The Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding (or Vigdís World Language Centre, for short) has been established in April 2017, based on an agreement between UNESCO and the government of Iceland. The primary purpose of the Centre is to raise awareness of the importance of languages as one of mankind’s most precious cultural assets.
The World Language Centre will be an information centre for languages and culture with facilities for research and dissemination. It has an exhibition space and an auditorium. In the first years, it will focus on the language situation of the West Nordic region. In cooperation with other institutes, international scholars and those interested in languages, such a centre will be a significant contribution towards preserving and strengthening linguistic diversity.
The World Language Centre regards it an honour to develop and continue the pioneering work that Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has carried out as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Languages.
The Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding is a UNESCO Category 2 Centre. It counts with an international advisory board that provides advice for preparing and developing the activities of the Vigdís International Centre of Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding.
The Centre, in cooperation with other institutions in Iceland, now hosts one of world’s largest collections of bi and multilingual dictionaries; a donation from Infoterm, based on the legacy of Eugen Wüster (one of the fathers of terminology as a field).
The Vigdís World Language Centre is a part of The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages at the University of Iceland.
The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages
The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages is a research institute working within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Iceland. The Institute is a research centre for scholars who teach modern languages and cultures, the classical languages and translation studies.
Since 1st October 2001 the Institute has had the honour of bearing the name of Ms. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland, 1980-1996. Ms. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has been a powerful spokesperson for the importance of language proficiency, both in one’s own native tongue as well as in other languages, and she has made a vital contribution to this field in her career as a teacher, as President of Iceland, and as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.
The institute organizes yearly a seminar to celebrate the international mother language day; this year (2018) the Vigdís World Language Centre took the lead in organizing the:
International Mother language day symposium 21. 2. 2018: