Dobry den Košice –
üdvözlöm Kassát –
hello Kosice:
Language Choice in a
Slovak Internet
Guestbook
Lukas Bleichenbacher
University of Zürich
[email protected]
Vasek, J., R. Buday, M.Fabryova. 1999. Podrobny Autoatlas - Slovenska Republika 1 : 100’000.
Harmanec: Vojensky Kartograficky Ustav.
Slovak and Kosice residents by ethnic structure, 2001 census
Slovakia
Kosi ce
Sl ova k
Hun gar ian
Ro m an i
Cze c h
R ut he nian
U k ra ini an
G erm an
P ol ish
Ot he r
nu m be r
4,614,854
520 ,528
89 ,920
44 ,620
24 ,201
10 ,814
5,405
2,602
66511
%
85 .79
9.68
1.67
0.83
0.45
0.20
0.10
0.04
1.23
nu m be r
210 ,340
8,940
5,055
2,803
1,279
1,077
398
125
6076
%
89 .10
3.79
2.14
1.19
0.54
0.46
0.17
0.05
2.57
T ot al
5,379,455
100 %
236 ,093
100 %
http://www.statistics.sk/webdata/english/census2001/tab/tab3a.htm
http://www.kosice.sk/info/basic/demograf.htm
On the main street
(Fö utca) around 1900
Němec, Zdeněk, Jozef Duchoň and Kristína Rybárová. 1994. Košice 1780-1918.
Sečovce: Pergamen. 67.
Aerial view of Kosice’s
Main Square
(Hlavné Námestie)
with St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral
and the State Theatre.
Jiroušek, Alexander. 2003. Košice na začiatku tretieho tisícročia. Košice: Jes. 34.
On the presentday main street
(Hlavná Ulica)
Jiroušek, Alexander. 2003. Košice na začiatku tretieho tisícročia. Košice: Jes. 55.
Billboard advertising
Kosice’s Tourist
Information Centre
Facts about corpus
• 414 entries from 1998-2003
• 20,000 words, average length of entries: 48.5 words
• 301 (or 73%) of all entries contain some form of address
• no visible interaction between contributors
Content of entries
• explain one’s link to Kosice (61%)
• comment on the www.kosice.sk website (58%)
• comment on the city of Kosice (40%)
• announce visit to Kosice (26%)
• specific question or request (22%)
• greet Kosice / Slovak people (10%)
• very rare: off subject (2%)
Origin of entries
unclear
2%
other countries
7%
Canada
11%
Slovakia
11%
Czech Republic,
Poland, Hungary
6%
Germany, Austria,
Switzerland
9%
Great Britain
4%
Netherlands
3%
USA
38%
France
2%
rest of Europe
7%
Dominant language of entries
300
254
250
200
131
150
100
50
9
En
gl
is
h
0
7
3
3
2
3
2
Dominant language of entries used as FL
Total
61
Other
353
1
Slovak
28
13
English
118
47
0%
10%
207
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Entries from Slovakia (45)
• 43 entries in Slovak, 2 in English, no switching
1. Nenachádzam žiadne informácie zo súťaže Rallye Košice
2. Naše mesto je veľmi pekné preto radím cudzincom aby ho
navštívili.
Entries from the Czech Rep. and Poland (19)
• 6 of 7 Czech entries in Czech, 1 in Slovak,
no switching
3. Toto město se mi velmi líbí. Pokaždé, když jedu na SR ráda se
stavím v Košicích. Pa Jana
• 12 entries from Poland: 4 in Polish, 4 in English, 3 in
Slovak, 1 in Czech, some switching
4. [....] Poszukujac hoteli odwiedzilem Wasza strone. Pozdrowienia
dla wszystkich odwiedzajacych piekne Koszyce.
5. [....] Unfotunetly I don't make my own page, but I think about it.
Pozdrowienia z Polski :)
6. Dobry den! Prominte, mluvim jen cesky a polsky (cesky jen trochu).
Jsem Polak. Moze zrozumie mnie kto z kosic po polsku? Bardzo chtel
by korespondowac z jakim kosicanem. :)
Entries from Hungary (5)
• 3 in Slovak, 1 in English, 1 in Hungarian
7. Ako dolnozemsky Slovak velmi rad cestujem do vlasti svojich predkov.
Jeden z oblubenych cielov mojich ciest je Vase mesto. [....]
8. I'was in Kosice for one years ago whit my family. You have
wonderful city! Wi are back soon!
9. Üdvözlet Kassára,a gyönyörű felvidéki városba! [....]
Kitünő,részletes igényes az oldal,csak a magyar nyelvű verziót
hiányolom,meg a német nyelvűt. Remélem lessz a jövőben ilyen.
Entries from Austria, Germany and Switzerland (37)
•English used in 18 entries, German in 7,
some switching into Slovak
10. [....] I send the best greatings from Lucerne in Switzerland. Today i
listening i newspaper from Switzerland a good Text from your City!! [....]
11. Hi guys! Nice site. Hope your town is as beautiful as your website. I'
ll visit your area next month. CU Jürgen
12. hi kosice!greetings from a 21 year-old austrian student!!!!!!!!a
nice town with such a cute habitant!dvatsat bozkov:)))))))))
13. [....] Unsere Mutter wuchs in Kosice auf (Ulica Rasinova).
Können Sie uns sagen, wie die Strasse heute heisst? [....] Zelame
Vam uspesny rok 1999. Dovidenia! [....]
Entries from Austria, Germany and Switzerland
(cont.)
• 2 entries in Hungarian, 10 in Slovak,
1 of which as a FL
14. Üdvözlöm Kassát, Rákóczy nyughelyének városát!!
15. Ahoj Kosice! Pekna Stranka! Uz sa tesim na vianoce, ked
konecne znova uvidim MOJE MESTO.
