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Language Policy and Language Situation in Latvia and Estonia
Different situation is in Estonia. Estonia already accepted Estonian language as the only language in which subjects are taught in schools, their biggest problem was teachers who do not know Estonian well. They organize school inspections when teachers are inspected if they do learn pupils in Estonian and how well they do it, in many schools situation was not good, for example: “in the Tallinn Pae Gymnasiumat in its most recent Estonian language inspection in December 2008, about a third of the school’s 60 teachers failed” (Estonia Raises Its Pencils to Erase Russian, accessed June 3, 2012). Although Estonia also has a great part of Russians who can speak only Russian and they do not know state language, the situation between Russian speakers and state language speakers is more calm than it is in Latvia. Also, there have not been any petitions or referendums about changing the language policy of Estonia.
Over the centuries Latvian and Estonian have become a rich and tended languages, reflecting a wide range of social areas of life. It can be concluded that although Estonian and Latvian languages are from different linguistic groups, they have some similarities. They both are state languages which are safe from extinction. Although they each have only one state language, in Latvia and Estonia very common is usage of Russian language. In Latvia relations between Russian and state language/Latvian speakers are more tense than it is in Estonia between Russians speakers there and Estonian speakers. All in all, both languages all still used widely each in its own state and they each have a strong language policy.
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