- May 2, 2014
Masojć: It is not possible to get rid of Russian and Lithuanian borrowings
In each country, not only among Polish people living in the Vilnius region, there are two forms of language: official and colloquial language – Irena Masojć, a head of the Department of Polish Philology and Didactics of the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences says.
Recently we can notice that the level of proficiency in mother tongue among the Polish people living in Lithuania has been lowered considerably. I. Masojć does not agree with that standpoint. “It seems to me that we still have similar problems. If you live in a multilingual community, you cannot avoid borrowings. Depending on which communities young people belong to, these borrowings appear more or less frequently. Perhaps the change consists in the fact that colloquialisms and laid-back attitude are in now. After class young people use sociolect of a language they speak in their communities. This language is rich in Russian and Lithuanian borrowings” – Irena Masojć told zw.lt.
However, such a situation is not exceptional. “We are not able to change it as these are language principles. There is an official and a colloquial form of language. In each country young people speak slang. The difference is that slang has been spread and is now used in the mass media. Even politicians start to use colloquialisms in their speeches in order to narrow the distance between them and other people. That is why the widespread usage of slang is somehow justified” – the Polish philologist said.
Written language is another problem. A lot has changed in this matter since young people are often not able to write their thoughts down. “It is said there has been a decline in culture of writing. All of us wonder why, and one of the reasons for that is an availability of communication channels that bear features of both spoken and written language, that is communication in the Internet. This type of communication has a written form, but it also includes means of expression that are typical of a spoken language. Facial expression and gestures are replaced with emoticons. That is why a statement is so short and incomplete” – I. Masojć explained.
According to Masojć, national minorities are always susceptible to the influences of a community. The fact that very often young Polish people do not have an opportunity to get familiar with the Polish modern culture has an impact on how they speak Polish. “Students lack this possibility of getting familiar with the Polish culture, not necessarily with high culture, that is Słowacki, Mickiewicz, Herbert or Chopin, which they learn about at school. This is high culture, but what young people are really surrounded by is popular culture. There are some gaps in this matter which are filled by young people with the Lithuanian or Russian culture” – Irena Masojć emphasized.
Tłumaczenie by Martyna Kołtun w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Martyna Kołtun within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.