A classroom. Photo: Denis Yakovlev / Yugopolis

23 July 2018, 20:34

European linguists urge State Duma to reject bill on native languages

Languages of minor nations of Russia are a unique cultural asset of the whole world; and a bill on the voluntary study of these languages will lead to their death, about 90 linguists from European countries have stated.

"On July 22, 87 linguists from universities of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Italy and other countries demanded from the Russian State Duma to reject the bill on the voluntary study of native languages," says a message received by the SMS-service of the "Caucasian Knot".

On June 19, the State Duma adopted amendments to the law "On Education", presupposing the "voluntary" study of state languages of Russian national republics. Users of social networks blamed the Caucasian MPs, who supported the bill for their cowardice.

The appeal of European scholars to the State Duma MPs is posted on the website of the "Uralistica" project dedicated to the languages and cultures of the Finno-Ugric nations.

Linguists point to the outcomes of studies that prove that "multilingualism has an exceptionally positive effect on a human."

"The death of minor languages of Russia's indigenous nations will significantly deplete the intellectual heritage of the mankind," says the appeal.

Scientists also pint to the political aspect of the problem, stating that "the state has for centuries sought to suppress and assimilate minor nations." Now, languages of Russia's nations "have their historical right" for state support, they have stressed.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 23, 2018 at 04:53 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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