"Ungerska för rötternas skull" : Språkval och identitet bland andragenerationens ungrare i Sverige och Finland

Sammanfattning: This thesis is a comparative sociolinguistic study which describes and compares language choice among people with Hungarian background in Sweden and Finland and studies their views on the importance of the Hungarian language and Hungarian cultural heritage for identity. The future prospects of language maintenance and language shift and differences between the Swedish-Hungarians and the Finnish-Hungarians are discussed.A survey was completed among 50 Swedish-Hungarian informants and 38 Finnish-Hungarian informants during 2006. The survey was supplemented by in-depth interviews with 15 informants during 2007.The majority language, either Swedish or Finnish, is much more active in the second-generation Hungarians’ lives than Hungarian is. Hungarian is mostly used in the domain of family relations. The language choices made today are dependent on the informant’s situation during childhood, particularly the parents’ usage of the language and the ability to learn and use Hungarian, chiefly gained through contact with the parents’ mother country and other Hungarian speakers.For some informants, having Hungarian roots forms the sole foundation for belonging, while for others it is this heritage combined with the culture, the ability to use the language or specific character traits. The Hungarian background is most often seen as a treasure offering diversity in life. Finnish-Hungarians are generally more positive about their Hungarian background, have better competence in the language and a greater awareness of the culture than Swedish-Hungarians. The Hungarian language plays a central though often symbolic role.The most important conditions for minority language preservation are language competence together with the desire and opportunity to use it; whereof the largest deficit among second-generation Hungarians is knowledge of the Hungarian language. Only one-fourth of the informants have all of the conditions necessary to be able to maintain the language, which means that Hungarian is an endangered minority language in Sweden and Finland.