Project of the Institute

Project manager: Dr Devan Jagodic
Collaborators: Dr Matejka Grgič, Dr Maja Melinc Mlekuž, MA Andreja Kalc
Project implementation period: 2019 –

The Slovene Research Institute (SLORI) has always paid considerable attention to an appropriate use and promotion of the Slovene language in Italy. In 2019, the Institute founded a working group for the Slovene language, which provides technical assistance in language strategy and language policy planning andoffers a variety of other services. These include consulting and training activities, the preparation of support material, proofreading, research and promotional activities and other types of linguistic support to the Slovene ethnic community.

Language is of paramount importance for the members of the Slovene ethnic minority in Italy. In fact, language is not only a means of communication, but it is the most visible and tangible testimony of the presence of the Slovene-speaking population in the region. According to research on Slovenes living in Italy, the Slovene language significantly contributes to preserving national consciousness. Some even believe that a continued use of the Slovene language is a prerequisite for the survival of the whole community.

As a result of the changes that have taken place in our contemporary globalised society, the Slovene language in Italy has been facing many challenges and has been subject to considerable pressure. This is why it is important that language processes be planned and directed. What is more, new challenges need to be addressed quickly and effectively. Continued use of a language can be ensured provided that its speakers develop adequate communicative skills in this language and are able to use it in different communicative contexts: from communicating in the private sphere to public speaking as well as using the language for institutional purposes. If speakers do not develop adequate language skills, they will eventually stop using a language and replace it with a different communication code.

Our goals include:

  • promoting the development of high-level communication skills in the Slovene language among its present-day speakers;
  • helping to create the necessary circumstances to ensure that there will be new Slovene language speakers in the future;
  • contributing to the preservation and active use of the Slovene language in the long term;
  • ensuring an appropriate use of the Slovene language in the public sphere and on an institutional level.

The activities promoted by the working group for the Slovene language are coordinated by three Slovene linguists and proofreaders: Dr Matejka Grgič, Dr Maja Melinc Mlekuž and MA Andreja Kalc. The working group also closely cooperates with several other members of staff and external contractors as well as experts in different areas of linguistics.

The technical support services offered by the working group are aimed at institutions, organisations (both public and private), institutes, associations and individuals who would like to promote the use of the Slovene language in Italy and contribute to its continued development.

Some of the services provided by the working group are free of charge: proofreading of short documents; occasional training activities, consulting services and conferences; the dissemination of existing teaching material, language tools and technologies. Other services are provided against payment: technical assistance in longer projects,  programmes and activities (e.g. conducting research activities and training programmes; providing consulting services and other language services on a regular basis; preparing documents and providing new language tools and technologies to cater for the specific needs of the Slovene ethnic community in Italy).

The areas of activity of the working group for the Slovene language are:

2. language planning
3. educational and training activities
4. preparation of teaching material
5. assessment and grading of Slovene language skills
6. terminology and language technology services
7. promotion of the Slovene language among its speakers
8. promotion of the Slovene language among its potential speakers
9. proofreading of short texts for public use, free of charge.

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