1st International Symposium on Multilingualism in Cyberspace

5081__29Can knowledge societies afford not to be multilingual?

Multilingualism and cyberspace today

Barcelona, 29-30 September 2009

Linguamón-House of Languages and Maaya, the World Network for Linguistic Diversity, are pleased to announce that the International Symposium on Multilingualism and Cyberspace is to be staged in Barcelona. The event, which will ask whether knowledge societies can afford not to embrace multilingualism, has been organised with a view to discussing the opportunities and challenges that cyberspace poses for languages.


This Symposium aims to provide a discussion platform for experts on languages and the Internet and establish the different political and technical actions needed in this field. The decisions taken will be made available to international Internet governance institutions.

The three main objectives are:

  1. To raise awareness of the importance of promoting all languages in cyberspace.
  2. To catalogue existing resources for gauging the presence of languages on the internet and identifying shortcomings in that respect.
  3. To bring linguists and experts on technical aspects of ICT together.


The symposium is to take place against a backdrop of growing international interest in its subject matter, as exemplified by:

Action line C8 of the World Summit on the Information Society , led by UNESCO. The work involved focuses particularly on progress made in terms of the presence of languages in cyberspace. As part of Action line C8, online forms have been used to gather full information on the matter in question on an international scale, especially in 2008, the International Year of Languages. Additionally, UNESCO is carrying out a project geared to creating and launching a new platform to facilitate the exchange of information.


The dynamic coalitions of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which has organised a number of such work groups on a range of issues related to internet governance, including the Dynamic Coalition for Linguistic Diversity. Coordinated by Maaya, this coalition held its first meeting in Hyderabad.

The Bamako International Forum on Multilingualism held from 19 to 21 January 2009 to discuss the equitable development of local, national and international languages. Linguistic diversity in cyberspace was one of the principal topics examined.

The aims of Linguamón-House of Languages (www.linguamon.cat), a Catalan institution set up by the Government of Catalonia to promote the planet’s linguistic diversity. Linguamón seeks to create a new perspective on languages, portraying them as an opportunity for recognition and cohesion for the world’s peoples, and to foster the presence of all tongues in every area of the planet’s social, political and economic life, public and private alike. Economics and technology are potentially crucial means of nurturing equitable linguistic diversity.


The organisers of the symposium are Linguamón-House of Languages and Maaya, the World Network for Linguistic Diversity.

The members of the event’s scientific committee are:


IDEC. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Carrer Balmes 132, Barcelona

Working Languages

Catalan, English, French, Spanish