grows every day, swelled by the thousandsrnof illegal aliens who slip across thernborder every night. We need immigrationrnreform, and we need it now.rnPete Wilson is the governor ofrnCalifornia.rnIn Praisernof Tyrannyrnby Theodore PappasrnNationalism and thernLanguage Warsrna I’m always sorry when any languagernis lost,” Samuel Johnson toldrnBoswcll during their tour of the Hebridesrnin September 1773, “because languagesrnarc the pedigree of nations.” Linguisticrnpride is not a dead artifact of Romanticrnnationalism. It is alive and well todav,rnamong the Quebecois and among thernsupporters of a constitutional amendmentrnto make English the official languagernof the United States, and it isrnflourishing in particular among the partisansrnof the little-noticed language warsrnnow raging across Europe.rnTake France, for example. No WesternrnEuropean country has striven morernsystematically to suppress regionalrnspeech in the name of national unity.rnWith French history virtually synonymousrnwith regional strife and culturalrnconflict (Charles de Gaulle fondly asked,rn”How can you make a country that hasrn215 varieties of cheeses behave as one?”)rnthe Parisian policy for four centuries hasrnbeen to condemn provincial tongues asrnvulgar and divisive and to impose a standardizedrnFrench—the French of thernnorth-central region—nationwide. ThernRevolution regarded linguistic diversityrnan “enemy of the people,” an enemy ofrnegalitarianism, and France officiallyrnbanned regional languages in 1886.rnThis governmental assault on regionalrndialect may finally have come to anrnend. According to a plan airnouncedrnearlier this year, the French governmentrnhas ordered public schools and teachersrnin regions with indigenous languages tornprepare for bilingual education. To arncertain extent, the Parisian establishmentrnhas merely acknowledged a fait accompli.rnAs Marlise Simons recently reported inrnthe New York Times, private schools inrnBeziers and Nfmes have long taughtrnProvencal, the language of therntroubadours of the Middle Ages. Radiornstations in Toulouse and Marseilles havernwithout official sanction broadcast newsrnprograms in Occitan, the family of dialectsrnto which Provengal belongs. Inrnthe foothills of the Pyrenees, radio stationsrnregularly offer children’s stories inrnBasque, and dictionaries in the Celticrnlanguage Breton are widely available tornthe residents of Brittany. Urging the restrnof Europe to take heed and followrnFrance’s lead, linguist Claude Hagegerndeclared this summer that “Europeanrngovernments have an obligation to promoternlocal languages and traditions becausernthey are in danger of being forgottenrnand because the ‘Americanization’ ofrnEurope has to be contained.”rnOf course, not all Gauls are ferventrnFrancophiles. The long-standing linguisticrnrivalry between French and Flemishrnin Belgium, for example, has heatedrnup once again. This summer the executiverngovernment of Flanders banned therncable-distribution companv Coditelrnfrom airing Tele-Bruxclles, a localrnFrench-language station, in two Flemishspeakingrnregions outside of Brussels,rnwhich is officially bilingual. The act wasrnreminiscent of one taken last year by Belgium’srncommunications minister PaularnD’hondt, who withdrew a French-speakingrntelephone directory service from thernsame area. The some 200,000 Frenchspeakersrnof the two districts have angrilyrndenounced the moves as “attacks on ourrnbasic freedom of expression.”rnOverijse, the principally Dutch-speakingrngreenbelt outside of Brussels, has takenrnthe war against French one step further.rnOverijse’s town council proposedrnthis August to allow communes in Brabantrnto refuse residency to anyone withoutrntics to the Flemish community andrnwho cannot speak Dutch. The measurernis aimed not only at the French-speakingrncommunity, but also at the incessantrnwaves of Eurocrats now flooding thisrnbeautiful area around the E.G. capital ofrnBrussels. A British woman and her Armenianrnhusband who were denied residencyrnin Overijse complained that theirrn”basic human rights” had been violated.rn”Every E.G. citizen has the right to livernwhere they like in Europe,” they argued.rnApparently’ no one told this to the bumpkinsrnof Overijse, who still stubbornlyrncling to the quaint notion of localrnsovereignty.rnSimilar battles are raging throughrnScandinavia. Finland’s days as a bilingualrncountry, in fact, may be numbered.rnSchoolchildren are currently taught bothrnSwedish and Finnish, the country’s twornofficial languages, for at least three out ofrnthe nine years of mandatory education.rnIn primary schools along the coast,rnwhere the 6 percent Swedish-speakingrnminority principally lives, Swedish isrntaught for as many as seven years. WhatrnFinland’s education minister, Riita IJosukainen,rnrecently proposed is to makernSwedish-language instruction voluntary,rnthus placating the Finnish majority thatrnresents being forced to study Swedish.rnThe latter, reports Karin Sundstrom inrnthe European, believes “Swedish-speakingrnpeople in Finland should not be entitledrnto rights that the Finnish-speakingrnpeople in Sweden do not have.”rnNor is all quiet on Norway’s linguisticrnfront, where a language controversv hasrndelayed the country’s application to thernE.G. Norwegian, of course, is the officialrnlanguage of Norway, but there are twornaccepted forms of it. They are separaternand equal in status and are both used inrnpublic documents. This is not a problemrnfor Norwegians but for the E.G.,rnwhich refuses to approve two official languagesrnfor a member country. The E.G.rnalready complains about the growingrnnumber of languages it must accommodaterneven without the membership ofrnthe so-called FANS, the current acronymrnfor Finland, Austria, Norway, and Sweden.rnWhen the FANS become members,rnthe number of language combinationsrnthat E.G. interpreters will hae torncontend with will rise from 72 to 132.rnSome Eurocrats worry that the numberrnof translators will eventually surpass thernnumber of E.G. policymakers; there arerncurrently 1,600 of the former and 3,900rnof the latter.rnLanguage controversies of graver consequencernembroil the Slavic populationsrnof the Baltics. Tensions remain high overrnthe language requirements set by bothrnEstonia and Latvia as conditions of citizenshiprnfor ethnic Russians, most ofrnwhom arrived after the Soviet invasion ofrnthe area in 1940. It was relatively easy torngrant everyone citizenship in Lithuania,rnwhere only 20 percent of the populationrnis non-Lithuanian. But, in Latvia, Russiansrncomprise almost half the populationrnand are the clear majority in therncapital of Riga. Russians also constituternabout 40 percent of the population inrn46/CHRONICLESrnrnrn