WASHINGTON — A new museum dedicated to language is opening in the District Thursday. Founded by former teacher Ann B. Friedman and located in the Franklin School building, Planet Word is an interactive experience for the public, featuring exhibits and galleries showcasing the histories of speech from around the world.
While the museum has a stated mission of inspiring a love of words, language and reading in people of all ages, it’s young people who hold a special place there. As Friedman says, who experiments with words the most? Kids. Making it fitting that it’s located in a former school.
Visitors can expect to learn about the development of language, starting in the crib and evolving into the complex sentences we use daily. Exhibits cover linguistic processes from around the world, including the different sign languages.
You’ll hear speeches from the likes of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, as well as D.C.’s own youth poet laureate, Gabriela Orozco. There is even a magical library with mirrors on the walls that must be spoken to, and hidden rooms that you’ll have to find.
Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $15. COVID-19 restrictions are in place, so admission is limited. Getting tickets in advance is suggested.