A book titled „The Present and the Future of the Hungarian Language” based on scientific research and presenting the situation of the Hungarian language and language community on the Millennium was published by Gondolat Publishing House. 

In his opening speech, Ádám Török, General Secretary of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) stated that the book of more than 500 pages is one of the most significant scientific works on the Hungarian language published recently.  The General Secretary highlighted that – taking into consideration that language is part of human knowledge and cognition - the publication is not only a book on linguistics.

The studies in the book examined language not only as a system of symbols but also in relation of its societal function. Besides linguistics, the fields of research included anthropology, history, demography, cultural history, culture and law, added Ádám Török.

István Hoffmann, doctor of MTA, professor of the Department of Hungarian Linguistics of the University of Debrecen, head of the Research Group on Hungarian Language History and Toponomastics of the Regional Office of the MTA in Debrecen explained that the structure and themes of the book clearly indicate that the authors focused not so much on the language but rather on the person using the language. This approach originates from the functionalist viewpoint of the authors, he added.  

Gábor Nagy Tolcsvai, full member of MTA, editor of the book said: “There is no language without a community speaking it and the community is united by the communication network.” The editor, who is the author of several studies highlighted that the book intended to demonstrate that “language is not an instrument (…) language is inherent in everybody’s mind, it is part of our deepest knowledge. We carry it on us, we change it, we operate with it and it is in this sense that we formulate a community in our deeds and knowledge”.  

At the event it was also mentioned that the volume of the book on language planning illustrates that the above mentioned interdisciplinary approaches are indispensable when developing a language strategy, which is essential to efficiently improve the situation of the Hungarian language community.

Thus, the Institute for Hungarian Language Strategy welcomes the book which has a unique role in scientific life from the point of view of the Hungarian language.

Video of the event

Source: Magyar Idők