Hódmezővásárhely.hu
Generációk jövője az Alföldön

Ő-ző local language

Our local vocabulary was the Ö(øː)-ző language, spread over a large area of the Great Plain, in islands that converged, but there wOur local vocabulary was the Ö(øː)-ző language, spread over a large area of the Great Plain, in islands that converged, but there were also small and large areas of similar language in Transdanubia and Transylvania. Unfortunately, the past is more or less true; in many places, urbanisation, standardised language teaching and the accelerated pace of modern life have led to the wearing out, atrophy and in some cases disappearance of dialects. Just think of the fact that only some of the inhabitants of Hódmezővásárhely, Algyő and Tápé – some of them – are now “mögy Szögedébe” (means goes into Szeged, pronounce in the local language Szöged), while the locals have almost lost the “szögedism” and the Ő-ző language they practised a few decades ago. Yet before the language was renewed, many of our poets, both anonymous and well-known, used the “ö” form of poetry and writing. From Péter Bornemissza to András Dugonics, from the Kuruc poets to Petőfi, many people used the language in their writings. Not to mention the precious ethnographic and folkloric records of the local ethnographic collectors (Antal Kardos, Károly Török) in 19th century and the works of István Tömörkény, Ferenc Móra, Sándor Bálint and Zoltán Polner, who worked in the 20th century. Hódmezővásárhely was not left out either, with the writings and collecting work of local writers and ethnographers who also preserved our dialect: Lajos Bibó’s authentic use of the language, József Kárász’s tasty dialogues, the peasant poets, like Imre Csorcsán Szűcs, and others, like the folksy Miska Pócsi. The following etnograhers described in their research documents the uniqness of local language: like ethnographers Lajos Kiss, Gyula Nagy, local historian Mihály Herczeg, and Tibor Szenti, writer and ethnographer. Local uniqness is the „Anyanyelve: vásárhelyi magyar” (Mother tongue: Hódmezővásárhelyien Hungarian), compiled by Ferenc Földesi, a high school teacher. József Fehér, a writer and poet from Hódmezővásárhely, also wrote several short stories, in which the language of vásárhely people appears.

According to linguistic researchers, some ethnic groups of the Hungarian tribal union already spoke our language differently. Settling in different areas of Hungary, often in isolation, ten dialect groups have developed, which – more or less – preserve their diversity and linguistic colouring to this day. Although there are countless words and concepts that are known and used only in one dialect, after a brief description, a Hungarian who speaks another dialect will understand them. Throughout the history of our language, it is from these dialects that our present-day language, our Hungarian culture, has been built. There was – and still exists – periods, when the official Hungarian language, the accelerated electronic writing, language use would change and simplify the diversity of our dialectal treasures. But the parallel learning and use of dialect and the ‘literary’ Hungarian language, rather than impoverishing it, enriches its speakers. It is similar to the way a small child learns one or more foreign languages alongside his mother tongue – without noticing it. Although today’s fast-paced, electronic world is not conducive to the survival of small local dialects, we must preserve, nurture and pass on to our descendants this deep-rooted linguistic heritage.