Gabriella Copeland
World Affairs
Lithuania: Linguistic Languages
Due to the collapse of the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), many small nation
states were allowed to remerge into parts of eastern and central Europe, where communism was
beginning to emerge. The need to improve the use of linguistic languages within society and its states
education became very important to the government. The government’s decision to advertise the use of
minority languages was made in hopes to achieve a social harmony throughout all of the states by
allowing, as well as supporting pluralism, language, and social integration. This major step led to the
transfiguration of minority linguistics into part of the linguistic majorities through the process of political
sovereignty change. With the right assistance and support, Lithuania hopes to have the majority of their
citizens fluent not only in the majority language, but the minority language as well.
After the collapse of the USSR, Russia, along with every other nation finally recognized Lithuania
as in independent state in 1990. Lithuania’s old Soviet immigration and population transfer policieswhich forced tens of thousands of individuals to be deported, were all banished which also resulted in
new multinational policies. This change within the state began to become a critical political and social
issue, which began to reflect on their language and culture within Lithuania. The results of the banished
immigration laws were growing rapid with the importation of many individuals from all of the
surrounding Baltic States. Media took advantage of this situation by broadcasting television shows, and
programs in many of the minority languages such as English, French, German and Italian on local
networks. Lithuanian and Russian are the major languages spoken throughout Lithuania, so by
broadcasting minority languages, they’re ensuring that the minority languages will not be forgotten by
their native citizens, as well as their immigrate citizens.
While in the process of many transitions, a new range of laws and languages were introduced
across all of the Baltic States. This allowed them to be able to compensate all the discriminatory wrongs
that were caused by the Soviet government. These laws were able to strengthen and revise the states
sociolinguistic functions of the majority languages. While they were strengthening the majority
languages, they were also making sure to provide protection for all of the languages, and cultures that
were once considered to be minorities. Lithuania now offers foreign language courses in their education
system, and it is mandatory that a child takes at least one of these classes. Whether it is Italian, English,
or even Polish, Lithuania is ensuring that their students are not only fluent in their native language, but
also in a minority language that they are allowed to study beginning as early as fifth grade.
With all of the change and revisions going on within Lithuania, their two biggest ethnic groups
have responded entirely differently to this process. The Russians disagree with many of the new
revisions, however, the Poles seem to actually enjoy, and encourage, the new changes. The government
in Lithuania has made it one of its main goals to accommodate all if their needs to the overall society,
whether that be protecting the languages that are still in place, or once forgotten, or protecting the
diverse cultures that reside within the state. But one thing is clear; they are succeeding thus far with the
creation of many bilingual schools for the public, the media, as well as the many growing families that
have many native linguistic languages. Society within Lithuania is changing rapidly, and it is changing for
the better.