Megjegyzések kétnyelvű magyarok hely- és személyneveiről

Kulcsszavak: helynevek, személynevek, kétnyelvűség, kisebbségi magyar, nyelvi emberi jogok, nyelvi kontaktusok


Remarks on the place names and personal names of Hungarians in countries adjacent to Hungary

The paper deals with two topics the author believes receive too little attention in Hungarian onomastics: (a) the role of power, violence and Linguistic Human Rights, and (b) the linguistically ignorant and socially irresponsible ways often characteristic of Hungarian bureaucrats when dealing with minority Hungarians applying for Hungarian citizenship or wishing to cast ballots in a referendum in Hungary. In Slovakia in the first half of the 1990s, serious attempts were made to cleanse historical Hungarian place names by only permitting the use of either the Hungarian transliteration of a Slovak name (e.g. Dunajská StredaDunajszká Sztreda) or of the Hungarian calque of the Slovak name. Attempts to suppress historical Hungarian names, resulted in, for instance, Dunaszerda ‘Danube + Wednesday’ rather than Dunaszerdahely ‘Danube + Wednesday + place’. The goal of this policy was to sever the connection between the local Hungarian population and the historical name of the city (Dunaszerdahely) they live in. Since 1st January 2011, ethnic Hungarians in several of Hungary’s neighbouring countries have been able to apply for Hungarian citizenship. The differences between naming traditions in Hungary and Ukraine (e.g. Latin vs. Cyrillic script, mother’s maiden name vs. patronymic name on a birth certificate, obligatory Slavicization of Hungarian names in the Soviet Union, etc.) often lead to serious difficulties for bureaucrats in Hungary, who may receive allegedly “expert” but in fact misguided advice. During a Hungarian referendum in October 2016, Hungarian bureaucrats who underestimated cultural differences wanted members of the Hungarian minority with dual citizenship to fill out a written form which contained anyja neve ‘(What is your) mother’s maiden name?’ This resulted in thousands of ballots cast in Ukraine being dubbed legally invalid due to a failure to respond to the question, or because a name different from that in Hungarian documents from Hungary was given.

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