• June 17, 2015
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Lithuanian linguists: “No” to original spelling of surnames

The Lithuanian linguists are relentless. The Commission of the Lithuanian Language answered once again on inquiry of Law and Order Committee. They didn’t change their minds. According to linguists, only foreigners of Lithuanian citizenship and Lithuanian citizens with the surname of foreign spouse are entitled to have the original spelling of surname in Lithuanian documents. Poles residing in Lithuania however don’t have this legal right.

In Semptember 2014, the Commission of the Lithuanian Language already gave the opinion that at the request of the foreigner who has obtained Lithuanian citizenship, his name in the Lithuanian passport can be written using the Latin symbols on the basis of an identity document issued by another country.
Linguists decided that there are no obstacles that citizens of Lithuania have the names of their foreign-spouses written in the original form. In its original form they can write also the names of their children. Lithuanian citizens, however, – regardless of nationality – must have the name in Lithuanian
documents in the Lithuanian version.

The member of parliament, Gediminas Kirkilas, one of the authors of the draft law on the spelling of names, announced that the parliament will return once again to the State Lithuanian Language Commission for clarification. “The Commission explained that we did not formulate our question, as it should have been. We will have to address to the committee an accompanying proposal, asking about our citizens, with archival documents, such as religious, confirming the original spelling” – said G. Kirkilas.

Daiva Vaišnienė, the chairwoman of the Commission of the Lithuanian Language declared that, nothing has been stated and Commission didn’t change their minds.  There was no new discussion on this topic and “Only few wordings were changed” – she explained.

Based on: BNS

Translated by Adam Adamowicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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