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Georgian becomes state language

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, July 10
Georgian language will be granted the status of the State Language. The new draft law about a state language was discussed in Parliament during the first hearing on July 8.

According to the draft law, teaching the Georgian language will be compulsory in all schools of the country, even non-Georgian ones.

In state and local institutions, the proceedings, as well as competitions and certification processes will be carried out in the state language.

In Georgia all state events will be held in Georgian, but the restrictions do not apply in ethnic minority regions.

According to the draft, the government will set up a legal entity - the State Language Department, where the commission of language experts will operate, which will develop the Georgian literary language norms and terminological standards.

The members of opposition gave several notes and remarks to the majority regarding the issue.

The Republican MP Temur Nergadze said that the draft law has two sides: one side is the law about the protection of state language, which according to him is weak and the second is the protection of other languages in the country, which is strong and serves the protection of Georgian dialects and minority languages.

The member of the united National Movement Levan Tarkhnishvili stated that the creation of a new bureaucratic body, the State Language Department, is unnecessary on the background of the current economic crises in the country and its functions are not properly determined.

The notes were expressed by the members of the majority too. The MP Demur Bashaleishvili expressed criticism about the proposed project.

Bashaleishvili thinks that the draft law is too loyal towards the ethnic minorities and more restrictions should be imposed on them in order to make them study state language properly.

According to him, many Georgians do not speak the Georgian language correctly and granting the status of state language will not be enough to improve the situation.

“Soon we will be asked to ratify the charter of regional and minority languages; we should impose our position about this fact in several articles, this will help us to avoid the future problems,” he said.

The Head of Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee Eka Beselia also spoke about the draft law.

“The project aims to strengthen Georgian language by granting it constitutional status of state language; its protection, development and promotion must be carried out by creating new guarantees,” she stated.