16. Kosice je velmi hezke mesto!
Entries from the rest of Europe (66)
•
English used in 9 entries from Great Britain
17. Good Web site. I specialise in Telemedicine technology
here in the UK, and would like to understand what technology
you use to assist the success of medical practice.
•
English used in 36 entries from the continent
18. i just want to tell that i like kosice. it is a warm town and
compared to bratislava there is real streetlife. bye bye tobias.
•
Slovak used in 15 entries, in 2 of which as an FL
19. vesele vianoce a stcasni novy rok vsetkim kosicanom a okolie
vam praje giuseppe p.s. som tam bol vroku 1966 a1972 na montase
vsz ciao giuseppe
Entries from the rest of Europe (cont.)
•
4 entries are written in another language than English or
Slovak
•
2 entries (Hungarian and French) contain an English
translation
20. La découverte de votre ville par l'intermédiaire de votre site sur
la toile m'a donné l'envie de la visiter. (bientôt j'espère) Discovering
your city through your web site make me want to go to visit it (I
hope soon)
Entries from the US and from Canada (205)
•
•
English used in 163 entries
21. [...] I do plan on returning in the near future. So in the
mean time I say hello to all my friends at the Irish Pub, thanks
for feeding me so well.
13 entries with switches into another language, mostly
Slovak
22. Ahoj, "Slovak som a Slovak budem." Kosice is a beautiful
city. My wife and I visited my stary otec's birthplace in
Kysta.We had the trip of a lifetime! Let us do what we can to
help this wonderful country. Thanks to Slovak friends who
mirrored the generosity of my grandparents, we will be back to
visit again.
23. Good food, good people, great pivo almost like EDEN
24. [...] I found your site very informative, but missed somehow a
clear statement about who lived in the fair city of Kaschau most of
the time (ethnic Germans and Magyars). [...]
Entries from the US and from Canada (cont.)
•
Slovak used in 40 entries (3 of which as a FL); Czech used
in 2 entries
•
9 entries switch into English
25. povodne pochadzam z kosice/krasna.v canade som od roku
1980.bol som velmi milo prekvapeny ked som natrafil na kosice
site.robite super job.este by som navrhol stranku slavnych ludi z
mesta kosice'peter bondra martina hingis...good luck & THANK
YOU.
26. Ahoj! This is a great website! Volam sa Chris Parrish a bol som
Anglicky lektor v VVLS [....] Dejakujem tebe na ta navstevna kniha!
I wish my Slovak was better! Dovidenia! Chris Parrish
Entries from various other countries (29)
•
8 entries from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa:
6 in Slovak, 2 in English
27. [...] Ja sa este stale pokladam za Kosicana i ked zijem v
Juhoafrickej Republike od 1968-ho roku. [...]
•
8 entries from Central and South America:
6 use English; Slovak and Spanish used in 1 entry each
28. [...] And, logical I will never forget the friendly way of the
professors, dean and workers of the VST. Until today I show to
my wife, sons and friends the photos that Itake during this time
in your country.[...]
29. Saludos desde Nikaragua! Ja som studoval v TUKE a tesima, ze
KOSICE uz su aj na Internet-e.
Entries from various other countries (cont.)
•
English used in entries from Israel (3), India (2), Sudan
and Bahrain (1 each)
30. [...] I am student of Slovak language Delhi University.I liked
your website ,I got all the information which I wanted to know
about Kosisce. [...]
•
Slovak used in 2 entries by Israelis of Slovak descent, and
as a FL in 3 entries from Syria, Yemen and Vietnam
31. [...] mily priatelia! mily kosicanom ! vsetkym vam zelam z
celeho srdca zdaravie, vela uspechov vo vase stranke , ozaj
vy slovensky narod ste velmy pohostiny. [...]
Metalinguistic comments: some observations
•37 entries feature metalinguistic comments, mostly about
multilingualism
•2 main issues:
–
the language situation in Kosice and the languages of the
website
32. Was halten Sie von einem deutschsprachigen Spiegel ihrer
Internetseiten ?
33. Kosice jsou krasne mesto, ale postradam na vasich strankach
moznost volby madarskeho jazyka a mohlo by tam byt trochu vice o
historii.
–
Linguistic biographies: Acquisition of Slovak as a FL,
individual multilingual repertoires and language attrition
34. [...] I really wish to discover your country, and when I come I'll take
contact, but before of that I have to learn slovakian, in order to
communicate with people. [...]
35. [...] Couple years ago, at a State (NJ) Slovak Festival, I overheard a
visiting Slovak soccer team talking. I understood only a word here and there.
My language is weak, but my love for Slovakia is forever. [...]
Conclusions
•
Predominance of English
•
•
•
Use of Slovak
•
•
•
•
as the main language in preferred destinations of Slovak
emigration
as a European and global lingua franca
in all Slovak in-group interactions
in some cross-border contacts with Poland
by foreigners with strong personal, professional and
academic links to Slovaks and Slovakia
Use of other languages
•
•
German as a potential regional lingua franca, possibly
also Czech
contributors’ language choice mirrors language options
available on the website
Conclusions (cont.)
•
Language switching
•
•
•
as a means to express one’s (multi-)cultural identity and
sympathy with a specific (e.g. Slovak) target group
rarely performed to address a larger audience
Sensitivity towards multilingualism and language choice
•
•
•
in entries from emigrants and their descendants
in entries from speakers of Slovak minority languages
but not in entries from Slovakia themselves
A Christmas wish…
Quasimodo: Milý Ježiško, nauč, prosím
Ťa,
Maďarov po slovensky a Slovákov po
maďarsky.
Aspoň počúvať a trošku viac chápať.
“Čo by si želali pod stromček čitatelia SME”. SME 23. Dec.
2002: 6.
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