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Re: [Slovak-World] Language Spoken In Slovakia--1903

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  • helene cincebeaux
    Hi Ray - As I understand it Slovak was the common spoken language - in various dialects. Since Slovakia was then Upper Hungary - Hungarian was the formal
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 28, 2006
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      Hi Ray -

      As I understand it Slovak was the common spoken language - in various dialects.
      Since Slovakia was then Upper Hungary - Hungarian was the formal language.
      Things sometimes got confused on census records - my grandfather is listed on the 1920 US census as coming from "Slovakoland".

      Many Protestants immigrated to Myjava, Brezova and Krajne from the Czech Republic when persecution drove them to shelter in the hills over the border. So it's possible he did speak Bohemian, Slovak and Hungarian.

      In the border regions the language has similarities too. I am sure the experts on Slovak World have a lot to add to this.

      helene

      smithave@... wrote:
      Need some help. My g-f, Janos Strba/John Strobo, came from Nova Lehota,
      Slovakia to the US in 1903. His parents were from Myjava, Slovakia. On the 1920
      census he lists his language as BOHEMIAN. On the 1930 census he lists his
      language as HUNGARIAN.

      What would have been the common language in Slovakia in 1903 ? Was there a
      separate language called SLOVAKIAN ? Was there a separate language called
      BOHEMIAN ? Would there have been a language common to the AUSTRIA-HUNGARY EMPIRE at
      that time ?

      If he spoke BOHEMIAN signifying that he came from BOHEMIA, now a part of the
      Czech Republic, would it make sense that the family migrated from Bohemia all
      the way to Slovakia ? Or would a language called BOHEMIAN be also spoken in
      Slovakia ? Would a language called HUNGARIAN be spoken in Slovakia in 1902 ?

      Thanks very much for your help.

      Ray Strobo
      Researching Strba, Hlobik

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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    • Martin Votruba
      ... That reflects what Slovakia was really called then, Helene. Each of the 4 administrative units of the country (Subcarpathian Rus, Slovakia, Moravia+Upper
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 28, 2006
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        > my grandfather is listed on the 1920 US census as coming
        > from "Slovakoland".

        That reflects what Slovakia was really called then, Helene. Each of
        the 4 administrative units of the country (Subcarpathian Rus,
        Slovakia, Moravia+Upper Silesia, Bohemia) was called a _zem_,
        "country," between World War I and World War II. That was the
        official term just like _state_ is the official term for the
        administrative units of the US.


        Martin

        votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
      • Vladimir Bohinc
        Dear Ray, Census takers knew very little about these countries and made many mistakes. Your mistake is to take this official document as granted, because it
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 28, 2006
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          Dear Ray,
          Census takers knew very little about these countries and made many mistakes. Your mistake is to take this "official" document as granted, because it is official.
          Common sense is needed.
          Your Strbas have nothing to do with Bohemia and you can scrap this. At home they spoke slovak and the official language was hungarian. How much somebody knew hungarian can hardly be determined now.
          This is all you need to know. All other questions are artificial and do nothing to your cause. Of course, there were and still are dialects, but this is an entirely different matter. They are all slovak dialects.
          Common language among Slovaks was slovak and common language in offices etc was hungarian.
          Vladimir

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: smithave@...
          To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:27 PM
          Subject: [Slovak-World] Language Spoken In Slovakia--1903


          Need some help. My g-f, Janos Strba/John Strobo, came from Nova Lehota,
          Slovakia to the US in 1903. His parents were from Myjava, Slovakia. On the 1920
          census he lists his language as BOHEMIAN. On the 1930 census he lists his
          language as HUNGARIAN.

          What would have been the common language in Slovakia in 1903 ? Was there a
          separate language called SLOVAKIAN ? Was there a separate language called
          BOHEMIAN ? Would there have been a language common to the AUSTRIA-HUNGARY EMPIRE at
          that time ?

          If he spoke BOHEMIAN signifying that he came from BOHEMIA, now a part of the
          Czech Republic, would it make sense that the family migrated from Bohemia all
          the way to Slovakia ? Or would a language called BOHEMIAN be also spoken in
          Slovakia ? Would a language called HUNGARIAN be spoken in Slovakia in 1902 ?

          Thanks very much for your help.

          Ray Strobo
          Researching Strba, Hlobik

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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        • Martin Votruba
          ... Not necessarily so, Ray. After the creation of Czecho-Slovakia in 1918 (renamed Czechoslovakia in 1920) there was a lot of confusion among the immigrants
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 28, 2006
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            > If he spoke BOHEMIAN signifying that he came from BOHEMIA,
            > now a part of the Czech Republic, would it make sense that
            > the family migrated from Bohemia all the way to Slovakia?

            Not necessarily so, Ray. After the creation of Czecho-Slovakia in
            1918 (renamed Czechoslovakia in 1920) there was a lot of confusion
            among the immigrants from that region of the former Habsburg monarchy
            what they should call their native language from then on.

            The language sometimes called _Bohemian_ in the past has been more
            commonly called Czech. Czechoslovakia had two equal languages of
            administration: Slovak and Czech. Both were sometimes called versions
            of a Czechoslovakian language (which actually didn't exist).

            The fact that he listed Hungarian later is a strong hint that he
            probably hadn't come from the area that is the Czech R. now.
            Hungarian had no presence there.


            > What would have been the common language in Slovakia in 1903?
            > Was there a separate language called SLOVAKIAN? Was there a
            > separate language called BOHEMIAN? Would there have been a
            > language common to the AUSTRIA-HUNGARY EMPIRE at that time?

            While Austria-Hungary (the Habsburg monarchy) used German as its
            central language in the last decades of the 19th century and early
            20th century, Hungarian was the language of administration in its
            province of the Kingdom of Hungary.

            --- At the same time, many grade schools in the northern counties of
            the Kingdom (the area that became Slovakia) taught all or some of the
            classes in Slovak and Slovak was the main language of communication there.

            --- However, a growing number of grade schools in the region switched
            to teaching mostly or only in Hungarian during the period regardless
            of the students' native language.

            --- Moreover, an archaic version of Czech/Bohemian was used for
            ecclesiastical purposes by the Slovak Lutherans during that period.
            The Myjava region has had a strong Lutheran majority.

            All of that created confusion among the more multi-lingual immigrants
            as to what "their" language meant, which of the languages they used as
            youngsters in Europe should appropriately be entered as "their"
            language in the census, and what to call it.


            Martin
          • helene cincebeaux
            thanks Martin for explaining - i always thought Slovakoland was really quaint and funny - nice to know it did have a basis in reality. - but what is so amusing
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 28, 2006
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              thanks Martin for explaining - i always thought Slovakoland was really quaint and funny - nice to know it did have a basis in reality.

              - but what is so amusing is that my grandfather was really fron Ratiskovice, Moravia in Moravske Slovacko in the Czech Republic.I guess he was a "wanna be" Slovak too - actually i have heard that people there were at one time considered Slovaks centuries ago - the Morava River moved as rivers do over the centuries.

              helene

              Martin Votruba <votrubam@...> wrote:
              > my grandfather is listed on the 1920 US census as coming
              > from "Slovakoland".

              That reflects what Slovakia was really called then, Helene. Each of
              the 4 administrative units of the country (Subcarpathian Rus,
              Slovakia, Moravia+Upper Silesia, Bohemia) was called a _zem_,
              "country," between World War I and World War II. That was the
              official term just like _state_ is the official term for the
              administrative units of the US.

              Martin

              votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu






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