A key principle of the Mozilla Foundation is our commitment to an internet that includes all the peoples of the earth — where a person’s demographic characteristics do not determine their online access, opportunities, or quality of experience.

Languages are an integral part of our identities and provide opportunities to connect with each other. There are over 7,000 languages spoken in the world and yet according to UNESCO “globally, 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand”.

globally, 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand


This year's theme for International Mother Language Day is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”. Increasingly technology is used in classrooms around the world, for example a person using dictation software to write class notes to find articles related to a topic of interest. Language inequity in technology leaves so many people behind.

The Mozilla Common Voice project supports speech technologies that support global languages by giving communities an easy way to crowdsource voice data that can be used to train speech technology.

You can participate in this too!

In celebration of International Mother Language Day we are launching a writing competition.

You can choose from three writing prompts to create either a poem or short story.

  • A love letter
  • Lost in translation
  • More meaning

There will be three winners. The winners are selected based on their intrepretation of one the three writing prompts


  • The piece should be be no longer than 750 words
  • Submit your creative piece by April 12th 2022 to the [email protected] with the subject line International Languages Day Competition
  • You agree that Mozilla may publish your submission under the CC0 public domain dedication available at https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode.
  • You can contribute in any of the languages currently taking part in Common Voice either launched or in progress
  • If your language is not yet part of our project please get in touch via [email protected]
  • You should contribute in your mother tongue, and if you’d like to/ translate to an official UN Language you are welcome to !
  • All submission must abide by the Community Participation Guidelines

The top three submissions across each of writing prompts will receive some Common Voice Swag.

Why are we running the competition ?

To develop technologies that support language diversity, collaborators need a sociolinguistic and community understanding of speakers, consensual governance models, financial resources, technical skills, data and infrastructure that supports languages. Most importantly, creativity!

A text corpus helps build language resources needed to build digital language tools and softwares. However language resources are not available equally across all languages spoken across the world. By contributing to an open source corpus, you help to build resources that everyone can access.

How to submit

Submit your response to the [email protected] with the subject line International Languages Day Competition

We respect that not all language communities will want to share text corpus' via open source or CC0, if you do not feel comfortable in submitting your works to cc0 please do not enter the competition.

Maudhui yanayohusiana