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Category: Law/Politics

  • Apr 23, 2012
  • 05:28 PM

Odisha Government not interested in Sambalpuri Language

Prafull Sharma / OrissaDiary
At present there are demands for inclusion of 38 more languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India. These are Sambalpuri, Chhattisgarhi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, Nagpuri, Pahari (Himachali), Angika, Banjara, Bazika, Bhoti, Bhutia, Bundelkhandi Dhatki, Garhwali (Pahari), Gondi, Gujjari ,Ho, Kachhi, Kamtapuri, Karbi...
  • Apr 22, 2012
  • 05:55 PM

Timor Leste, Tetum, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia or English?

J. Ramos-Horta / Jakarta Post
Timorese leaders and people, though islanders, are very outward-looking, open to cultural influences, eagerly learning and absorbing the good (and bad) we see, read and hear around us. We are among the most polyglot people in the world. A very large percentage of us manage as many as three to five languages — a native language, Tetum, Indonesian, English and Portuguese.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 05:52 PM

Belgium's German-speaking cantons ponder their position

Richard Connor / Deutsche Welle
As well as Belgium’s French and Flemish-speaking regions, a handful of municipalities speak German. But, with increasing division between Flanders and Wallonia, the eastern Cantons have been looking at their options.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 12:13 PM

Quebec town in trouble over bilingual newsletter (video)

CTV News
A monthly newsletter in the city of Chateauguay, Quebec, has caused a stir and it has nothing to do with its content. A resident complained there was too much English in the newsletter and now, Quebec's language watchdog has launched an investigation.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 02:41 AM

Selling Russian to the Russians

Kanstantsin Lashkevich / Belarus Digest
Belarusians have the weakest national self-identification in the former Soviet Union and its authoritarian ruler Aliaksandr Lukashenka is happy to pursue pro-Moscow cultural policy in exchange for cheap Russian gas and oil. The most recent manifestation of such policy was a letter from the presidential administration urging local authorities "not to allow artificial reduction of the use of the Russian language".
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 12:25 AM

Proposals aim to preserve Louisiana French

Kris Johnson / Houma Courier
A new resolution headed to the state Senate floor aims to preserve as much of the French language in Louisiana as possible. House Resolution 46, proposed by Acadian and Hispanic Rep. Stephen Ortego, D-Carencro, requests that state agencies, when translating information from English to French, make such translations using Louisiana French.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 08:05 PM

French language activists find 850 violations in Montreal
Led by the Societe Saint-Jean Baptiste and the Mouvement Quebec Francais, 300 of the complaints were collected by one retired worker who spends his days looking for egregious language violations. Standing in front of the bust of Camille Laurin, the father of Bill 101, English-only flyers from grocery stores and tailors were presented as examples of violations.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 07:58 PM

My education, my language

Zubair Torwali / Pakistan Today
In mainstream Pakistan, the linguistic diversity of the country is still thought to be a threat to the national cohesion despite the fact that Pakistan has lost one of its arms mainly (including other factors as well) due to the denial of linguistic diversity.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 01:14 AM

Hungarian minority wants Magyar to become official regional language in Romania in 20 years
“With small steps we have climbed from zero linguistic rights in 1989 to 64 linguistic rights and we don’t want to stop here. In the long term, our target is to have Hungarian an official language regionally. If we look at the timeline of zero to 64 linguistic rights in 22 years, we should make our language official in some regions in 20 years,” said Kovacs Peter.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 01:06 AM

Livery cab drivers who want to pick up street hails don't have to know English

Pete Donohue / New York Daily News
The current draft of rules would let livery drivers pick up street hails for four years before becoming proficient in English. Taxi and Limousine Commission officials, however, are considering exempting current livery drivers from even the four-year deadline because they’re concerned many won’t be able to pass the test and would lose their livelihoods, sources said.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:55 PM

Kurds Push for their Rights in New Turkish Constitution

Hemin Khoshnaw / Rudaw
Turkish officials have been saying that the Kurdish language will not be an official language for education. When Bulent Arinc, deputy prime minister, met with Osman Baydemir, the head of the Diyarbakir municipality, he told him, “We will not adopt studying in the Kurdish language, but Kurdish can be an optional subject in schools.”
  • Apr 17, 2012
  • 09:23 PM

Police corruption case highlights Belgium's language laws / The Telegraph
...In 2006, after confessing his guilt, the police officer was given a prison sentence, upheld on appeal. Following the conviction, he was fired by the police but successfully appealed his sacking because as Flemish officer he had been disciplined by a French speaking superior.
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 06:33 PM

Timor-Leste’s Language Policy: The Boulder On The Shoe – Analysis

Victor R Savage / Eurasia Review
Timor-Leste has chosen Portuguese as its official language of government, though Tetum remains the other official language. This language policy, a return to its colonial heritage, has future implications for the state’s development and geopolitical relations in the region.
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 04:37 PM

Labour pulps 5,000 Cardiff council election leaflets criticising Welsh language

Labour has pulped 5,000 copies of a Cardiff council election leaflet because it contains a resident’s comment that they “can’t apply for most jobs in Wales because you need to speak Welsh”. Last night an angry row erupted between Plaid Cymru and Labour, with Plaid’s deputy council leader Neil McEvoy accusing Labour of seeking to inflame the language issue.
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 04:03 PM

Plaid Cymru’s Image 2: Welsh-speakers inhabit a networked community

Cynog Dafis / clickonwales
There is no mystery about the close identification of Plaid Cymru and the Welsh language. The party, and to a great extent the home-rule movement which has through devolution given us the ‘civic national identity’ which both Ken and I celebrate, sprang almost exclusively from a Welsh-speaking community acutely aware of its vulnerability amid the rapid change of 20th Century Wales.
  • Apr 13, 2012
  • 06:12 PM

