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Tajikistan To Fine Reporters For Using Words Not Known To Readers

Tajikistan announced it would impose fines of up to $100 on journalists who use complicated words that regular readers don't understand, news agencies reported on August 1.

"There are instances of some journalists using up to 10 words that are not understandable to a regular reader, viewer, or listener in their content in a single day. By doing so, they are grossly violating the norms of official language," Gavkhar Sharifzoda, head of the Central Asian nation's terminology committee, told a press conference.

"There are rules of writing and requirements for observing the norms of official language that we are all obliged to follow," Sharifzoda said.

Individual journalists face fines of $75 to $100, and companies $150 to $200, he said.

Tajikistan has previously banned giving babies foreign names as well as the Russian version of Father Christmas.

The former Soviet republic ended the use of Russian as an official language in 2009, although Tajik, the official state language, is still written in an adapted form of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.

Recently, authorities in the country of eight million have complained about the growing influence on Tajik of Farsi and Dari, which is spoken in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP