Hungarian Linguist László Grétsy Dies at 91


László Grétsy, Hungarian linguist, teacher and one of the most important figures in Hungarian language education, died at the age of ninety-one. The news of his death was shared at a conference, where he would have been the guest of honor.

The news of Grétsy’s death was announced by linguist Miklós Blankó, and shortly afterwards he shared it on his social media site, illustrating it with a joint photo. As Blankó writes: the linguist died peacefully in his sleep.

Grétsy graduated from the Faculty of Arts of Eötvös Loránd University with a degree in Hungarian history in 1954, and in 1960 he became a candidate for linguistics. After that, he started working as a research associate at the Institute of Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, where he later became a senior associate and then head of the department dealing with the Hungarian language, and in 1992 he was elected co-chairman of the Hungarian Language Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Grétsy became the country’s linguist with his informative television programs about the Hungarian language and its care. The best known of these is Let’s stop for a word! with István Vágó, in which the origin and use of each word was explained to the viewers. In the course of his career, he worked for several professional journals, was the responsible editor for our Sweet Mother Tongue, and columnist for the newspapers Élét és Tudomány and a Szabad Föld. He was a member of the editorial board at Magyar Nyelvőr until February 2022, from which he was removed two weeks before his birthday.

Photo: MTI – Csilla Cseke

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