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Issue 47 - May 2008

Saturday 31 May 2008

A new collaborative project of Next Page launched

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new research project on language changes in the transition period, (half) jokingly entitled Why Do We Speak Like That. One of the common features of East European transition has been the incredibly quick transformation of what was the heavy ideological language of socialist times into a free democratic speech. But the opening-up of the former socialist societies also brought into the public language hundreds of previously unknown concepts and ideas, as well as the words for them. Translation (or adaptation) thus was vital in the 90s and indirectly played a role in the way people were thinking about the societies they live in. And doing so in their own languages. Thus the project’s will document and research a significant process of cultural transfer via translation that took place over the last 17 years in three countries – Bulgaria, Serbia and Ukraine by focusing on certain key terms, mainly from the policy area, where the adaptation of new words and phrases is particularly visible.

At the end of the project we will have more than 15 individual research papers analyzing indexes and glossaries in printed publications, policy documents, political speeches, in-depth interviews and discourse analysis of printed media. We will also invite contributions by contemporary artists from the participant countries for their creative reflections on the issue of language change.

The project is a joint initiative of three organizations:

(JPG) Next Page Foundation - Sofia;
(JPG) Youth Humanities Centre at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy – Kyiv;
(JPG) National Library of Serbia – Belgrade.

It has won financial support by:

(JPG) the Erste Foundation
at their first open call for proposals earlier this year.

We will keep the readers of Page Back posted on new developments after the project’s launch.