AROUND SLOVAKIA

Nitran or Nitrančan

A CURIOUS petition has been launched by activists in Nitra who are seeking an official change in how they are referred to in the Slovak language. The Slovak term for a Nitra resident, as codified by the state, is ‘Nitran’ but the activists want this changed to ‘Nitrančan’. Hardly anyone from Nitra or its adjoining communities uses the official term ‘Nitran’ and young people are rather perplexed when they learn that the official word for them is not ‘Nitrančan’, wrote the TASR newswire.

A CURIOUS petition has been launched by activists in Nitra who are seeking an official change in how they are referred to in the Slovak language. The Slovak term for a Nitra resident, as codified by the state, is ‘Nitran’ but the activists want this changed to ‘Nitrančan’. Hardly anyone from Nitra or its adjoining communities uses the official term ‘Nitran’ and young people are rather perplexed when they learn that the official word for them is not ‘Nitrančan’, wrote the TASR newswire.

People from Nitra complain that “Nitran is only a brand of salami,” TASR added. The organisers of the initiative plan to officially ask the Culture Ministry and the Ľudovít Štúr Linguistic Institute (JÚĽŠ) to change the rules of the codified Slovak language to add a third suffix ‘ančan’ to the only two suffixes that are currently considered proper – ‘an’ and ‘čan’.

Ján Baran, a representative of the Nitrička media company that operates the local television station, told the SITA newswire that he had received many complaints from viewers so he sent a letter to the JÚĽŠ seeking clarification. But the linguistic institute rejected any change and explained that the term ‘Nitrančan’ would combine both of the two acceptable ways of making suffixes.

Baran counter-argued that the official Slovak Spelling Guide states that Slovak is a living language that keeps developing and JÚĽŠ should be more flexible.

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