House of Languages

Representatives from the oldest language museum in the world visit House of Languages

Last week, on the 10th–12th of August, a three-day work seminar was held at House of Languages. During the seminar, representatives from the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture (Nynorsk kultursentrum) in Norway visited Latvia.


The Norwegian Museum of Written Culture represents the oldest museum in the world dedicated to a language. It was created using the museum of the creator of the written language of Nynorsk (literally ‘New Norwegian’) Ivar Aasen (1813–1896), which was established in 1898, as a base and still honours the prominent linguist.

House of Languages is cooperating with the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture, to develop a virtual exhibition about the written languages of Nynorsk and Latgalian. Both languages have a lot in common, but at the same time they have developed and are used differently: Nynorsk gained official status from the state as early as 1885 and is used by about 600,000 people in Norway on a daily basis, along with Norway’s second official language, Bokmål. On the other hand, the Latgalian language has encountered obstacles in its development caused by the lack of democracy in certain periods of Latvian history, so even after 30 years of independence it has not regained the status it had before the authoritarian regime of Kārlis Ulmanis, although, according to census data, it is used by around 150,000 people.

Various activities took place during the seminar, which will help to create a modern virtual exhibition. The best examples of virtual exhibitions and the basics of exhibition creation theory were discussed, the exhibition concept was worked on, and a meeting with representatives of the exhibition’s target audience was organized to discuss what an audience likes about this type of exhibition. The discussion turned out to be really exciting, and it proved that despite the serious topic, it could be interesting for a wide audience. A journalist from Latvian Radio’s Latgale Studio, Ēriks Zeps, also visited House of Languages.

The exhibition, which is created with the financial support of the Fund for Bilateral Relations of the EEA and Norway grants 2014-2021, developed by House of Languages (Language Museum Association) in cooperation with the Norwegian Museum of Written Culture and the LgSC association, will give visitors an opportunity to get to know both languages, to find the similarities and differences between them and their history, as well as inspire and encourage people to use both these and their native language with pride. House of Languages believes that languages can make the world a better place, and with this belief, the virtual exhibition is being created to reach as many people as possible around the world.

More about the project and involved organizations: Exhibition on Latgalian and Nynorsk: cooperation and experience creating modern digital solutions.

For more information:
Elīna Kokareviča,
Project Manager

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