languages

this week this country is divided over the language issues.

and i am thinking of … bilingualism (being functionally trilingual myself) or whatever.

i think that recognition and love, and preservation of one language do not proceed automatically from forbidding other languages.

the status of the state language is state policy, not politics.

the respect for a state language in those that do not speak it as their native is earned not by forbidding, but by creating workplaces and giving decent hours to literature and decent salaries for teachers in schools. celebrating the language, allowing it to develop.

being a translator, i know very well that this is not so. there exists some ur-latvian, some ‘ueber-correct’ language form which is dead and does not recognise anything but itself. and which gets published. regional forms are still unwelcome. terminology is invented by some mysterious terminological committee, and then not used by people. this does not allow a language to grow. it allows a language to collapse and rot from the inside.

bilingualism according to me looks like this: i speak latvian…someone else speaks russian. we understand each other. we use latvian/russian/english based on first, politeness, second – convenience and clarity of communication, third – speed.

and send the politicians with their ideas to the place where sun shineth not.

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