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Official Language Lunacy | Beyond Highbrow

A substantial amount of

As a linguist who has actually worked in the field as a professional linguist (and anthropologist) I happen to know quite a bit about official language laws around the world.

Most countries of the world have at least one official language. In Latin America, it is generally Spanish. In Africa, it is often a colonial language along with one or more large national languages. India has about 13 official languages, often one for each state, with English and Hindi given some prominence. In Israel, believe it or not, Arabic and Hebrew are official languages.

The official languages of the Philippines are Tagalog and English. In Europe, the official language tends to be the main language of the country – German in Germany, Portuguese in Portugal, Dutch in Holland, etc. Sometimes, a smaller regional language is also designated an official (regional) language, but these are mostly just used in a certain area.

Some European countries have many official languages, without apparent problems. The Netherlands has 13 official languages, if you can believe that. Finland has 2, Swedish and Finnish. The UK has three – French (Channel Islands), Welsh and English. Switzerland has three – French, German, Italian and Romansch. Belgium has French, German and Dutch. Ireland has Irish and English.

Having more than one official language in most or all cases has not caused any problems with separatism. Where separatism exists, it was present or even worse while the regional language was being suppressed. Separatism will exist in some cases whether you repress it by force or if you allow autonomy to flower.

The French are pretty terrible about this – as French is the only official language in France and the French are bigots towards other languages. In Canada, French is an official language in Quebec, but they have been speaking French in Quebec before there was a Canada. French is an indigenous language there. The Turks and some Arab states are bigoted about Turkish and Arabic.

In general, though, official languages are not much of a source of problem in most of the world, only where they are used as instruments of the ultranationalist chauvinism described above. And why should not everyone in Turkey, France and some Arab states just speak Turkish, French and Arabic only?

Well, maybe they should, but they also have a right to speak their regional language, because the Bretons and Basques were speaking Breton and Basque long before there was a France. The Kurds have been speaking Kurdish in Turkey for thousands of years before there was a Turkish state. The Kurds and Assyrians in Iraq and Syria spoke their languages for thousands of years before there was an Iraq or Syria.

Which brings us to the United States. Official language policy has sadly fallen to the same lunatic forces that have taken over our immigration debate. Do we have an official language in the US? No, we do not, but many states do. About 30 states have designated English as the official language, New Mexico has designated Spanish an official language and Hawaii has designated Hawaiian as an official language.

Oxford University Press A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey
Book (Oxford University Press)

Destroy islamic filth

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The rise of a Christian state in the Middle East should be carried out by the Turks in a way to counterbalance just and unjust accusations about the Christian massacres occurred in the Eastern provinces of the Ottoman empire during WW I. The great Aram Nahrin – Mesopotamia would promulgate Aramaic as the only official language of a circumference that would comprise Mosul, the Middle Tigris’ west bank, Palmyra, Haleb and Laodicea.
Turkey would have to implement measures introduced by Kemal Ataturk in the 20s and the 30s in order to totally eliminate the fallacious and pernicious sheikhs who want to bring their Satanic Mahdi – Messiah atop of a Caliphate that would impose their Satanic version of Islam allover the …… world

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FAQ

Tristar
Independent travel or packaged tour for Turkey?

We're planning to visit Turkey this December. A packaged tour would be more expensive but it could save us a lot of hassle. Travelling independently would give us more freedom and I believe it's more fun too. We don't have a lot of time though - 10 days for this trip. I've always preferred travelling independently but this time we might be able to cover more attractions if we join a tour. Is it easy to get around in Turkey? Which option is better? Please advise! Thanks.

Hi I'm Turkish and I can definitely tell you that a packaged tour might be more useful considering the fact that it is quite difficult to get around, especially in the bigger cities like Istanbul and Izmir I guess it depends on when you're going. However there are always many many tourists that travel by themselves. In general the people in the hotels and even the ones on the streets are quite helpful and with a good book It will be quite easy. However like I said if you're up for it and would rather do independent travel then go for it cos there are so many people that do that plus it…

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