Interesting to see the Russian question pop up from time to time, along with statistics … “X percent THIS, therefore THIS …” Statistics are important because they are used in the transmission of halftruths, lies, propaganda, so always wear a statistical condom! One discussion that caught my ear revolved around the translation of Estonian law into the Russian language, a suggestion made by a Social Democrat named Ossinovski. Society comes unglued at the very mention of such ideas, with statistics tossed around like rice at a wedding, “X percent THIS, therefore THIS!” I scratch my own itchy head … Yeah, why not translate the laws?
I have always been opposed to making Russian a second-state language, not just because I like Estonian so much because I think it’s so cute with all of that ä ü õ ö, but also because I feel it is unnecessary. I am of the opinion that forced legal inclusiveness is, in two words, complete bullshit. “Oh, look, the official languages of Kosovo are Kosovar Albanian AND Serbian.” That’ll get them to stop hating each other, sure … Or, “Just look at Finland, just look at Canada!” — the linguistic minorities there are bitching round the clock. The Quebecois complain about not having their own state, the Anglophones in Quebec complain about living in the Francosphere. And so, as you already knew, NOBODY IS EVER HAPPY.
Then I start thinking about the multilingual origins of the Estonian state with its Danish and German merchants and border Russians and deposed Polish counts, and I recall that during the 1920s and ’30s, Estonian politicians used to go to Narva or Petseri and give addresses … in Russian. So what exactly are we restoring the state to, if that’s how it was in the earlier period of independence? What is the default for which we yearn? Are we going back in time, or involved in a completely new state-building project? Stuff to consider.
But, back to the question: Estonian laws in Russian? … Why not? Why not in English, too? Hell, let’s add Swedish. The Swedes are still a tiny minority, but, unlike the Russian minority, they are actually growing. If you model it out over the next 500,000 years, at current growth rates, the Swedish minority will surpass the Russian minority in 253,000 years. So, that’s my advice. Think ahead. Be the future.