• Tajik journalists face fines for ‘incomprehensible’ words

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    DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: First they banned Russia’s version of Father Christmas, then they forbade foreign names for babies. And now Tajikistan, one of Central Asia’s most reclusive states, is going to start fining journalists caught using “incomprehensible” words, a government official said on Monday. “There are cases when journalists use as many as 10 words in one day that the simple reader, viewer or listener cannot comprehend,” said Gavhar Sharifzoda, the head of Tajikistan’s state language committee, in comments carried by Russia’s Interfax news service. “This grossly violates the norms of state language.” Authorities in the country of eight million have recently complained about the growing influence on Tajik, the official state language, of Farsi and Dari, which is spoken in Afghanistan. Sharifzoda said fines for individuals will range from $75 to $100 (67 to 90 euros), while state officials and organizations will have to pay up to $200. It remains unclear when the new regulations will come into force. Tajik is the sole state language in Tajikistan although Russian is constitutionally recognized as a language of “inter-ethnic communication” and is widely spoken in the ex-Soviet republic.

    AFP

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