Solution on spelling of non-Lithuanian names expected to be found this year – justmin

  • 2021-01-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Justice Minister Evelina Dobrovolska hopes that a solution to the original spelling of personal names in Lithuanian documents will be found by the end of the year.

“We do not have sustainable systemic solutions as long as we do not have a respective law. The coalition agreement says clearly that the coalition agrees that this issue should be solved and we talk about the spelling of personal names on the information page [of passports] and the Latin-script alphabet,” she said in an interview to BNS.

According to the minister, it is important to make this spelling option valid not just for mixed families but also for ethnic minorities residing in Lithuania.

“Together with the chairman of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, we have managed to find the solutions covering both the needs of protecting the national language and the needs of ethnic minorities and we will definitely go back to this issue, I believe, during the spring session. I’d like to believe that we will finally manage to solve this issue and adopt the law during this term of office and perhaps even faster, during the first year [in office],” Dobrovolska said.

The politician of Polish origin said that she would use that spelling option herself if it were also made available for ethnic minorities.

“I’d definitely use such a possibility in particular as it is a very important matter of identity for our ethnic minorities. For instance, I graduated from a Polish school, that is, I spent 12 years spelling my name as Ewelina. Now I use the Lithuanian form [Evelina] in line with legislation,” she said.

Nonetheless, the minister believes that this spelling option will be most relevant for people married to a foreigner or people with dual citizenship who account for the majority of those pushing for the original spelling of personal names in official documents.