On 10 April 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs, together with the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser, in the Estonian capital Tallinn, presented an annual award of Latvian and Estonian Ministries of Foreign Affairs. For the Latvian translation of the Estonian poem “Kalevdēls - Kalevipoeg”, this year the Language Award was presented to the poet and translator Guntars Godiņš.
“It is a real honour today, when the President of Latvia visits Tallinn, to also participate in our wonderful tradition of the Latvian and Estonian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, at the ceremony of the presentation of the Languages Award. This Languages Award plays an important role in promoting both national literature and academic studies, and it is also an opportunity to assess the role of our teaching staff and translators in promoting transnational relations. I would like to thank the nominees of this year's Languages Award for their important translations and contributions to the promotion of languages,” the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that the work done by Guntars Godiņš was an important and lasting gift for the Latvian and Estonian 100th anniversary. “We can admire the mastery of the translator's language, creating a unique reproduction of poetry nearly 90 years after the first edition in Latvian. Guntars Godiņš has carried out a huge survey, including the creation of many new Latvian names and words. The poem “Kalevdēls - Kalevipoeg” is Estonian cultural business card, which is also an important event for Latvian language and culture,” the Minister said.
The Award of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for contribution to the promotion of Latvian and Estonian languages has been presented since 2010. This year, the award was presented for the tenth time. The purpose of the Languages Award is to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, by promoting the acquisition and use of Latvian and Estonian languages, the activity of Latvian-Estonian and Estonian-Latvian translators in the translation of fiction, political, scientific and other texts, as well as to promote the contribution of Latvian and Estonian researchers and language teachers to promote Latvian language in Estonia and Estonian language in Latvia. The value of the Languages Award is €3,000, and its fund is composed of equal investments from both Latvian and Estonian Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
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