April isn’t just a month where rain showers bring May flowers; it’s also a month of fun with many celebrations including National Poetry Month and National Garden Month! Growth and inspiration can be found everywhere during April, which can help create new beginnings and opportunities for learning. Luckily, with the help, dedication, and fantastic work of the United Nations, April has special “language” days that are meant to inspire language learning and cultural awareness! These days are Chinese Language Day on April 20th, and English and Spanish Language Day, both celebrated on April 23rd!
To promote multilingualism and cultural diversity among the nations of the world, the United Nations started observing “language days” in 2010, picking six days of the year to celebrate the organization’s six official languages: French (March 20), Chinese (April 20), English (April 23), Spanish (April 23), Russian (June 6), and Arabic (December 18.) With each passing year, each language day has gained more prominence and attention. This April, celebrate Chinese, English, and Spanish Language Day with the Hamden Library and discover language-related items that we offer in our Library Catalog, Digital Branch, and World Language Collection!
Chinese Language Day
Chinese Language Day is celebrated on April 20th, a date that was chosen by the United Nations for its significance in the Chinese calendar. This date honors the Chinese figure, Cangjie, who was known to have originated and invented the Chinese writing system and Chinese characters. The purpose of Chinese Language Day is to show appreciation for the beauty, history, and richness of the Chinese culture and language. With this in mind, the Hamden library has a great selection of items in and relating to the Chinese language for both English and/or Chinese speakers and readers.
Click on the following links to search for and discover Chinese language-related items in our library catalog!:
English Language Day
Celebrated on April 23rd and commemorating the birth and death date of William Shakespeare, English Language Day focuses on the development and history of the English language. English is currently the world’s third most spoken native language and has 360-400 million native speakers across the globe. Our collection has many items and resources related to the English language and offers “English as a Second Language (ESL)” instruction books and citizenship test kits in our Adult Basic Education section on the main floor of Miller library.
More items may also be found in our library catalog by clicking on the following links:
*The Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven also offer FREE small group ESL classes in the New Haven Area! Tutoring sites and contact information can be found by clicking on the following link: https://lvagnh.org/students/tutoring-sites/
Spanish Language Day
Like English Language Day, Spanish Language Day is also celebrated on April 23rd; this day commemorates the death date of the famed Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes. Spanish Language Day celebrates the beauty of the Spanish culture, language, and tradition, and even pays homage to Cervantes and Spanish literature. Cervantes’ novel “Don Quixote” is considered an international masterpiece, one of the most translated and edited books in history, and is described as the first modern novel; some even celebrate Spanish Language Day by reading passages from the book itself!
“Don Quixote” is available in our collection as a book, CD audiobook, and as an e-book in Hoopla if you’d like to check it out to celebrate! To find “Don Quixote” in our library catalog, click here!
You can also find Spanish language instruction guides and digital language instruction e-books for both adults and children, bilingual Spanish and English books for children, and DVDs in Spanish with English subtitles in our library catalog by clicking on the following links:
*Adult fiction books in Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Korean can be found in the library’s World Language Collection on the main floor of Miller library by the information desk. Nonfiction language learning materials can also be found in the nonfiction section on the left side of the third floor of Miller library.
For more information about the Hamden library, language learning, or library services, feel free to call the information desk at 203-287-2680 or Email us. You may also reach us using our Online Chat service.
Happy Chinese, English, and Spanish Language Days!