Language Manipulators Essay
UNMIK regulations clearly state that English is the official language, and any translations to Albanian, Serbian or otherwise are done as a “courtesy. ” This means that all official correspondence including contracts, their exhibits and notifications must be accomplished in English, otherwise they are not valid. The following is a typical example drawn from a contract between UNMIK and a local Kosovar company. “Article VIII: Miscellaneous Provisions, section DD. English Language, states: “This Contract is written in the English language and executed in 4 counterparts plus 4 drafts in Albanian language and 4 drafts in Serbian language.
It shall be construed and interpreted in the English-language version, which shall govern. Any translation into another language is provided as a matter of courtesy. ” The ignoring of Kosova’s majority of 90% ethnic Albanians, and the imposition of English as the “legal” language in Kosova has created extreme difficulties, hardships and has placed Albanian Kosovars at a significant disadvantage and vulnerability, which UNMIK organizations and others have capitalized on, to the detriment of Kosovar businesses and organizations.
In the United States, following the end of the civil war, individuals that came to the South and took advantage of the war-torn situation and people came to be known as “Carpet Baggers” because of the luggage they carried. As we are in a similar position, perhaps we should recognize the effective negative manipulation of Kosovars by UNMIK and Internationals by referring to them as “Language Manipulators. ” The “Power” given to the English language requirement by UNMIK is being misused daily, and it enters into all forms of community action, business and our government.
Just imagine if UNMIK and KFOR had to carry out it duties, and daily living using a language that the great majority of people cannot speak or write, and their actions were legally determined and evaluated by this “foreign” language. It is clearly understandable to utilize the English language within the operations of the International community, the United Nations (UN), as this has been so for quite some time.
However, since UN has set precedence by creating UNMIK as the first government of a region following a war, it is unrealistic to continue to impose a foreign language on the operations of Kosova’s people. UNMIK, according to UN Regulation 1244 (1999) is supposed to be aiding the establishment of “.. provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo,” and it is ludicrous to state this aim while insisting on the “legal” use of the English language.
In an effort to correct the daily injustice and outright manipulation of the Kosovar people, the following corrective action needs to be implemented immediately. (1) That UNMIK, through regulations and law, recognize the Albanian Language as the Official Language of Kosova, in any and all communications and contractual negotiations and legal actions; and that the Serbian Language be also recognized as a valid language when ethnic Serbs are involved in contractual and other legal ventures with UNMIK and/or others operating fully within the borders and governing process of Kosova.
OR (2) That UNMIK establish an independent organization of qualified English & Albanian speaking attorneys, one or more of which would be appointed, at the expense of UNMIK, and not drawn from the Kosova Budget, to each and every Albanian organization or corporation that must enter into contractual arrangements with UNMIK. This is necessary so long as UNMIK insists that the non-native language of English is the Legal Language over the native Albanian language of Kosova.
Furthermore, no contract or agreement entered into with UNMIK shall be deemed valid in any manner if this assistance is not provided during negotiations and through the final signing of the contract or agreement. A “Double Edged Sword” Well, what do you think about the presentation so far? Does the imposition of English being the official language of Kosova make you angry, or sympathetic to the problems of the Albanian businessman, or Government Officials?
Do you see “Unfairness” in it all? Are you upset with the “Language Manipulators” for taking advantage of ethnic Albanians? And which solution would be preferable to you; (1) where Albanian becomes the official language immediately, or (2) where there is an independent English Speaking support organization? If you feel that number (1) is the best option at this time, then I ask that you carefully reconsider your position as we continue the discussion.
There is another side to the ingenuity of the “Language Manipulators,” and that is their passive support of the ethnic Albanian’s continued use of the Albanian Language in all aspects of their private and public life. The “Language Manipulators” are very pleased that there is no English news on TV or radio, and not one of the local papers has any English articles and we can only find job announcements for NGOs in English. And they are especially pleased that demonstrations and protests “boycott” the use of English, and are done in the Albanian Language.
We see that, because UNMIK forces the English Language in official matters, many Albanians “rebel” and fight against using English, keeping it out of their newspapers, TV and radio. Just think for a moment. On the one hand they are imposing English as the “official” legal language in Kosova, creating problems and taking advantage of Albanian businessmen, but on the other hand they are “pleased” that no English is being used in Kosovar daily life, and they encourage pride in the Albanian Language.
Do you see the beauty in this strategy yet? The simple fact is that those who don’t support the Independence of Kosova want ethnic Albanians to keep speaking and writing in Albanian, and to ignore the use of the English Language! English is the language of world business and western politics, and if Albanians begin using English effectively, the “truth” about Kosova could be heard by the English Speaking world, such as the United States of America.
And we thought the American “Carpet Baggers” were clever and nasty in their dealing with people in the South following the civil war. “Language Manipulators” are very clever in their large-scale use of an age-old manipulation. If you don’t want someone to have or do something, then tell him or her they “must” have it or use it. We all tend to rebel against anything that is forced on us, and if we are not careful, we will be manipulated out of the very thing we want or need.
And in this case, the “forcing” of the English Language on the Albanian people in Kosova is blinding them to the fact that this is the very thing they need if they are to survive and gain their full Independence. In this modern world, and in the current circumstances that Kosova finds itself in, the proficient use of the English language is the only way to get the truth beyond the borders of Kosova, to gain allies and support, and to develop the skills necessary to succeed in business and politics.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 10 July 2017
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