Anna Wynn | Mar 22, 2019 | 0
Half of the Hungarian political elite does not have a language exam
PM Orbán does not have a language exam, as well, even though he studied in Oxford at the end of the 80s with the help of a scholarship provided by a Soros foundation. However, students can only study forward in the Hungarian higher education from 2020 on if they have at least one B2 level, general and complex language exam or a certificate equivalent to it.
One can speak a language even without a certificate
In fact, the ruling parties’ supermajority accepted the relevant bill in 2014, and it will have a very significant impact on each student since. For example, if it was already in effect, 40 pc of the applicants could not continue their studies. Furthermore, the similar language exam is the prerequisite for getting a degree in Hungary and there were
92 thousand former students in 2018 who could not get their diploma because they lacked their exam.
Therefore, 24. hu analysed how many MPs have a language exam at the moment. They used the relevant data that can be found on the web page of the parliament where each MP has the opportunity to write their language knowledge (which is not necessarily an exam).
The found that out of the 199 MPs
- 98 does not have a language exam
- 7 have just a B1 level language exam
- 9 does not have just a written or an oral language exam part
As a result, 114 MPs could not study forward at a university today, which is 58 pc of the members of the parliament.
In the case of the parties
- 76 Fidesz
- 11 Christian-democrat
- 8 Jobbik
- 6 Socialist
- 6 Democratic Coalition
- 3 LMP
- 1 Párbeszéd (Dialogue for Hungary), and
- 1 independent
MPs do not have a language exam, at all. Interestingly, even the MP of the German minority of Hungary does not have a language exam.
Who ‘speaks’ Latin in the Hungarian parliament?
Of course, this does not mean that they do not speak any foreign languages. For example, PM Viktor Orbán does not have a language exam but he studied in Oxford in the 80s with the help of a scholarship provided by a Soros foundation. Therefore, he wrote on his parliament page that he speaks C2 level English just like former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány. MP and state secretary, Szilárd Németh, obtained a conversational proficiency of Italian while Lajos Kósa a similar level of Russian and English. Interestingly, Speaker of the National Assembly, László Kövér or deputy PM Zsolt Semjén do not have a language exam, as well.
On the other end of the language exam scale is Democratic Coalition
MP Ágnes Vadai with a C1 level language exam of English and Spanish and a B2 level exam of French, Norwegian and Russian.
Some MPs speak rarely-known languages in Hungary. For example, Sándor F. Kovács from Fidesz speaks C2 level Kazakh while Socialist MP and deputy speaker of the National Assembly István Hiller has a C1 language exam of Latin. Furthermore, six MPs speak Esperanto while MP György Simonka from Fidesz speaks Russian, Slovak and Romanian on a conversational level.
Featured image: MTI