The mother tongue is what our mothers, or whoever was close while we were growing up, taught us. In primitive societies it was the mother who took charge of domestic tasks and raising children, it was she who taught us our words.

It is the first tool that we acquire to express our thoughts. And in that development, we sometimes find ourselves in the situation of asking ourselves, what came first: the word or the thought? Or are they simultaneous, or rather, one cannot be expressed without the other?

Today, when communication is so quick that languages are tending to disappear and be discarded, is when it becomes necessary for us to respect the languages of every social group. The lack of recognition of the existence of a language is disrespectful of the people or the social group that speaks it. Today we are in the era of plurilingualism and linguistic diversity, reaching from our own language that we learnt in our homes, to the official one we learnt in school, the one on the street, the languages of special groups such as the jargon or slang of professional groups. Today we know that sign language is a language, that ethnic groups have a mother language, with its own system of signs and phonetics, dictionaries and grammar among other aspects.

The most important thing is to know that the definition of a language as official is decided according to general reasons of comprehension and standardisation; that at the same time there are dialects due to variations of regional languages (it’s not the same Spanish, English or Japanese in the different towns of the countries where each one of these languages is spoken). So, it is fitting to recognise some terms that place us in a situation of respecting diverse languages. The idiolect is what we speak in our homes, day to day, with sayings, neologisms and is even enriched by our coming into contact with other social groups such as migrants. The sociolect that is spoken in a specific social group according to educational, economic or geographic levels and finally the language that is established in a specific system with set rules that are officially decided.

Once we understand this, we will be thus capable of being more careful to not degrade a language and we will recognise that we are in front of this cultural and linguistic diversity that is described and presented to us. Due to this lack of recognition, many languages are in danger of disappearing and it’s our obligation to not only respect linguistic diversity, but to try to safeguard it and help to conserve this tool of expression of the peoples: the mother tongue.