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Mapping Ideology in Discourse Studies
Öffentlichkeit – Geschichte – Ideologie
A National Overview and Zhuang Case
Imaginaries and Strategies of Minority Language Equality
Sprachpolitisch, grammatisch, methodisch
Volume 6


The paper presents a new tool for approaching foreign languages. The “A1 for everyone” (A1FE1) project aims to promote multilingualism (meaning the ability of an individual to use different languages) in tune with the focuses of EU language policy, i.e. “to make a wider range of languages available to learners to allow individual choice”. A1FE1 aims to create a series of compact manuals, language introduction guides, different from self-study courses or tourist phrasebooks, which should allow everyone to reach level A1 (“Breakthrough”) in a foreign language (L2), using the technologies available today and a new reader-tailored approach. In fact it is not a guide for a single language being translated into several others, but each L2 guide is written specifically for a type of L1 users, since combinations of typologically distant languages (Danish for Spanish, Czech for Finnish) must tackle the same A1 material in a different way compared to especially genetically similar languages (Danish for Swedish, Czech for Slovaks). The paper introduces the Italian language guide for Lithuanians (Italų kalba šnekantiems lietuviškai). There are two main principles in this project: the comparative and contrastive approach, which proceeds from what is familiar (L1) to illustrate what is new (L2) and the central role of the lexicon as vehicle of communication and unifying element of the three components of grammar (phonetics, morphology and syntax). This is the reason why the bulk of each guide consists of four sections presenting the sounds, the basic forms, logical connections and words of the L2, followed by a two-way minimal dictionary full with communicative examples. The level descriptors of the Common European Framework are not language-specific, hence A1 structures and lexicon should be selected according to teaching practice resources available in the countries where the L2 is spoken, such as syllabuses, word frequency lists, etc. Audio recordings of all L2 material presented in the guides and additional videos following the books’ structure can be accessed online. Italų kalba šnekantiems lietuviškai will serve in fact as a prototype, outlining practical and problematic aspects to take into consideration when drafting other guides. After its release, feedback from users and field experts will help evaluate the real development possibilities of the project, including the involvement of institutions at European level.


The aim of this article is to analyze the differences between Lithuanian and French sounds and to provide a general outlook of the Lithuanian articulatory phonetics mainly intended for French speakers. Such a comparative analysis is relevant because (a) there is no consistent equivalent between written and spoken language, even in Lithuanian, which has a relatively young written language, (b) the international phonetic alphabet does not always accurately reflect differences in pronunciation, (c) the contrastive perspective helps learners to focus on differences that could be unnoticed. Besides the articulatory aspects, the orthographic issues where the spoken form cannot be directly deduced from the written form by a simple relation from grapheme to sound but depends on the graphemic context (mainly related to some assimilation processes) are given a special attention. The questions that remain controversial between Lithuanian phoneticians (such as the retroflex status of the phonetic counterparts of <š> and <ž>) are also mentioned. The comparative analysis shows that the two systems exhibit significant differences: most sounds are not shared. Nevertheless, differences are often slight, so that it is more an issue of orthoepics. Attention should be paid to the differences in the duration and qualitative characteristics of long and short vowels and the relation of graphemes <a, e, o, i> to sounds. From the point of view of consonants, [], [r, rj], [x, ] are problematic, their pronunciation must be learned separately. The pronunciation of palatalized consonants as simple consonants, and not as clusters with [j] as the second element, is also challenging for French speakers.