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Language: Latvian

  • Feb 29, 2012
  • 08:19 PM

Latvian referendum is not the last echo of Soviet occupation

R. Valatka / The Lithuania Tribune
What’s the number of state schools in Russia offering education exclusively in Udmurt, Chuvash, Yakut, or Chechen language? Alternatively, let’s put it thus, if you will: How many state schools in Germany instruct only in Kurdish, Turkish or Serbian? Latvia, meanwhile, has around a hundred exclusively Russian schools. That is one of the reasons why Russians there can get away so easily without knowing a word of Latvian.
  • Feb 20, 2012
  • 11:38 AM

Latvians Reject Russian in Language Poll

The Wall Street Journal
RIGA, Latvia—Latvian voters resoundingly rejected a proposal to give official status to Russian in a referendum on Saturday. With over 93% of ballots counted, 75 percent of voters said they were against Russian as a national language, according to the Central Election Commission results.
  • Feb 18, 2012
  • 01:18 PM

Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too?

The Missoulian
Protecting the Latvian language _ that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian _ has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language.
  • Feb 18, 2012
  • 01:15 PM

Latvia: The Hot Month of February

Karina Pētersone / Baltic Review
Amidst a heated European debate of how best to emerge from financial difficulties, debt, and lowered credit ratings, as well as what conditions and sanctions the inter-governmental financial discipline agreement should contain, Latvia has been thrown into a pre-referendum debate. Tons of emotions have been splashed around.
  • Feb 16, 2012
  • 12:53 PM

Russian language passion gaining momentum in Latvia (audio)

Alexandra Zakharova / The Voice of Russia
The forthcoming referendum on the status of the Russian language in Latvia is in danger. Latvian MPs started to dispute its legitimacy in the Constitutional Court a month before the nationwide voting. The Court has been asked to decide whether or not the referendum will be held before the 20th of February.
  • Feb 16, 2012
  • 10:59 AM

Great Russia's divine nationalistic mission

Otto Ozols / Latvians Online
Overall, the Russian Empire collapsed twice precisely because of its unreasonable Russian language policies. For many decades, for innumerable people, this was the language of the occupiers. It symbolizes oppression, reprisals and arrogance. People do understand that it isn’t reasonable to blame common Russians or the language itself. Even so…
  • Jan 09, 2012
  • 03:22 PM

Competition for Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian translation prize declared open

Juhan Tere / The Baltic Course
For the third time already, the Estonian minister of foreign affairs Urmas Paet and his Latvian colleague Edgars Rinkevics will announce a contest for the Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian translation prize, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.
  • Dec 27, 2011
  • 10:32 AM

The adventures of the Russian language in Latvia

Vadim Trukhachev / Pravda
What are the chances of success of the referendum on giving the Russian language the official status? Let us look at the ethnic map of the country. Today Latvians make up nearly 60 percent of the population, and there are virtually no Russian speakers among them. However, Russian-Latvian residents are registered as Latvians. It is hard to say what their percentage is, but they may be voting "yes."
  • Dec 18, 2011
  • 08:04 PM

Language referendum to be pointless, but potentially harmful to Latvia

Uldis Ozoliņš / Latvians Online
The entire effort may seem to be a waste of money and time. But its purpose may nevertheless have been achieved—to drive a wedge between Latvians and Russians in Latvia, perhaps even to sour Latvia-Russia relations, to show the relentless way in which various Russian forces insist on dominating independent Latvia.
  • Nov 29, 2011
  • 04:33 PM

Initiative to make Russian an official language closes in on target

Andris Straumanis / Latvians Online
With two days left in the campaign, supporters of amending Latvia’s constitution to make Russian the second official language are about 11,000 signatures short of meeting their target, according to new data released by the Central Election Commission in Rīga.
  • Nov 16, 2011
  • 11:04 PM

Initiative for Russian as Latvia’s second state language moves forward

Andris Straumanis / Latvians Online
More than 39,000 registered voters so far have signed on to an initiative to make Russian the second official language of Latvia, according to results released by the Central Election Commission in Rīga.
  • Jun 11, 2011
  • 04:24 PM

No referendum on school language as signature drive falls short — officials

Andris Straumanis / Latvians Online
A provisional count of a signature drive shows that no referendum will occur on making Latvian the official language of instruction in state-sponsored schools, say officials of the Central Election Commission in Rīga.
  • May 19, 2011
  • 09:47 PM

Latvian ombudsman backs proposal to toughen language policy

RIA Novosti
Latvian human rights ombudsman Juris Jansons came out on Thursday in favour of a proposed tenfold increase in the fine for Latvian citizens who do not use Latvian language when carrying out official duties, his press service said.

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