Untouchable Lithuanian Language

© BFL (Fot. Kęstutis Vanagas)

Lithuania President’s advisor, Virginija Būdienė, does not agree with the proposal of the liberalization of rules regulating the usage of Lithuanian language.

The discussions concerning protection of Lithuanian language flared up again when, in the middle of this month, Sejm at the first reading adopted the proposal of giving the Act on official language the rank of constitutional law. Quite a lot of emotions arose around e.g. the regulations stating that companies are obliged to give information about their activities in Lithuanian language. The draft adopted by Sejm also states that in the identity documents the names of all the citizens, including Lithuanian Poles, are to be written according to Lithuanian alphabet with the exception of some situations included in other acts.

Lithuanian President’s advisor cannot see any problem in realising the obligation to provide information in Lithuanian language.

In the Tuesday interview for “Ziniu Radijas”, V. Būdienė said: “Not everyone knows what are the booths with the sign “Pay-post”, for which reason it needs to be written, not necessary with letters of the same size and not necessary in the same place, that those are the places where financial services are provided. Yesterday, I was walking around the city, I looked around and I think that almost everywhere the obligation to explain what kind of services are served is fulfilled”.

The advisor emphasized that she is against the liberalization of regulations concerning the use of Lithuanian language.

She claims that Lithuanian language is unique and it is a value that we were fighting for and that we won. 90 years ago it came close for Lithuanian schools to become Russian and now we ourselves want to allow for such a liberalization. We do not know whether we will be able to say what a pure Lithuanian language is if it will become a cluster of borrowings and barbarisms”.

The chairperson of Sejm, Loreta Graužinienė, thinks that the proposed protection of Lithuanian language is an exaggeration.

L. Graužinienė says: “I totally support the idea to mind our language, to respect and protect it. It is a very old language and an important element of our nation’s survival as, during all the historical whirls, Lithuanian nation succeeded in maintaining its language – even in the hardest times when it was forbidden. However, surely I do not agree with all the proposals”.

The chairperson of Lithuanian Parliament states that it is necessary to take into consideration present-day reality, and, as she says, the names of the companies, brand marks are mostly bought and belong to the companies.

L. Graužinienė says: “Maybe some day we will demand translations of those names? (…) We cannot go to extremes and I think that such regulations should be excluded from the law. We need to take into consideration present-day realities (…). We cannot move back for a decade (…)”.

Lithuanian language is one of the most protected languages in the world.

Source: http://l24.lt/pl/polityka/item/43949-nietykalny-jezyk-litewski

Tłumaczenie by Aneta Gębska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aneta Gębska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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