I sincerely congratulate you and, in your person, all our people on the splendid holiday of Uzbek language.
We all remember well that the adoption of the State Language Act in Uzbekistan on 21 October 1989 amid thorny socio-political situation was an important step towards national independence.
Taking into account the wishes of our public, as you know, last year we adopted a law establishing this historic date as the Uzbek Language Day. I feel convinced that this holiday, widely celebrated today for the first time, will take a perpetual and well-deserved place in our life.
The vital power of our national language serves as an important backbone for us in building the new Uzbekistan, in forming the foundations of a new Renaissance.
Caring for the development of our native language, passed on to us by our ancestors by elaborately preserving for many centuries, means caring for national identity, for spiritual development. After all, the authority, the standing of a language and respect for it implies respect for a people, means the standing of an entire society.
The fact that today Uzbek is spoken by about 50 million people throughout the world is suggestive of the fact that it is becoming one of the most widespread languages.
In the meantime, conditions are being delivered in our country essential for the development of the culture, language and traditions of all ethnicities represented in Uzbekistan. This purpose is served in particular by about 140 ethnic cultural centers across our nation. Karakalpak, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Turkmen are operational languages, along with Uzbek, in educational institutions and mass media. We have a growing number of specialized educational institutions with in-depth study of foreign languages as well as those where the whole learning process is in foreign languages.
Today, the Uzbek language and literature are studied in 65 universities across the globe, and scholarly research in this area has been enhancing among foreign academia.
The other day, the Uzbek Language Day was celebrated in Afghanistan for the first time as a holiday at the nationwide level, an occasion greeted high by us in Uzbekistan.
I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my sincere gratitude to the leadership of the fraternal Afghanistan for granting Uzbek the status of official language, for the great attention and respect shown to it. On behalf of our people, I cordially congratulate all representatives of our ethnicity living in the ancient Afghan land on this wonderful holiday.
We have set big and responsible goals with regard to the development of our language building on contemporary requirements, in the consolidation of its role and standing as state language.
For this purpose, the State Language Act in a new edition and, in accordance with it, a law on amendments and addenda to some legislative acts have been drafted, and both have been submitted to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis.
As you may know, recently I signed the presidential decree on measures to further develop Uzbek and improve the language policy.
The document defines strategic goals, priority areas and tasks, stages in the development of Uzbek and language policy, including growth in the authority of our language in the society and the international arena, education of the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism, respect for national values and traditions, full-scale introduction of the state language in the country, the preservation and development of languages of ethnic groups whose representatives live here, creation of conditions for the study of Uzbek as the state language.
To make sure that the decree is well implemented, we need to bolster the efforts started with regard to the conduct of all office work in the state language in public administration, in modern, innovative technologies, across industries, in the banking and financial system, in jurisprudence, diplomacy, healthcare, as well as in the activities of law enforcement agencies and military organizations.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that representatives of diverse ethnic groups living in the country as a single and friendly family also show great interest and desire to learn Uzbek.
For these good aspirations of our citizens to be realized, it is of great importance to strengthen the motivation for learning the language, produce special textbooks, dictionaries and training aids, video and audio materials, extensively introduce modern teaching methods.
In today’s world of globalization, the mutual influence of languages has been increasingly conspicuous, especially with the impressive scale and pace in borrowing words. We should admit with regret that in our country this process has been taking place spontaneously, that is, hardly building on academic approach. Therefore, we need to take effective measures to change this situation of disordered development.
We ought to work actively to establish close cooperation with foreign higher education institutions and research centers where Uzbek is taught as a special discipline, and generate educational literature for them.
It is crucial to steadily continue with the implementation of measures to translate masterpieces of world literature into Uzbek and publish them and convert the brightest samples of our literature into foreign languages. We must promote and support creative schools in this area, with an eye to training highly qualified literary translators and other related specialists.
It is essential to continue, on a systemic basis, with the work to publish such book series as Monuments of Uzbek Folk Art, Masterpieces of Karakalpak Literature, My First Book, Gems of World Literature.
We should also address a number of vital and pressing challenges related to securing Uzbek a well-deserved place in the international information space, in the internet in particular, and produce software in our native language.
The presidential decree envisaging broad celebration of the 580th birthday anniversary of the great poet and thinker Alisher Navoi, inked on the eve of today’s holiday, comes as a logical extension of our practical efforts to further the Uzbek language and literature, our national culture.
As the outstanding enlightener Abdullah Avloni used to state, the native language is a great force that uplifts the spirit of the nation.
Indeed, love and dedication to the homeland begins with love and devotion to the native language.
Surely, such an approach and attitude towards mother tongue will come to be a life credo for every one of our compatriots, and our honored creative intelligentsia, active youth, and representatives of the general public will set the tone for all of us on this path.
Once again, I sincerely congratulate you on the Uzbek Language Day!
Wish you all a sound health, happiness, as well as peace and prosperity to your families.
May the glory of our native Uzbek language always increase!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan