Na Slovensku po slovensky!

Recently we have criticized the new language law of Slovakia which, in defence of the Slovakian language – and in sharp contrast with the norms of the EU and with the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, also accepted in 2001 by the Slovakian parlament – strongly limits the public use of minority languages, and it even penalizes the “incorrect use” of Slovakian as much as 5000 euros. Now, however, we have to recognize that our opinion was too rash. Today’s edition of the popular and moderate Slovakian daily published a document that clearly attests: the Slovakian language is in a great danger.

In this document Anna Belousovová, the vice-president of the co-governing Slovakian nationalistic party announces the standpoint of her party on the meeting which took place the day before yesterday between the Slovakian and Hungarian prime ministers in an attempt to find a solution for the tensions created by the new law. Upon the request of, the statement of Belousovová was revised by Slovakian linguists who have found over twenty misspellings and grammatical errors in the text of the former elementary school math and geography teacher.

The mistakes run from over ten missing commas through incorrectly used and even phonetically spelled prepositions, confuse sentence structures and the misspelled name of the Hungarian prime minister to the very fact that the adamant champions of the Slovak language use a Czech expression – mi vadí, “I dislike” – instead of the correct Slovak mi prekáža. Na Slovensku po slovensky! – in Slovakia speak Slovakian, as the slogan of the party says.

The Slovakian National Party has not yet reacted upon the article. It is, however, meaningful that in the text of the statement published on their official page they have silently corrected at least the most serious errors, and that exactly so as proposed it.

The piquancy of the affair, observes Lukáš Fila in his commentary to the article of, is that Belousovová on the same day sent round a subscription list in the parliament with the slogan “Slovenčinu si nedáme”, we do not give the Slovak language! “All right”, Fila says. “But they could at least take one lesson or two.”

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Grazie mille! But the credit is due above all to Mrs. Belousovová for producing, and then to for publishing this unique document of Slovak national pride.