relevance of preserving and promoting cultural and linguistic diversities and recognize the right to speak in your first language as a human right what has happened and continues to happen in practice is the opposite. In other words, speakers of minority languages have been discriminated against due to their language, culture and ethnicity. An example of this situation are the speakers of the Neapolitan language in Naples, Italy and the indigenous Tsotsil language in Chiapas, Mexico. While these two linguistic communities are in different continents and have their own unique characteristics, they have been assaulted by similar factors such as the educational-cultural system and mass media. Therefore, this manuscript compares both the reality lived by the Neapolitan and Tsotsil linguistic communities with what international documents declare with regards to the importance to recognize and validate the human rights of the speakers of these languages because now more than ever it is essential to work collaboratively to maintain and promote minority languages and defend language as a human right.

  • Category: Aboriginal Languages
  • Thematic area: Human/Indigenous Rights
  • Call topics: Social inclusion and solidarity (e.g. recognition of sign languages)
  • Major objective: Thematic areas: Promotion
  • Area of intervention: Creation of favourable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices with regard to indigenous languages