The International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures is an invitation to talk. Multilingualism is essential to the conversation that leads to mutual understanding. Language learning and translation are therefore vital to the unity of humankind. Such are the major thrusts of the 11th International Mother Language Day. A printed version of the updated UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger is underway. A legacy of our cultural diversity, languages give access to the “minds of men” in which the “defences of peace must be constructed”.