Ideology or tolerance? Dozens of Seimas members call on VU to withdraw “new language”

We are afraid we will not talk again

39 Members of the Seimas called on the Senate to revoke the Gender-sensitive language guidelines for the university community and called for strengthening the prestige of the Lithuanian state language.

They call for “the preservation of its inherent qualities necessary for the study of world languages, the continuation of the world-famous traditions of Baltic studies and the preservation for future generations of what we have received – the Lithuanian language that has come from the farthest reaches of history.”

According to parliamentarians, after the restoration of independence, “it was hardly conceivable that Vilnius University, combining autonomy with the responsibility of the Nation and the state of Lithuania, would become a pioneer of radical ideology apologists by proposing the introduction of a new language according to the gender model.”

According to politicians, the Gender Guidelines for Gender-Sensitive Language developed by VU are one of the without sex – lot. without gender).

It is suggested to use such a dictionary, vocabulary, which is not normative in Lithuania.

A non-Lithuanian language product is written in the application, which VU can sell and receive a financial benefit for participating in the “European Horizon” projects obliging to change the language.

“The attempt to change the forms of the Lithuanian language, which have so far preserved many linguistic features that have not remained in other related languages, and to create an artificial language that develops and changes not naturally but through the norms of supposed correctness of” advanced “ideologues and bureaucrats , that is, the desecration and caricature of his language and thinking, ”the politician said.

Also read: VU Gender Sensitive Language Guidelines: A Sign of Progress or a Radical Experiment?

Members of the Seimas pointed out that in our country general rules for the use of the Lithuanian language have been adopted, the observance of which is supervised by the State Language Inspectorate, and the State Lithuanian Language Commission (VLKK) determines the direction of Lithuanian language management.

Also read: Laimantas Jonušys: About “sensitive” grammar

“The Lithuanian language cannot become a servant of any ideology and a tool for indoctrinating youth. It is necessary to understand the significance of the Lithuanian language for our own and the world’s culture, to evaluate language experiments carefully and not to give in to the suggestions of groups engaged in “innovations”.

In a successful modern state, it is important to realize that language is the most important means of communication, not part of society, and the object of individual rights, rather than a divisive one. The issue of citizens’ harmony and communication is in the interest of the state, ”the authors of the address continue.

Wants to maintain autonomy

The Senate has already received the appeal and was able to respond by sending a response to parliamentarians.

“The VU Senate sent a reply to the interested members of the Seimas, specifying the status of the Guidelines for Gender-Sensitive Language and emphasizing their recommendatory nature.

Valdas Kopūstas / 15min photo / Vilnius University Library yard

The university is open to comments, criticisms and suggestions, but emphasizes its autonomy in considering and making internal policy decisions, ”the university’s representatives on the portal 15min conveyed such a position of the central administration.

Does the current vocabulary not discriminate?

Following an address prepared by Audronius Ažubalis, a member of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, a copy of which was received by the portal 15min, signed by 39 parliamentarians. Representatives of the Lithuanian Peasants ‘and Greens’ Union – even more than the conservative colleagues of the initiator.

Almost all – six out of eight – members of the Lithuanian regional faction, as well as representatives of the Democratic faction “On behalf of Lithuania” and a couple of parliamentarians from the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party faction also signed.

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / School

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / School

The biggest obstacle for them is the advice not to avoid innovations, for example, to use a woman to use not only a “man” but also a “man”.

“It is suggested to use such a dictionary, vocabulary, which is not normative in Lithuania,” Agnė Širinskienė named the peasant why she signed after the address. – Ordinary relatives who speak for themselves as neither bad nor good are abandoned.

When there is no typical work, there are definitely questionable decisions, which I do not know whether there is a lot of tolerance, because in the Lithuanian language the relative does not offend.

It is simply that the words that name things have relatives in our language. When new works are started to be created that have nothing to do with the Lithuanian language and its creation, it is probably not a matter of the university in this case, but probably a matter of the Lithuanian language or some other commission. ”

According to the parliamentarian, the proposals to take into account the gender of all persons approached and to use not only the generalized gender, but also the female gender is another matter.

Photo by Sigismund Gedvila / 15min / Agne Širinskiene

Photo by Sigismund Gedvila / 15min / Agne Širinskiene

“This is the normative language and usable,” the portal said 15min explained the politician. – But when there is no such characteristic work, there are definitely questionable decisions, which I do not know whether there is a lot of tolerance, because in the Lithuanian language the relative does not offend.

