Linguistic diversity and the court system in dualist Hungary
Multilingua, 2021, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 393-419
BERECZ, Ágoston István, Linguistic diversity and the court system in dualist Hungary, Multilingua, 2021, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 393-419 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/70761
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Dualist Hungary (1867–1918) was the linguistically most diverse would-be nation-state in the long nineteenth century, with less than half of its citizens speaking Hungarian as their home language and more than two-fifths being ignorant of it. The Nationalities Act of 1868 accommodated the language of court proceedings to that of the parties, but these provisions remained in effect for no more than a couple of years before a complete overhaul of the court system. Minority nationalist activists were vocal in their attacks against the sidelining of their languages, and the issue came to a head in much the same terms when policy-makers debated the introduction of the jury. In the 1890s, with jury trials introduced and oral proceedings expanded in civil litigation, the government could not postpone the appointment of court interpreters any longer. Interpreting fees were set too high for the average non-Magyar citizen, which, together with a few other predicaments, was likely to bring home to them their second-class status. At the same time, top officials were anxious about the concessions that lower courts, which were for the most part left to muddle through without translators, had to make to non-dominant languages.
First published online: 22 July 2020
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/70761
Full-text via DOI: 10.1515/multi-2020-0044
ISSN: 0167-8507; 1613-3684
Publisher: De Gruyter
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