Russian Lawmakers Vote to Ban Rival Alphabets

Discussion in 'Community' started by medea, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    Russian deputies, in a strong signal to independence-minded ethnic regions, approved legislation on Friday that will make Cyrillic the only legal alphabet across Russia.

    The amendments, approved in a third and final reading, directly target autonomous regions such as rebel Chechnya and Tatarstan, which has changed the written form of its local dialect from Cyrillic letters -- as used in Russian -- to Latin.

    The package was supported by 336 members to 15 in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

    "Alphabets cannot be made universal, there is no precedent for this anywhere," Tatar deputy Fandas Safiullin said.

    Tatarstan, a mainly Muslim region on the Volga River, has already voted through its regional parliament to switch to the Latin alphabet for its Turkic Tatar language.

    The newly amended country-wide bill, if given the final go-ahead by senators, will make it impossible for regions to scrap Cyrillic letters without a fresh federal law.

    Alphabets -- Cyrillic, Latin or Arabic -- have long been a politically charged issue in Russia.

    Czarist-era academics adapted Cyrillic to the needs of the dialects of the vast Russian empire, while national reformers backed Arabic or Latin script.

    But under Josef Stalin all policies allowing regions autonomy in education and language were scrapped in favor of promoting the only Soviet lingua franca -- Russian.

    Backers of the Latin alphabet say it is more easily adapted in the age of the Internet and globalization and allows speakers of Turkic languages to more accurately express their phonetics.

    The State Duma led its last campaign to protect the Russian language in June, debating a legislative package which will clampdown on English words gradually creeping into everyday use.
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    The French feel the same way about all the new words that have come out with the technological advancements in the past century or so. They don't have le computer, but l'ordinateur, etc. And I think its important to retain cultures, especially since with mass communication and fast transportation the world is getting smaller.

    Good for the Russians!

  3. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Would have thought they would want a language of their own, not share with the Bulgarians & other slavic languages! They are a very proud nationalistic culture.
  4. SPG macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2001
    In the shadow of the Space Needle.
    The Russians aren't trying to preserve their language and alphabet, but are trying to force the cyrilic alphabet onto the other languages spoken inside the Russian Federation. Stalin tried this before, and now the various groups of non Russian people are trying to undo it. This would be like the US government coming in and demanding that every text that teaches French or Spanish not have any accent marks in it, only the English's not realistic for languages other than russian to be forced to use only cyrilics.
    I guess it's an attempt to make the Russians feel better about being in control, but ultimately acts like this will only add fuel to the fire of secession for all the non Russians.
  5. SPG macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2001
    In the shadow of the Space Needle.
    Could you clarify your intent in this post please? Who are you talking about the Russians? The French?
    Did you mean to say that the Russians would not want to have other languages using their alphabet?

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