Welcome to the first week of this massive open online course or MOOC on linguistic diversity. During which we'll be discussing some general issues about the subject. The other members of the lingualpax team have asked me to make this and each week's presentation. Diversity is fascinating, as Monica said. The biological cultural, linguistic, every kind. It's fascinating to know there are 14,500 kinds of butterflies, or a 111 species of pine trees, or 3,600 species of snakes, or 6,909 distinct languages according to the ethnologue catalog. Diversity is an antidote to the single thought, non monolithic vision of reality, to intolerance. A diverse world is undoubtedly better. Can you imagine a world with a single animal species, or single species of tree, or single language? It would, without a doubt, be an unlivable environment. Yet linguistic diversity has not been perceived in the same way throughout history, nor is it perceived today in different parts of the world. For instance, the end of the well known biblical myth of the Tower of Babel was presented to us as a curse. As a divine way of dividing peoples. It's not unusual to find speakers of the most used languages in the world, who from a distance, fail to perceive or consider linguistic diversity as relevant, as worthy of respect. Sometimes it's perceived as a chaotic reality, a noise to get rid of, an uncontrollable annoyance, an unnecessary complication, or something that is impossible to manage. In short a nuisance and a source of conflict. And sometimes diversity is not seen because there are fields in which it does not reach, or it only does so with many hardships. Let's think for example of technology. There are many unwritten languages and cultures and they don't have the technology writing, which has been around for a very long time. This tends to make them less visible. And it usually brings about attitudes of disdain towards other languages do access with a great deal of difficulty, a much more recent technology in which the future of language is going to be decided, that of digital resources. Here too, they risk becoming invisible. It goes without saying, but let's say it anyway, that positive attitudes towards linguistic diversity, with a desire to preserve it and to see it as a right, as an opportunity for peace and for avoidance of conflict, are also well worth underlining. There are some prominent fields in which we humans portray linguistic diversity and take a stance, more or less successfully, on what we want to do about it. Political decisions, language planning, legislation and the law, education. Legal systems for instance, observe linguistic diversity, they target, they define it, they regulate it. And in education too, linguistic diversity is closely observed and important decisions are taken that affect the future of languages. In this first week of the course, we invite you to reflect on all these questions and, above all, to contribute what you find interesting from your knowledge and experience, or what is relevant in your context. In the videos that our guest speakers offer, we launch the themes. But it is essential if we truly want to learn about diversity, for you to make your contribution. Here are some initial questions that may inspire you. Number one, is there legislation in countries you are familiar with that mentions languages? And if so, what might be of interest to explain to your colleagues here? Number two, would you say this or these languages and countries, or even or international organizations, or multinational companies tolerate linguistic diversity, or do they see it as something to be proud of? As an as an asset, as an opportunity? Third question, does the education system in these countries, accommodate linguistic diversity, both intrinsic, based on traditional groups and extrinsic, based on immigrant groups? Are endangered languages used for teaching in schools, or at least taught as subjects? And four, are you familiar with any language that is not used in writing or in technology? Off we go. Don't forget to use all the resources at your disposal and to do all the activities that we planned. We'll meet again at the beginning of next week.