Hotel in Rēzekne falls foul of language rules

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'Restart', a municipal hotel owned by the Rēzekne Olympic Center, has been fined €75 by the State Language Center (VVC) - a sort of language watchdog in Latvia - as its name has been deemed to breach Latvian language rules applying to public institutions. The management of the hotel will contest the fine in court, reported Latvian Radio on February 13.

The hotel's name was picked as it's a piece of word play including, Re that stands for Rēzekne, as well as start and art, characterizing its purpose, said the Olympic Center's director Vladimirs Bogdanovs.

However VVC says it doesn't adhere to the rules of the official state language (Latvian).

"It should be in Latvian and written according to Latvian language rules. In this case 'Restart' cannot be considered as written in Latvian. It does not correspond to the written Latvian language as it does not end in -s," said VVC representative Sarmīte Pāvulēna.

While private companies can name themselves using foreign words as long as they're written using Latin characters, municipal institutions should have names in Latvian, said VVC.

Bogdanovs was issued a fine of €75 but has already turned to the court with a complaint. The hotel is to be unveiled this week under the current name.

Despite intending to contest the fine, the center is also considering changing the hotel's name.

On the other hand, the VVC ruling is probably worth €75 in advertising.

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