Changing roles of minority languages in the Czech Republic

Hnízdo, Bořivoj
January 2011
Annual of Language & Politics & Politics of Identity;2011, p2
Academic Journal
Abstract This article is analyzing different role of 8 largest minority languages in contemporary Czech Republic. These languages are Slovak, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Polish, Russian, German, Romani and English. Roles of these languages differ not only because of different size of these communities, but also because of different geographical concentration of these communities and different approach towards them of majority community. The analysis is based on primary materials as statistics of official Czech institutions. The article is also analyzing the different effect of a ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Czech Republic in 2006. The official recognition as a minority language does not mean at all a real improvement of a position of that language. All analyzed languages can be divided in two groups. In first one, minority languages are playing only a role within own communities. This is the role of Slovak, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Romani. Second group consists of minority languages, which are having a visible role in public linguistic space and also a significant role in a language policy of a state education. This is in the Czech Republic the role of English, German, Polish and Russian.


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