Cooperation with countries News
Baiba Braže un Margus Tsahkna pasniedz Valodu balvu Karl Pajusalu
Foto: Laura Celmiņa, Ārlietu ministrija

This year, the annual Languages Award of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Estonia goes to Karl Pajusalu, a Tartu University professor, linguist and poet. The award was presented to the winner by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Baiba Braže, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Margus Tsahkna, in an official ceremony during the LAMPA Conversation Festival in Cēsis. The value of the Languages Award is 5,000 euros, made up of equal contributions from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. This year sees the 15th presentation of the award.

The Foreign Minister Baiba Braže: It’s my true honour to present this year’s Languages Awards, together with my fellow Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Cahkna, at the LAMPA Discussion Festival. That is because with the Languages Award we thank those Latvians and Estonians who, through their day-to-day work, help us to better understand and talk to each other, thereby strengthening bilateral cooperation between our two countries and promoting the learning and use of the Latvian and Estonian languages. Today, when society communicates through so many different channels and formats, and people live in different information spaces, the skills to reach understanding and work with various partners are more important than ever before.”

The Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna: “Although our languages are different, Estonia and Latvia have remained very good friends and neighbours. To make sure that language does not become a barrier that separates us, I’m happy we have the Latvian and Estonian Language Promotion Award which inspires to boost Estonian culture in Latvia and Latvian culture in Estonia.”

Margus Tsahkna has arrived in Latvia on a working visit as part of which, together with Baiba Braže, he also contributed to a panel discussion titled “Nothing about us without us. The role of small countries in the UN” in the LAMPA Conversation Festival.

The Languages Award winner Karl Pajusalu

Karl Pajusalu has been a Professor of History and Dialects of the Estonian Language at the University of Tartu since 2000. As a linguist, Pajusalu actively engages in many linguistic processes in Latvia and Estonia, lecturing on Estonian at the University of Latvia. As a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Livonian Friends, he regularly participates in Livonian events and promotes the Livonian language and culture in different countries, has led a scientific project to develop the common grammar of the Livonian language. In 2009, with Prof. Eberhard Winkler, Pajusalu compiled a Salaca Livonian language dictionary. Under the penname of Ķempi Kārl, he has authored three books of poetry – “Salats joug kolm aģa” (Three Banks of River Salaca, 2013), “Toini Sina” (Other You, 2013), “Ēzkyrdiz vīzd” (Ways of Closeness, 2023), while being a co-author of “Trilium” and “Trillium 2.0” poetry collections. Pajusalu is believed to be the only contemporary poet writing in the now-extinct Salaca Livonian language. His poems have been translated into Estonian and Latvian.

On the Languages Award of the Latvian and Estonian Foreign Ministries

The Languages Award of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Estonia was established back in 2010.

Its aim of the Languages Award is to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries through promoting the learning of and use of the Latvian and Estonian languages, the activity of Latvian-Estonian and Estonian-Latvian translators in translating fiction, political, scientific and other texts. The Language Prize also plays an important role in promoting the academic research and literature of both countries. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the role of our translators, linguists and language teachers by promoting interest in the linguistic wealth of our countries. The award also makes it possible to foster contribution by researchers and teachers of the Latvia and Estonian languages to promoting the Latvian language in Estonia and the Estonian language in Latvia.

The Languages Award has been previously bestowed on Maima Grīnberga (2009, 2012), Guntars Godiņš (2010, 2013, 2018), Kalev Kalkun (2011), Margus Konnula alias Contra (2014), Valts Ernštreits (2015), Livia Viitol (2016), Rūta Karma (2017), Ilze Tālberga (2019), Lembit Vaba (2020), Daila Ozola (2021), and Hea Lugu Publishers (2022).


05.07.2024. Ārlietu ministre Baiba Braže sarunu festivālā