Language Inspectorate complains about English language email addresses

The Rescue Board's email addresses.
The Rescue Board's email addresses. Source: ERR

Estonia's Language Inspectorate wants to clarify, and if necessary change, the law so foreign words or translations cannot be used in official state email addresses.

The agency received a complaint from a person about the use of English words in state email addresses and highlighted that the word "rescue" is included in the email addresses for the Rescue Board (Päästeamet) (see image above).

Another example was from the Transport Authority (Transportiamet) which has English translations in its emails such as [email protected][email protected][email protected] and [email protected]

The complainant said this is in conflict with §51 of the Constitution and infringes on the requirement for business to be conducted in Estonian and the ability to contact state agencies.

Director General of the Language Inspectorate Ilmar Tomusk wrote to Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) and said he agreed with the complaint.

"The official language of the Republic of Estonia is Estonian and the e-mail addresses and domain names of state agencies could be in Estonian," he wrote.

Tomusk said the current Language Act does not regulate the use of e-mail addresses or domain names and so the agency cannot prohibit their use.

He asked the minister to clarify whether this issue can be considered a violation of the law and to change the situation going forward.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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