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Milena Hübschmannová dies

Milena Hübschmannová The founder of Czech Romany Studies Milena Hübschmannová died, aged 72, in a car accident in South Africa. She was born in Prague on July 10, 1933. She first became interested in Romany language after she had graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, where she had majored in Urdu, Hindu and Bengali. Since Romany was not taught anywhere in those times for political reasons, she mastered it among the native speakers with whom she became close friends.

She played a major part in the running of the Association of Gipsy-Roma (1969-1971), in which she chaired the social science committee. Thanks to her unyielding effort, first a course of Romany was opened at the School of Languages in Prague in 1976, and later, in 1991, a separate department solely for Romany Studies was established at the Charles University. She worked there as a teacher until her tragic death.

In 1991 she co-founded the Association of Gypsies-Romanies, forcedly dissolved by communists in 1973. She is the author of a Romany-Czech and Czech-Romany dictionary, and a text-book of the Romany language. She also translates Romany literature.

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