4515 Willard Ave. #2210
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
eniko.basa at verizon dot net
Wed, 04 Sep 2013 02:52:59 EDT by admin, 61999 views
Nordonia Hills City Schools
Education paper by Szentkirályi, Endre (all papers)
Only 6% of Hungarian-Americans speak Hungarian at home. Why?
Of more than a million and a half Americans who listed Hungarian ancestry in their census questionnaires in 2010, only about 6% speak Hungarian at home. Why? What are the factors that allow Hungarian-Americans to maintain their Hungarian language despite these overwhelming odds? Nine in-depth interviews were conducted with a variety of second and third generation members of Cleveland’s Hungarian community, most of whom were born in the Cleveland area and all of whom grew up in Cleveland’s Hungarian community, to ascertain the factors impacting their language use in the family and in the community, as well as to analyze the formation of their cultural identities. Using their own insights garnered from the interviews, the presentation will show the importance of consistent parenting and peer friendships, and illuminate the role that involvement in scouting and other community events can play. It will show the value the interviewees placed on speaking a second language, as well as the importance of strictness. The presentation will also share linguistic insights, reasons for assimilation, and the role of American spouses. Odds are that 94% of those with Hungarian ancestry will assimilate into American culture. These case studies, examples of Cleveland Hungarians who maintain their language and culture even late into the 2nd and 3rd generations, will show how to beat those odds. Every generation confronts a turning point in its history, whether to assimilate or to preserve language and culture, and these factors are as valid now as they were for previous immigrant generations.
Brief Professional Bio:
Endre Szentkirályi studied English and German at Cleveland State University, earned an MA in English at the University of Akron, and recently completed his PhD at the University of Debrecen. He has edited several books of oral histories, worked on the 56Films documentaries Inkubátor and Megmaradni, and has two forthcoming books, one with Zrínyi Publishing and one with Helena History Press. He currently teaches English at Nordonia High School near Cleveland.