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Institutional and Social Background
Institutional Objectives
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Institutional and Social Background
  In most part of the 20th century many areas were Hungarian language has been spoken by the local population fell outside the scope of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The Academy and other affiliated institutions perform codification for Hungarian language. The Academy's influence could not reach these areas. Use of language has been severely restricted. After the mostly beneficial changes that have occurred in Romania after 1989 Hungarian language use has become wider and more diverse: there is a rich public discourse in Hungarian language in Romania, institutions for the minorities (education, civil society and media) use most language varieties including many professional varieties. We also have the right provided by law to use Hungarian in the local public administration.

The new opportunities have also generated new problems. We can notice insecurity, inconsistency and strong influence of Romanian in the official use of minority languages, inexistent or obscure juristic terminology, inconsistent terminology in school textbooks and technical documents, substandard and sometimes even outrageously low quality official translations, lack of information and lack of public awareness about linguistic rights.

These problems called for the establishment of a Hungarian linguistic institute in Romania. Institutions, editorial boards and people have been sending requests for linguistic information and professional collaboration on a daily basis to the Department of General and Hungarian Linguistics at the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj and to the office in Sfantu-Gheorghe of the Transylvanian Association for Cultivating the Hungarian Language (Anyanyelvápolók Erdélyi Szövetsége - AESZ).

Institutional Objectives
Professional operation of the Szabó T. Attila Linguistic Institute is provided by the Department of General and Hungarian Linguistics at the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj and the Transylvanian Association for Cultivating the Hungarian Language . The Transylvanian Museum Society also provides support by providing access to their facilities.

Hungarian is spoken by minorities living in compact groups or dispersed among the majority population in diverse linguistic environments over a vast territory. This variation generates diverse tasks the Institute needs to handle. To cover the area and its goals the Institute has offices in both Cluj and Sfantu Gheorghe.

The Institute also serves as a bridge between the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and its external and internal members from Transylvania. The Linguistic Institute has three main objectives:
1. to establish, maintain and develop a demographic, juristic, sociolinguistic and educational database,
2. to take part in language planning and research in sociolinguistics,
3. to offer language services to Hungarian institutions and private people.

The databases being developed will contain demographic data about settlements, administrative units and regions, their temporal development and the entire statistical database of the Hungarian education in Transylvania. We also propose to collect, analyze and facilitate access to every Romanian law and statutory rule that governs language use. The Institute collects research papers, books that analyze aspects of linguistic rights, bilingualism, contactology, Hungarian minority language variants, does research on these subjects and stores their data and research results in an accessible format. The Institute also establishes digitized linguistic databases (glossaries for the public administration, loanwords glossary and monolingual interpretive dictionaries).

The Szabó T. Attila Linguistic Institute may serve as a background institute providing information and infrastructure for research about the status and characteristics of Hungarian as a minority language and bilingualism in general. The Institute also participates in language planning, especially in efforts towards the integration of the legal, political and administrative language and towards the elaboration of professional language variants. We also edit and proofread dictionaries, terminologies and glossaries that are prepared for educational and scientific purposes. The Institute provides the following services: language counseling and proofreading texts destined for the public for minority institutions (media, schools, religious institutions, editorial boards, foundations etc.) and institutions of the public administration. Language counseling aims at helping problems connected to language use. Inconsistencies in the use of terminology in legal, political and administrative language require the mediation of an institution that actively seeks to accomplish this goal. There is a great need and demand for a more exigent proofreading of public texts: laws, resolutions, schoolbooks etc. The Szabó T. Attila Linguistic Institute tries to fill this void and meet the linguistic necessities of the Hungarian minority in Romania.
Contact us
Romania 400009, Cluj-Napoca
2-4, Napoca St.
Phone/Fax: +40-264-439489