The Language and Terminology Committee under the Government of Tajikistan demands that Wikipedia correct what it described as spelling mistakes in the in its Tajik-language content.

The Committee says numerous Tajik words have been misspelled.

“We demand that Wikipedia correct all spelling mistakes in its Tajik-language content,” Mr. Saodatsho Matrobiyon, the deputy head of the Language and Terminology Committee, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, the Committee experts have revealed numerous spelling errors over the past two weeks.  

The Committee experts reportedly came to a conclusion that the errors violate Tajikistan’s law on state language and government’s decree # 458 which has approved the rules of Tajik spelling.

“Thus, they use the word ‘ensiklopediya’ instead of the Tajik word “donishnoma,” Matrobiyon noted.   

The Language and Terminology Committee demands that publishers of Wikipedia’s Tajik-language pages correct all spelling mistakes in their articles.  “Otherwise, we will take legal action against them,” Matrobiyon said.  

Meanwhile, Ibrohimjon Rustamov, a U.S.-based Tajik scholar who takes an active part in writing and editing Wikipedia's Tajik-language content, told Radio Liberty that Tajik officials' demand indicates how "unaware" they are about how the website operates.

Wikipedia "is free and public, it's edited by the world community, sometimes anonymously," Rustamov told RFE/RL.

"It's senseless to demand editing from a source that can be edited by anyone, including by the Tajikistan's language-committee specialists," Rustamov added.

He urged the committee to "mobilize its own editors to improve the Tajik content in Wikipedia, instead of killing initiatives by others."

According to RFE/RL, Rustamov, who studied educational technology in the United States, was among the first Tajik volunteers to take the initiative to write and edit Tajik-language material for Wikipedia more than a decade ago.

Rustamov reportedly wrote his first article for the site in 2006, when he worked as an English-language teacher in his native Isfara, a small town in northern Tajikistan.