Azerbaijan International

Summer 2000 (8.2)
Page 10

Reader's Forum
Alphabet Reform Too Slow

I read with interest your latest issue ("Alphabet and Language in Transition", Spring AI 8.1) where you note that so many people are complaining about how slow our transition has been to the Latin alphabet and how perplexing this problem is in educating our youth.

The slower the process goes, the more unrealistic it seems to make this transition to Latin. We continue using so many Russian words in our everyday vocabulary. I've noticed that children are absorbing these words, thinking they are standard Azeri. The result is that we are beginning to speak some sort of mixed language that somehow is not literary at all.

In this regard, the article in your magazine "Protecting the Azerbaijani Language" and one written in the local newspaper on the same topic about discussions that being carried out in Parliament committees were extremely welcomed. Anar (President of Azerbaijan's Writer's Union and head of the Parliament Committee on Language matters) who provided AI with the information also wrote the article in our local newspaper. "Finally! At last!" I said to myself. It's "the first sparrow of its kind".

The next day I spoke to some of my colleagues about what was being discussed in Parliament. The response was rather cool. My Azeri friends were still complaining about the conversion to the Latin script and my Russian friends keep talking about how great Russian literature is and how stupid and ignorant "Turks" (Azeris) were. These are the same stereotypes that were perpetrated during the Soviet times and which continue on Russian TV today.

You've done a lot of good in Azerbaijan International by bringing up these issues about language transition. Such information needs to be shared with all the people of Azerbaijan. You can't imagine how much we suffer because of lack of information.

Shaig Safarov

Azerbaijan International (8.2) Summer 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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