Silly ban on broadcasting foreign languages is passed in Azerbaijan

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The idea to ban broadcasting of foreign languages in Azerbaijan has been in the works for a while, and it looks like the law has been passed.

What makes it silly (besides the idea of banning broadcasts in other languages itself) is that Turkish is included, which is a language so similar to Azeri that there is no problem in understanding shows broadcast in Turkish, and now apparently a lot of shows are going to have to be dubbed into Azeri to comply with the new law:

While the ban was taken as part of efforts to promote local rather than to penalize foreign shows, television stations have not dubbed any Turkish shows into the Azeri language yet.

"Kurtlar Vadisi Pusu," "Tek Türkiye," "Hırsız ve Polis," "Yaprak Dökümü," "Yabancı Damat," "Arka Sokaklar," "Bir İstanbul Masalı," "Aşka Sürgün," "Melekler Adası," and "Beşinci Boyut" are among the Turkish shows that are popular in Azerbaijan, but are not dubbed into Azeri and will be affected by the new law.

It's something akin to being in Scotland and having a law passed that requires shows like Friends / 30 Rock / Seinfeld / Simpsons / etc. to now be dubbed into a nice authentic Scottish brogue.

George: Och aye, that wis a braw meal!
Elaine: It's easy whan ye ken it.
(in walks Kramer)
Kramer: Guid tae see ye!

Er...something like that (I'm not very good at pretending to be Scottish), but done by government decree and done in spite of the fact that you had no troubles understanding the show before it was dubbed.

Just to give an example of how similar the two languages are, here's part of the Azeri Wikipedia (on the Apollo Program):
NASA tərəfindən reallaşdırılmış Aya uçuş layihəsidir. Gemini Layihəsindən sonra qəbul edilən bu proqramın reallaşmasında kosmik yarış və soyuq müharibənin böyük rolu olmuşdur. Layihə Apollon kosmik vasitələri və Saturn V daşıyıcı raketi ilə 1961-1975-ci illərdə planlaşdırılmış və həyata keçirilmişdir.
I'm not even Turkish and I can understand everything but two words there without even checking a dictionary, and even those that I don't know are easy to understand through context: Layihə is obviously program, and soyuq müharibə is probably soğuk savaş (Cold War)...and yup, looks like muharip is also a Turkish word too that I've never seen before but I'm sure Turkish people know very well, meaning combat. I can even translate the above into Turkish that is probably all or mostly correct with almost no effort at all:
NASA tarafından gerçekleştırılmış Aya uçuş programıdır. Gemini Programı'ndan sonra kabul edilen bu programın gerçekleşmasında kosmik kozmik yarış ve soğuk savaşın büyük rolu olmuştur. Program, Apollon kozmik araç (note that Turkish also has the word vasıta) ve Saturn V taşıyıcı raketi ile 1961 - 1975 yıllarda planlaştırılmış ve hayata geçirilmiştir.
Now time to do some searching about on Azeri sites and forums to see how many people find this to be as ridiculous as I and parliamentarian Siyavuş Novruzov do.


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