Those words are suggested for use. The university, which has really contributed to the nurturing and preservation of Lithuanian culture for centuries, is suddenly starting to create innovations that are difficult to explain in the making of the Lithuanian language.

Even from the point of view of discrimination or non-discrimination, if the relatives had a negative connotation with us, there would be one. But in Lithuanian there is no negative connotation, it is neutral. That distortion is probably not the best way to deal with the Lithuanian language. ”

He also offers to criticize J. Jablonskis

Ainius Lašas, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts of Kaunas University of Technology, who responded to the appeal, assessed the arguments of the Seimas Circle of Lovers of the Ancient Lithuanian Language as weak.

The language, according to him, is in the communities of everyone, including VU. “They can” trade “it as much as they want,” the associate professor commented. – It does not mean that others have to accept it, but that allegation of selling the language for money is below. plintuso.

Secondly, criticisms of the creation of an artificial language, rather than its natural development, should be addressed first to the past, for example to Jonas Jablonskis, and then to the VLKK.

Unlike each other proposed in the VU document, J. Jablonskis offered (of course, artificially!) At least a thousand of them. What a crime against her “the Lithuanian language that came from the farthest layers of history” with her jomarkomis, screaming, shoulder straps and nabschniks!“

Grandmother used to say “humanity”

Prepared by VU Gender sensitive language guidelines it is argued that the consensus to “use the grammatical gender as neutral is outdated and often discriminatory.”

It is therefore suggested to avoid references to gender in writing: to choose a gender-neutral according to the study participants) or an impersonal form (eg The survey states that… instead respondents state that…) by writing short words (for example, all stud. grades must be entered by…).

A distinction needs to be made between grammar and language. We create cultural norms ourselves, it is not a change of grammar.

Parentheses, slashes, and other signs may be used to refer to both sexes (“audience survey showed”, “statistical distribution of respondents”, “all faculty members will be invited to be vaccinated”, “each university community Member State (s) ‘.

In addition to the use and graphic notation of words from both relatives, the creation of new words or their variants is also mentioned. An example is the word ‘man’, which arises from a critique of the male ‘human’.

Photo by Liudo Masio / Loreta Vaicekauskienė

Photo by Liudo Masio / Loreta Vaicekauskienė

The guidelines emphasize that they are not mandatory, the use of such language being a personal choice.

Loreta Vaicekauskienė, one of the authors of the guidelines, a senior researcher at the Institute of the Lithuanian Language and a professor at Vilnius University, emphasized that the following suggestions do not encroach on language: “It is necessary to distinguish between grammar and language. We create cultural norms ourselves, it is not a change of grammar. ”

According to her, the sensitivity of some people to language in terms of gender inequality is important, so ways can be found to take their needs into account.

Talking to the portal 15min, the linguist recalledthat her grandmother used the dialect word “humanity” – her dialect did not summarize people in a purely masculine form.

“Where is the problem? It is possible that this will be a very good option for someone, L. Vaikaekauskienė considered. “It’s not a question of grammar, but of culture – whether we are sensitive to different groups in our society.”

Man is not a university invention

By the way, “man” is a word coined by VU. The journalist Daiva Repečkaitė was probably the first to use it in public.

“It simply came to my notice then selfish my vocabulary to reflect some of my values ​​- back in 2008 ji wrote on his blog. – More specifically, I have a problem with the word ‘man’, that he is clearly masculine. nuotr./Vyras nuotr./Vyras

I remember from childhood that older people said “some man goes” only about a man, and about a woman they said “a woman / girl goes”. The derivatives “man” and “man” are never used when talking about women.

Lithuanian, it is true, is not as cruel in this respect as others, in which the word “man” if not coincides with “man”, at least has a common-root component (on the other hand, Lithuanian is not as good as Japanese or Hungarian, where there is no relatives and no co-root components). “ nuotr./Moteris medituoja nuotr./Moteris medituoja

The journalist thought she could say “human” by analogy with words such as “naughty”, “naughty”, “nerd”, “pirdyla”, “nenuorama”, “writer”, which sound the same to both relatives.

“Also, masculine nouns, pronounced as feminine, are common in some variants of the Aukštaitian dialect (like the famous” bratka “). So I would say “he is a good man” and “she is a good man.”

In 2015, the Lithuanian Language Institute included the innovation “man” in database of Lithuanian new words. This noun of the 4th accent is described as “the feminist name of a woman or a person separated from the sex in general.”

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