Balto-Slavic Branch of the
Name: Ferenc Norbert Sipos
Nationality or Ethnicity: Hungarian
Where do you live?: Budapest, Hungary
Representative of rare language: Rusyn and Romani (Lovari dialect)
1. What’s your story? How did you get exposed to this rare language?
I grew up in Debrecen and I wasn’t exposed to Romani or Rusyn language in any sense until the secondary school. Alongside my studying, I learnt from Internet Rusyn language and from books Romani language. A few years later, I took a language exam in both languages.
2. How would you describe the efforts being made, at the civil, social, and governmental languages, to preserve this language?
Many people study Romani in Hungary because they have to learn a language in order to graduate. Unfortunately, after the graduation they don't use the language. The situation of the Rusyn is very special, because just few people speak it in Hungary today. These languages are currently minority languages in Hungary. Unfortunately, the government is not doing much for the Rusyn language.
3. How often do you get the chance to use this language in your daily life?
I am a translator. I translate poems and texts from Rusyn to Hungarian and from Romani to Hungarian every day. I believe that through literature, a minority language can survive.
4. Are you satisfied with the response of students in your department and your university to the available offerings in your language?
I study at Faculty of Humanities of University Eötvös Lóránd. Here we can learn Rusyn and Romani languages.
5. What is your message to young people who wish to learn this language?
I would like to message to young people a Chinese proverb: ‘To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world."