The Council for the Polish Language at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) 2006 Annual Report
On 31 December 2006, the Council had 38 members, 9 of whom were members of the Presidium.
A resolution passed by the Polish Senate established 2006 as the Year of the Polish Language.
In 2006 the Council held three plenary sessions (30 January, 15 May, and 27 November), devoted to issues such as the manner of celebrating the Year of the Polish Language, and the role the Council should play in these celebrations. During the first session, a decision was made to plan two types of events and activities: popular and academic. The former would consist of contests, as well as television and radio shows, while the latter would include work on a new extensive Polish dictionary and the launching of a Polish National Corpus (endeavours that will require the cooperation of other institutions dealing with the Polish language). The Council also discussed current issues, such as the Presidium’s correspondence, preparations for the conference, and other activities.
The Council worked in numerous areas. The Religious Language Commission prepared a publication “Jan Paweł II a język. Wspomnienia, refleksje, opinie” [John Paul II and Language. Reminiscences, Thoughts and Opinions], the publication of which is scheduled for the beginning of 2007. The commission organized three conferences (“Polszczyzna biblijna – między tradycją a współczesnością” [Biblical Polish: Between the Traditional and the Contemporary], 15-27 September; “Język religijny dawniej i dziś” [Religious Language Yesterday and Today], 24-26 April; and “Język – szkoła – religia” [Language – School – Religion] 7-8 April) and was the co-organizer of one (“Mówić poprawnie...” [To Speak Correctly…], 21-22 April, in Poznan). It also started work on a volume containing the titles and proper forms of address for the clergy of different churches (tentative title: “Sposoby zwracania się do osób duchownych w Polsce” [Polish Forms of Address for the Clergy]. Work on the bibliography of the religious language is being continued. The members of the commission replied to enquiries concerning religious language. The commission held two sessions, on 17 April and 4 December.
The Didactic Commission collaborated with the Central Examinations Board, District Examination Boards and the Ministry of National Education (MEN) on the issue of Matura exam standards in Polish. In cooperation with Centrum Pedagogiczne dla Polskiego Szkolnictwa Narodowościowego (Pedagogical Centre for the Polish National Minority Education] in Tesin (in Polish: Czeski Cieszyn), the commission organized a series of lectures concerning the teaching of Polish. It also co-organized two national conferences: “Podręczniki do kształcenia polonistycznego w reformowanej szkole – koncepcje, funkcje, język” [Handbooks of Polish after the Education Reform: Ideas, Functions, Language] (Katowice, 29-30 November) and “Kompetencje nauczyciela polonisty we współczesnej szkole” [Competence of a Polish Language Teacher in Contemporary Schools] (Warsaw, 24-26 May). Members of the commission actively participated in the celebrations of the Year of the Polish Language. They coordinated the Polish Language Festival (Katowice, 13-14 October), organized a series of lectures for students and teachers from Silesia, assumed patronage over numerous activities and contests organized by schools, and suggested the organization of a contest for schools, “Czy znasz język ojczysty” [Do You Know Your Mother Tongue?] Also, the members of the commission were included in the jury of the Youth Language Contest organized by the Marshal of the Senate. The commission held two sessions, on January and 27 March.
The IT Terminology Commission issued answers to queries related to its subject matter.
The Medical Language Commission published “Komunikacja lekarz – pacjent w diagnostyce i leczeniu nowotworów” [The Doctor-Patient Communication in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Neoplasms], which was the result of a session held with the participation of the Polish Society of Clinical Oncology. Together with the Warsaw Scientific Society, the Polish Union of Oncology and Polish Society of Clinical Oncology, the commission organized a session entitled “Językowe, psychologiczne i etyczne aspekty komunikacji lekarza z pacjentem” [The Linguistic, Psychological and Ethical Aspects of Doctor-Patient Communication] (Warsaw, 29 November).
The Commission for Spelling and Onomastics prepared a draft resolution concerning the spelling of the abbreviation for “Dziennik Ustaw/Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej” [Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland] as “DzU/Dz.U”. The resolution was passed during the Council’s 22nd plenary session held on 15 May 2006. It also prepared an expert evaluation dealing with the spelling of abbreviations in street names for the Central Statistical Office (GUS). It also started discussion on the forms of adjectives derived from place names and the genitive forms of such names (in relation to the list of place names requested by the Ministry of Interior and Administration, MSWiA). The commission started working on the rules for transcribing Modern Greek proper names. It also replied to a number of questions concerning the issue of correct spelling. The commission held three sessions, on 24 March, 9 June, and 24 November.
The Commission for the Grammar and Style of Modern Polish organized a conference entitled “Mówić poprawnie – zasady wymowy polskiej” [To Speak Properly: The Rules of Polish Pronunciation] (Poznan, 21-22 April).
The Legal Language Commission co-organized a conference dealing with legal language (Krakow, 7 December). It also collaborated with the Senate’s Culture and Media Commission in the area of improving the style and language of legal documents.
Apart from that the Council undertook various initiatives concerning the promotion of Polish and popularization of knowledge about the Polish language. It co-organized the celebration of the Year of the Polish Language (e.g. it took patronage over numerous events related to the celebrations). It also supervised two linguistic book series published by TRIO.
As far as its expert evaluations were concerned, in 2006 the Council focused mostly on issues of proper linguistic forms (especially first names), requested by public institutions (232 evaluations were issued). In addition, members of the Council were asked about the spelling of place names, for the Commission on the Standardization of Geographical names outside the Republic of Poland (Komisja Standardyzacji Nazw Geograficznych poza Granicami RP, KSNG). For the Ministry of National Education (MEN), the Council prepared evaluations of the basic curricula for Polish language classes and its education standards. Moreover, the Council included an appendix to the official list of first names used by Registry Offices. The list was given to the Ministry of Interior and Administration. The Council started working on the “Sprawozdanie o stanie ochrony języka polskiego za lata 2005-2006” [Report on the State of the Protection of the Polish Language in 2005-2006] for the Polish Parliament.
As regards its international outreach, it is worth mentioning that in 2006 the Council became a full member of the EFNIL, the European Federation of National Institutions for Language. The Presidium of the Polish Academy of Science appointed the Council as the National Committee for Cooperation with EFNIL. The representatives of the Council (Professor K. Pisarkowa and Professor W. Pisarek) participated in the EFNIL conference and delivered their presentations there. In addition, the Council’s members, Professor A. Markowski and Professor J. Podracki organized a training session for translators working for EU institutions.
Translated by Marta Usiekniewicz