Happy International Children’s Book Day!

Philology would be a lot poorer without children’s literature. To remind us about its significance, the International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated around the globe since 1967. This event was conceived and is still organised by the International Board on Books for Young People. For 26 years, Kęstutis Urba, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philology, was the head of the Board’s Lithuanian chapter. Late last year, Inga Mitunevičiūtė, a graduate of the Faculty’s Russian studies, assumed this position.

The International Children’s Book Day is celebrated on the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, 2 April. Traditionally, a poster and an address to both adolescent and adult readers is published to commemorate this occasion. In 2019, this honour was bestowed on the Lithuanian chapter of IBBY. Kęstutis Kasparavičius, a renowned children’s literature author and Deimantė Rybakovienė designed the poster.

The poster and booklets with the address were translated into official IBBY languages—English, German, French, and Spanish—and distributed in more than 80 countries. The booklet also contains concise information about Lithuania, which will help millions of children and adults worldwide to learn about our country for the first time.

Most IBBY chapters issue the address in English, and the Secretariat of IBBY organises its translation into other languages. Associate Professor Kęstutis Urba organised the translation of the address from Lithuanian into the four official IBBY languages in Lithuania. The translators Daina Valentinavičienė, Carmen Caro Dugo, Liucija Černiuvienė and Lina Plaušainytė are members of the Faculty, and they provided high quality translations of this brief, but very significant address. The Lithuanian chapter of IBBY and the Faculty are grateful to the translators and to everybody who contributed to the poster and the address.

The poster and the address were published in IBBY’s international journal Bookbird. Click here to view the booklet.


Aurelija Kaškelevičienė awarded the Lithuanian Diplomacy Star

Aurelija Kaškelevičienė, a member of the Department of Lithuanian Studies of the Faculty of Philology and a long-time lecturer of Lithuanian at the University of Helsinki, was awarded the Lithuanian Diplomacy Star by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Of Lithuania. This decoration of honour is awarded for merits in promoting the Lithuanian language, culture, and history.

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Project “You Live, You Learn” Presented at Leipzig Book Fair

On 21–24 March Lithuania returned to the Leipzig Book Fair. Among the books presented at the fair were novels by Ieva Simonaitytė and Undinė Radzevičiūtė and the memoir of the theatrologist Markas Petuchauskas. Lithuania was also represented by a four-part series of bilingual proverb dictionaries titled “You Live, You Learn”, whose author is Rasa Bačiulienė, a member of the Faculty of Philology. The Lithuanian-German proverb dictionary was included into the archives of the German National Library, and the series was nominated for the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019.

The books of the series were illustrated by children from Lithuanian, British, and German schools, special needs education centres, and children’s shelters. They are the result of the international project “You Live, You Learn”. Pupils and children of various nationalities and ageshave participated in the project.

Lithuania was invited to participate in the Leipzig Book Fair in 2017, and the cooperation with Austrian, Swiss, and German publishers has since become closer. The motto “The story continues” has become a consistent and accurate reflection of the growing visibility of Lithuanian literature in the German cultural sphere. 

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Faculty Hosts 30th Polish Language Olympiad

On 13–15 March 2019, The Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University (VU FLF) hosted the Lithuanian Pupils’ Polish Language Olympiad, which celebrated its 30thanniversary this year. This year’s Olympiad also commemorated the 450thanniversary of the Union of Lublin.

“We are very happy that the anniversary Olympiad will take place at Vilnius University, where many renowned Lithuanian and Polish poets, writers, and scientists have studied” said Kristina Rutkovska, a professor at the Centre for Polish Studies of the Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic, Faculty of Philology.

The participants of the Olympiad were welcomed by the Faculty Dean Professor Inesa Šeškauskienė and Vice-Dean for Studies Diana Šileikaitė-Kaishauri.

Twenty top 11–12 grade pupils from schools in the city of Vilnius and Vilnius, Trakai, Šalčininkai and Švenčioniai districts participated in the Olympics. To qualify, they won school and district level competitions. The Olympiad is organised by the Centre for Polish Studies and the Lithuanian Centre of Non-formal Youth Education. Its purpose is to encourage pupils to take interest in the Polish language and literature, as well as in the development of Polish culture and the cultural connections between the Polish and Lithuanians.

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QS Ranks Linguistics Top Vilnius University Subject in Arts and Humanities

Vilnius University (VU) continues to improve its position in international university rankings. The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 ranked VU among the top 500 universities worldwide in four out of five subject areas. These include natural sciences (VU ranked 383rd), social sciences and management (VU ranked 384th), arts and humanities (VU ranked 393rd), and engineering and technology (VU ranked in position 451–500) 

In the arts and humanities subject area, linguistics continues to be the top ranked subject. This year, VU linguistics was ranked in position 201–250.

“This year’s subject area ranking is very gratifying, as we have risen through the ranks in all areas. The rankings confirm that our scientists and scholars are respected by their international colleagues, and that our graduates are valued by their employers. Various rankings and indicators should be taken into account if one is considering to study in Lithuania or abroad, and I encourage secondary school graduates and their relatives to do so.” said VU Rector Professor Artūras Žukauskas. 

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