Summer 2004 (12.2)
(AI 11.4), you were asking: "What's on young people's minds?"
One of the main things that concerns me is the use of our mother
tongue - Azeri. The bitter reality about our native language
always frustrates and hurts me. We can appreciate that the older
generation had to speak Russian, which was the prestigious language
during the Soviet period, but who is forcing our generation to
speak that language nowadays? Why doesn't our nation learn to
respect itself, its own values and traditions?
When expats come to our country, the first thing they see is
that our people are speaking other languages. When I see expats
coming to work and earning money in our country but trying to
learn Russian instead of Azeri, I really get disappointed. But
how can we blame them? We are the ones who should be trying to
promote our language, our country, our traditions and values.
Russian is needed for our society. I'm not saying that we should
completely ignore it. NO! The more languages a person knows,
the broader and richer is his world. But I must admit pleasure
in seeing that the day has finally arrived when people who speak
only Russian are having difficulty finding jobs here. It means
our society is being forced to focus more on our own language.
Everything links back to education. When we ask people why they
still send their children to Russian-language schools, they say
they are not satisfied with the level of education in Azeri schools.
Whatever issue we touch upon always takes us back to the need
for strong education.
Another thing: there is an immense need to develop our Azeri
vocabulary and find, or in some cases, even create equivalents
for words and ideas that are being created in other parts of
the world-words that are used on a global scale. Our language
professionals should seriously deal with this issue and approach
international organizations for assistance because we all have
a great interest in making sure that our translations and interpretations
are of the highest standards, especially those dealing with the
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