At the University of Tetova took place the proceedings of the XIV edition of the International Seminar of Albanology. “Challenges of (non) implementation of the Law on languages in North Macedonia and mistakes in the use of standard Albanian” was the main topic of the Seminar, while scholars of Albanian language and literature from the country and the region discussed about this topic. The seminar conducted its proceedings through the online platform, because our University, since the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19, has strictly adhered to the recommendations of the authorities, to comply with all health protocols to protect against the Corona virus. On behalf of the University of Tetova and the Rector, Prof. Dr. Vullnet Ameti, the participants in this conference were addressed by the Vice-Rector for International Relations, Asst. Prof. Dr. Shefik Shehu. He initially congratulated the directorate of the Seminar for organizing this scientific event in these circumstances, when the whole world is facing the largest wave of Covid-19 of infections. “At the beginning, I would like to congratulate the directorate of the Seminar of Albanology for its work and dedication that even in these unusual circumstances for events of this level, managed through this alternative-online form, to organize the XIV edition of the Seminar of this year. As I thank the participants, the scientific staff, who, despite the above-mentioned situation, with their devotion contribute to outline the tradition and keep alive the research spirit of the previous editions “- said the Vice-Rector for International Relations, Asst. Prof. Dr. Shefik Shehu.

Regarding the topic of the Seminar, the Vice-Rector for International Relations, Asst. Prof. Dr. Shefik Shehu, said that it is extremely current, but also quite complex. “We all know that in our country the Law on the Use of Languages has been adopted, that has to do with the citizens of our country, who speak a language other than Macedonian, which constitutes at least 20% of the population. The issue of language use is part of the Ohrid Agreement. With the adoption of this Law, it is assumed that most of the language implementation will be completed. However, what constitutes interest and the reason for this meeting is the analysis of barriers to the implementation of the Law on the Use of Languages in the Republic of North Macedonia and how much standard Albanian is respected in our educational, scientific, cultural, administrative institutions and so on. The competent authorities, respectively the experts on this issue emphasize that the Law on the Use of Languages has a certain horizontal extension as well as a vertical dimension. Includes local government bodies as well as large parts of central government. Pursuant to this Law, the Albanian language and its alphabet will be spoken, respectively will be written in all central government bodies of the RNM, in central institutions, in public enterprises, in agencies, directorates, in organizations, in entities, in commissions, etc,”-emphasized  Asst. Prof. Dr. Shefik Shehu.

Director of the Seminar of Albanology, Prof. Dr. Salajdin Salihu, said that this year, due to the protocols against the epidemic, we are forced to reduce the accompanying activities of the Seminar and to work and act in emergency conditions, which are unfavorable for mental activity. He further added that due to the “new normal” they have been forced to focus the Seminar on one session and in one topic, in order to preserve continuity, tradition and remain hopeful that in the coming years they will return to the original concept of the seminar, with all sessions: literature, linguistics, history, ethnoculture and media.

Regarding the topic of the Seminar, Director Prof. Dr. Salajdin Salihu said that this year it is related to the language policy in North Macedonia, but also in other Albanian areas. “The past proves that the logic of cultural, national and linguistic domination has encouraged social antagonisms over the years. Albanian is the language of a nomadic population in North Macedonia, so it cannot be treated as a second-class language nor underestimated by political compromises. Because no one has the right for compromises that contradict the historical right. Following the new Law on languages in the Republic of North Macedonia, has been created space for a wider institutional use of Albanian language, but it often happens that the will of the leaders of public institutions to stand above the legal obligations. There are often improvisations that produce comic effects. Institutions, to fulfill a legal obligation, often use “(shqipishtën) Albanian” instead of Albanian. They translate texts with Google engines, that ironizes Umberto Eco. The Albanian language belongs to everyone and we should all work for it. Language stays with us even when everyone abandons us, says one poet. The Albanian language is beautiful and has great expressive abilities. It has expressive ability due to dialects, that are self-fulfilling and not self-excluding. They are like rivers that enrich the linguistic ocean. It is rich because of its ability to absorb words from other languages, which has adapted to it over the centuries. Other languages borrowed words from the Albanian language, even at the dawn of civilization “- said Prof. Dr. Salajdin Salihu.

This year, the International Seminar of Albanology conducted its proceedings in only one session, which was chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Philology of the University of Tetova, Prof. Dr. Berton Sulejmani, and the Head of the study program of Albanian Language and Literature, Prof. Dr. Emine Shabani.