Estonia gets steamed up over Rail Baltic(a)

Take note – story published 6 years and 6 months ago

Linguistic controversies are not unknown in Latvia, but as our colleagues at the English-language service of Estonia's ERR News reported November 10, nor are they unknown north of the border.

The cause of the alphabetical outrage is the name given to the 6-billion-euro Rail Baltica project involving all three Baltic states.

Estonia's national language institute says the name should be 'Rail Baltic' in Estonian, rather imaginatively drawing a consideration of Latin into a justification of the position on its website.

"The trouble with Rail Baltica is that words from two languages, English ( rail ) and Latin ( Baltica ) are mixed in one name," says the Estonian Language Institute (EKI).

All three countries have already ratified agreements on the matter and issued joint statements referring to the project as Rail Baltica. 

Confusingly, Estonia's Ministry of Transport and Communications continues to refer to the project as ''Rail Baltic" on a dedicated (and outdated) section of its webpage in English, but in Estonian manages to use the term Rail Baltica in Estonian and in English without any obvious difficulties while referring to its own slice of the project as Rail Baltic Estonia in the main news section of the same ministry site.

Let's hope there are not really two parallel projects and the total cost will be 12 billion euros and that as a result of all this confusion, someone misses the first train from Tallinn (or should that be "Tallina"?) when the project is due to be completed in 2025.

A while ago, LSM took a look at some other Rail Baltica inconsistencies, but happily several of those issues have been cleared up and the official twitter feed for the project is now...


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