The Council for the Polish Language at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) 2003 Annual Report
In 2003 the Council (Council for the Polish Language, RJP) worked intensively in several different areas. At the end of February 2003 it presented its “Sprawozdanie o stanie ochrony języka polskiego” [Report on the State of Protection the Polish Language] to the Polish Parliament. The over twenty-pages-long, detailed document met with positive reviews from the Senate during the meeting of the Council’s Chairperson and the Senate’s Culture and Media Commission (October 2003). Cooperation with the authorities included the participation of the Honorary Chairperson, Professor Pisarek and the Secretary, Katarzyna Kłosińska, PhD, in the Commission’s sessions on the amendments to the Language Act.
From April 2003 the Council underwent changes to its personnel; the process ended at the 14th plenary session (4 September) with the election of a new Chairperson, Presidium and new members of the Council for the years 2003-2006. In addition, the Council held two plenary sessions (13 May and 17 November), which included academic presentations and discussions of current matters. There were two new issues of “Komunikaty Rady Języka Polskiego przy Prezydium PAN” [Announcements of The Council for the Polish Language at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences (nos. 12 and 13), which included a summary of the Council’s work.
In 2003, two interdisciplinary conferences were organized. The Religious Language Commission, together with the Polish Institute at the Jagiellonian University and the Communications Department of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow organized a conference entitled “Funkcje wypowiedzi religijnych” [The Functions of Religious Utterances] (24-26 September). The Council organized the 5th “Forum Kultury Słowa” [Forum for the Good Usage of Polish], entitled: “Polak z Polakiem. Porozumiewanie się. Bariery i pomosty” [Poles Talking. Communication. Barriers and Bridges] (16-18 October). The Forum was co-organized by the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Society for Polish Grammar and Style. There were two hundred participants, among them linguists, cultural anthropologists, social psychologists, sociologists, IT specialists, lawyers and journalists.
This past year saw the publication of two books prepared by the Council: the collected proceedings of the 4th Forum Kultury Słowa, entitled “Język perswazji publicznej” [The Language of Public Persuasion] and a revised edition of “Nauka o języku polskim w reformowanej szkole” [Polish Language in Schools after the Education Reform]. The Council’s Commissions were very productive this year, especially the Religious Language Commission. Not only did it organize the above-mentioned conference, but it also drew up the spelling rules for religious terms. The Didactic Commission adopted a position on the new Matura exam standards.
Working with the Supreme Chamber of Control (Najwyższa Izba Kontroli, NIK) was a new experience for the Council. In May, NIK approached the Council about helping it oversee national institutions’ compliance with the Language Act. The experts, who had been appointed by the RJP’s Presidium, upon drawing up an appropriate methodology, assessed the documents presented by NIK. The results of this control will be published in 2004. It is worth mentioning that in January 2003, the Council itself was subjected to a control by NIK, the outcome of which was very positive.
Throughout the year, the Council worked with the Ministry of Interior and Administration (regarding the spelling of women’s surnames and the spelling of two-word place names), as well as with the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. A representative of the Council, Professor Markowski, participated in sessions held by the Commission on the Standardization of Geographical Names outside the Republic of Poland (KSNG) and worked with the Central Examination Board.
In addition, the members of the Council replied to over 300 letters from institutions and private individuals concerning the use of the Polish language.
Translated by Marta Usiekniewicz