Linguist Lembit Vaba wins the Latvian and Estonian Language Promotion Award

Foreign Minister of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets and the Foreign Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs jointly announced on 4 September linguist Lembit Vaba as the winner of the Latvian and Estonian Language Promotion Award in Tallinn.

Mr Vaba is a linguist, a long-time senior researcher at the Institute of Estonian Language, an honour member of Estonian Mother Tongue Society and a foreign member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. He has been active in both Estonia’s northern as well as southern neighbour as a researcher and lecturer and has won the Baltic Assembly Prizes for Science for his research on the linguistic contacts of Baltic-Finnic languages and the history of the vocabulary of languages.

“This year’s winner of the Languages Award Lembit Vaba has consistently worked as a teacher and researcher to bring the Estonian and Latvian languages and cultures closer. I hope his committed work serves as an example and inspiration to enthusiasts of language, literature and culture in Estonian and Latvian in particular,” Foreign Minister Liimets said.

The aim of the Languages Award is to enhance knowledge of the Latvian and Estonian languages and to recognise the achievements of Latvian and Estonian translators, linguists, teachers and managers of language learning projects in the promotion of the Latvian and Estonian languages. The monetary value of the award is €3 000 and the Award Fund receives equal contributions from the ministries of foreign affairs of Latvia and Estonia. The jury of the prize included representatives from the foreign ministries of both countries as well as language and literature experts.

The Languages Award is awarded for the 12th time this year. Previous winners are Maima Grīnberga (2009, 2012), Guntars Godinš (2010, 2013, 2018), Kalev Kalkun (2011), Margus Konnula alias Contra (2014), Valts Ernštreits (2015), Livia Viitol (2016), Rūta Karma (2017) and Ilze Tālberga (2019).

Photos: Kristi Sits