Skopje, April 19 – Albanian researcher from Tirana, Elona Gjata, Ph.D., at the invitation of the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Lecturer Mustafa Ibrahimi, Ph.D., today, delivered a lecture on bilingualism, as a democratic value against nationalisms, especially those in the region. The research was published within the activities of the Faculty, while researcher Elona Gjata cited North Macedonia as a case study.

Gjata said that she personally values people’s bilingualism as an asset, although many think differently.

“I chose North Macedonia as a case study because, in addition to the two official languages, Macedonian and Albanian, minority languages such as Turkish, Serbian, Vlach, Romani, and Bosnian are also spoken there, and this proves that the use of multiple languages does not endanger any language, because they develop in parallel”, Gjata pointed out.

Gjata stated the best case studies are of couples of different ethnic backgrounds living in a third country.

“In mixed marriages, the child is bilingual, and the bilingual child has the mother’s and father’s language, as well as the language of the country they live in. For example, if a couple that lies in Germany is made of an Italian mother and an Albanian father, the mother tongue of the mother, or L1, will be the child’s mother tongue, then the father’s mother tongue will be its L2, and so on, until school enrollment, where first takes the language of communication, i.e., German, when its mother tongue becomes second, and father’s – third”, explained Gjata, adding that as need for integration, society imposes learning of the other’s language and the need for survival.

“In RNM, neither the Albanian language threatens the Macedonian language nor vice versa, as they develop in parallel”, said Gjata, who added that, in certain cases, bilingualism and multilingualism create their own cultural identity, and it has been scientifically proven, she said, that bilingual children are smarter than monolingual.

Elona Gjata, Ph.D., is the director of the Albanian Institute for Cultural Studies (AICS) and is currently teaching at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. She is the author of the book Kosova në 100 fotografi of which she donated a copy to the Language Laboratory of the Faculty of Humanities at MTU, enriching its book fund.