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Georgia: Laws Translated into Minority Languages

(Jan. 23, 2009) On January 5, 2009, the Government of Georgia launched the publication of the nation's Constitution and other legislative acts in the Azerbaijani language. Ethnic Azerbaijanis are the largest minority group in Georgia and constitute about seven percent of the country's population of 4.6 million. They reside mainly in Kvemo Kartli Province, where they are the dominant ethnic group. As a rule, Azerbaijanis in Georgia do not know Georgian, the official language of the country, and are only minimally integrated in Georgian economic and social life. The laws for translation were selected by the administration of the President of Georgia, and the translations were prepared by the staff of the parliament of the neighboring nation of Azerbaijan.

The purpose of this continuing project is to involve ethnic minorities of Georgia in the civic development of the country and educate people about its laws. The translation of Georgian laws into English has been sanctioned and supported by the Government for many years. At present, negotiations are also being conducted with the Armenian legislature on the possibility of translating Georgian laws into Armenian. (Georgian Constitution Translated into Azeri, GEORGIAN TV1, Jan. 5, 2009, World News Connection online subscription database, No. 200901051477.1_094b002d49a54d26.)