Legislature approves council on Native Languages

Coshocton Tribune
JUNEAU, Alaska (WTW) — Lawmakers have passed a plan creating a state-backed council aimed at revitalizing Alaska Native languages. SB130 was approved unanimously by the House on Thursday. Also Thursday, the Senate, which passed a version of the bill in March, agreed to changes made by the House.
  • Apr 12, 2012
  • 07:09 PM

Don't tamper with the way people talk

The Daily Advertiser
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and primary opponent Rick Santorum agreed on at least one thing, in addition to the need to unseat Barack Obama. And that was that the United States must adopt English as its official language.
  • Apr 12, 2012
  • 03:41 PM

'British Raj promoted Urdu'

The Express Tribune
“The textbook tale that British colonial rule in the subcontinent harmed the development of Urdu is false,” Dr Tariq Rehman, Dean of School of Education at Beaconhouse National University, said in a lecture at the Forman Christian (FC) College University on Tuesday.
  • Apr 12, 2012
  • 03:32 PM

Low-skill immigrants to face mandatory language test, Kenney announces

Tobi Cohen / The Vancouver Journal
Starting July 1, Kenney said Provincial Nominee Program applicants in semi-skilled and low-skilled professions will be tested and required to meet a minimum standard when it comes to listening, speaking, reading and writing in at least one of Canada's official languages — English or French.
  • Apr 11, 2012
  • 04:48 PM

South Sudan: Is Arabic Language a Bouncing Ball About to Take Its Place Amongst Local Languages?

Emmanuel Monychol /
..It means that Arabic language, whether it is Africanized or pure still has a room in South Sudan, since South Sudanese are Sudanese, who have been influenced over the years by Arab cultural heritage, a Sudanese culture amidst other African cultures and languages in the South. Although Arabic language has been chucked out in the constitution, it still hangs over us like a bouncing ball about to fall down and takes its place.
  • Apr 11, 2012
  • 12:27 PM

Language skills are being lost in translation

Charles Crawford / The Telegraph
...only one in 40 of British diplomats now speaks to the highest level the language of the country where they are posted. The figures somewhat underestimate the Foreign Office’s language skills – some diplomats who do speak languages cannot face taking exams again to prove it. However, the whole policy needs gripping.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 05:42 PM

At National Visioning Consultation, District 15 Citizens Want Kpelle as National Language

Liberian Daily Observer woman told the Consultation, “When we are in the presence of foreigners in other countries, we can’t talk our secrets because we have to speak the English that everyone else understands. But in Ghana the Ghanaians have Twi and other languages, and we Liberians are lost when Twi is being spoken.”
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 05:18 PM

Apartheid had mercy on indigeneous languanges

It is disturbing to me at least that most political leaders speak their languages in the UN, but all Africans, bar our Arabian brothers in the North, read their prepared speeches in their colonial masters languages, this is in English, French or Portuguese.
  • Apr 09, 2012
  • 05:36 PM

Armenia’s Communists favor country’s children to attend Russian schools
...In his words, Armenia’s current education system does not teach a necessary amount of Russian language to the children. At the same time, however, the Communists demand that the teaching level of Armenian—the country’s official language—be raised in schools.
  • Apr 09, 2012
  • 12:03 AM

'Welsh is a wonderful gift': speakers of the language relish new support

Steven Morris / The Guardian
In her first speech as commissioner, Meri Huws spoke of her vision of a Wales where speakers had the confidence to use the language and trust in the law to rectify any prejudice. Her initial focus will be to make sure that the Welsh government and public bodies fulfil their obligations to offer services both in English and Welsh.
  • Apr 05, 2012
  • 09:35 PM

Cadets of Chail military school to learn Dragon's language

Ajay Sura / The Times of India
CHAIL (Himachal Pradesh): Now the cadets studying at one of the oldest Rashtriya Military School (RMS) of country at Chail in Himachal Pradesh would learn Chinese language. Ministry of Defence (MOD), which is running the schools, has introduced the Chinese language in the study curriculum of the school from current academic session.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 08:53 PM

Speakers of France’s endangered languages demand recognition

The Observers
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets all over France this weekend to defend the country’s minority languages. These have been spoken in different regions of France for centuries, but are slowly dying off. With the first round of the French presidential election just three weeks away, speakers of endangered tongues are trying to get candidates to take their concerns seriously.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 02:55 PM

Silesian to become official language in Poland?
“We want the Silesian dialect to become a language,” Andrzej Rozenek, press spokesman of the liberal Palikot Movement, the third largest party in parliament, told the Rzeczpospolita daily. Academics and laymen are divided however on whether Silesian merits being classified as more than a dialect.
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 08:09 PM

Esperanto lovers blaze trail on new EU petition

Europe Online Magazine
Brussels (dpa) - Should the European Union recommend that citizens use the invented language Esperanto when singing its anthem? That is one of the questions the EU‘s executive was left to ponder this week, after citizens on Sunday acquired the right to submit petitions for new legislation.
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 03:46 PM

Labour calls for inquiry into Pacific language education

Labour will tomorrow ask the Education & Science Select Committee to conduct an inquiry into whether teaching children Pacific languages as well as English helps them succeed, says Su'a William Sio, Labour's spokesperson on Pacific Island Affairs. "This will be an opportunity for all parties on the committee to manifest support for an issue that is very valuable to the future wellbeing of Pacific communities and their children," Su'a William Sio said.