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Linguistic discrimination is discrimination based on native language, usually in the language policy especially in education of a state that has one or several linguistic minorities.

Critics denounce linguistic discrimination as a violation of linguistic rights. Discrimination against minority language is an aspect of linguistic imperialism.

While linguistic discrimination was common in Europe during the formation of nation states in the 19th century, it has mostly given way to the opposite trends (positive discrimination) of linguistic protectionism and efforts of language revival in the 20th century.

Examples of historical repression of minority languages:

See also


  1. Repression of Kurds in Syria is widespread, Amnesty International Report, March 2005.
  2. Special Focus Cases: Leyla Zana, Prisoner of Conscience
  3. Kurdish performers banned, Appeal from International PEN


  • Skutnabb-Kangas et al. (eds.), Linguistic human rights: overcoming linguistic discrimination, Walter de Gruyter (1995), ISBN 3110148781.
  • R. Wodak and D. Corson (eds.), Language policy and political issues in education, Springer, ISBN 0792347137.

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