The Council for the Polish Language at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) 2004 Annual Report
In 2004 the Council (Council for the Polish Language, RJP) worked intensively in several different areas.
Two plenary sessions were held concerning both current issues and the general problems of creating appropriate language policies (the debate was based on Professor Markowski’s presentation, “Językoznawstwo normatywne dziś i jutro: stan, zadania, szanse, zagrożenia” [Prescriptive Lingusitics Today and Tomorrow: its State, Tasks, Opportunities and Vulnerabilities]). There were also fourteen sessions of the Council’s Commissions. These sessions resulted in: the homogenization of spelling rules and practices in official texts (the Commission for Spelling and Onomastics); the collection of bibliography concerning religious language publications (the Religious Language Commission); giving an opinion on Matura exam standards (the Didactic Commission); preliminary work on communication between the medical personnel and patients (the Medical Language Commission).
The Council worked with various government institutions: the Supreme Chamber of Control (Najwyższa Izba Kontroli, NIK) concerning compliance with the Language Act; the Ministry of Interior and Administration (Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji, MSWiA) regarding the spelling of women’s surnames and the spelling of two- and three- word place names; the Commission on the Standardization of Geographical Names outside the Republic of Poland (Komisja Standardyzacji Nazw Geograficznych poza Granicami RP, KSNG) concerning the appropriate Polish version of geographical names; the Polish Parliament (Sejm and Senate) concerning the amendments to the Language Act, so as to make it conform to the relevant EU laws; the Ministry of National Education (Ministerstwo Edukacji Narodowej i Szkolnictwa, MENiS) and the Central Examinations Board (Centralna Komisja Egzaminacyjna) in relation to Matura exam standards.
In addition, the Council complied with article 12 of the Polish Language Act and prepared an extensive work entitled “Sprawozdanie o stanie ochrony języka polskiego za lata 2002-2004” [Report on the State of the Protection of the Polish Language in 2002-2004]. This over 260-page work will be presented to both chambers of the Parliament in 2005.
The Council was also represented internationally; its members participated in the conference entitled European Federation of National Institutions for Language (EFNIL), where they had the opportunity to present language policies adopted in Poland. The Council became a member of this international organization.
The Council co-organized a conference on “Polska polityka komunikacyjnojęzykowa wobec wyzwań XXI wieku” [The Polish Language Policies and Communication in the 21st Century].
The Council promotes endeavours that propagate knowledge about the Polish language. In 2004, it accepted patronage over language-related contests (such as the Champion of Polish Speech and the Contest for Good Writing), an educational television program, “Gry Językowe” [Language Games], and linguistic publications.
The Council produced its yearly publication, “Komunikaty Rady Języka Polskiego przy Prezydium PAN” [Announcements of The Council for the Polish Language at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences], subscribed to by 300 people and institutions (not including Registry Offices). The Council also published “Zasady pisowni języka religijnego” [Spelling in Religious Language] (Tarnów, 2004), edited by R. Przybylska and W. Przyczyna.
Moreover, the members of the Council, in the course of their day-to-day activities, responded to 268 letters, thus providing expert evaluation on language issues. The majority of the correspondence was conducted with a number of the offices and institutions mentioned in the Language Act. According to a decision made at the 16th plenary session, the Council does not issue guidelines and expert evaluations to private individuals or companies, in particular advertising companies (apart from opinions concerning names and surnames). As a result, the Council dismissed 45 of the queries addressed to it.
Translated by Marta Usiekniewicz