Social value of languages in Lithuania and Finland – is there anything to worry about?

The Greifswald Report, 2016

Official and minorities’ languages have repeatedly been an area of political controversies in Finland as well as in Lithuania. Amongst other things, demands made by various political players could stoke up the climate of public opinion. However, the questions arise whether the fierce public debates are analogously reflected in the attitudes of Finland’s and Lithuania’s populations and how people in Finland and Lithuania really think of the mixture of official and minorities’ languages in their countries.

In the years 2014 to 2016 the Departments of Baltic Studies and Finnish Studies situated at the University of Greifswald undertook a sociolinguistic survey in Finland and Lithuania to answer these questions. First findings are now available. The honour of your presence is requested both to familiarise with the most prominent key data of our survey and to discuss the outcome!

27 October 2016
2 p.m.
at the Embassy of Finland
Avenue de Cortenbergh 80
1000 Bruxelles

During our survey The social status of languages in Finland and Lithuania that has been founded by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) we obtained data in several towns in Lithuania and Finland by means of the indirect matched-guise technique as well as by a direct questionnaire. Our data of about 1,200 subjects of various social groups allow an objective evaluation of both the prestige which is inherent in the languages spoken ordinarily in Finland and Lithuania, and the notions of the speakers of these languages. By comparing the statistical data of both countries, there can be detected additional clues that could be important for scholars as well as for policymakers.


2 pm
addresses of welcome
(HE Ambassador Timo Ranta; HE Ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis)

2:10 pm
project presentation

(Prof Dr Marko Pantermöller, Prof Dr Stephan Kessler,
Dr Anastasija Kostiučenko, Yvonne Bindrim MA)

 3:00 pm
coffee break

3:20 pm

closure at about 4 pm

 The working language of the conference will be English.


download invitation

download pre-report

Pease register yourself with Kati Aviron-Violet not later than 24. October 2016: