Hungarian linguists prepare for national spelling reform
Linguists of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences are preparing to make changes to the spelling rules of the Hungarian language – a code which has not been amended since 1984, the daily Nepszabadsag reported on Tuesday.
Following a meeting in June, the Hungarian language committee of the Academy will sit again in the autumn to find solutions to controversial spelling issues such as the usage of lower and upper case, hyphens or certain endings, the paper said.
Most linguists agree that there is a need to simplify spelling rules. “But once we start doing so – by for example removing a hyphen – it will be obvious that it affects the whole system,” Geza Balazs, deputy-head of the committee told Nepszabadsag.
The linguist warned of the increasing impact of internet usage on spelling in recent years and said that its many abbreviations were often in conflict with current official spelling. He added that the number one priority in the reform process was to preserve the unity of the spelling system.
Vilma Eory of the Linguistics Institute of the Academy said that the changes should seek to make the current spelling code more user-friendly. The code “is not a bad one”, however, it is far too grammar-focused and many readers cannot understand its explanations. She added that it should be made less stringent. “We should trust users of the language,” said Eory.