Kyrgyzstan Proposes To Fine People For Speaking Substandard Kyrgyz

Kyrgyzstan’s National Commission on State Language is proposing to introduce fines for people working in certain jobs if they do not speak Kyrgyz well enough. It has submitted the corresponding bill for public discussion.

The law “On State Language” sets out a list of people who are obliged to know the state language, and use it while performing their official duties — be they in socio-cultural, educational, or other professional spheres.

The National Commission proposes that people working in certain professions must speak Kyrgyz at an average (B2) level if they are ethnic Kyrgyz, and at least the basic level (A2) if they are a member of another ethnic group. Foreign citizens living in the republic, or intending to obtain immigrant status, should speak at least elementary (A1) Kyrgyz.

The draft bill reads: “It is proposed to introduce a new article into the Code of Offenses, according to which violation and non-compliance with the requirements of the legislation on language entails a fine of 5,000 som ($57) for individuals and 17,000 som ($194) for legal entities.

In addition, the National Commission proposes to increase fines for texts in advertising and other visual information that do not meet the standards of literary Kyrgyz language.