Lithuania’s language watchdog to discuss name for Georgia

Georgia
AFP/Scanpix

Lithuanians were asked by Georgia’s President Georgi Margvelashvili to change the name they use for his country from “Gruzija” to “Georgija” or “Sakartvelo”. The commission will Thursday discuss support to the Lithuanian version of the name, “Sakartvelija”.

Audrys Antanaitis, chairman of the commission, said the panel would discuss a few versions of the name for Georgia, adding that “Sakartvelo” or “Kartvelija” were the most likely options. If the proposal is rejected, the issue will probably only be revisited in a decade.

“If the decision is made, no approval will be needed – we pass a resolution, include the official name into the list of names of countries and the names used. The commission is the final instance,” said Antanaitis.

He said he personally supported the bid to change Georgia’s name, adding that approval would be needed from all 17 members of the commission.

Antanaitis admitted that different opinions exist in the panel.

The discussions have been applauded by Georgia’s Ambassador Khatuna Salukvadze who said she expected a positive decision from the Lithuanian language watchdog.

The language commission has concluded there were no grounds for changing the Lithuanian version of the name of Georgia, as the current version had a long history of use and a unique form that fits the Lithuanian language, furthermore, the authentic name of Sakartvelo was not used anywhere in the European Union.

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