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Matthias, the Just

The King-in-Disguise
The personage of the fifteenth century King Matthias (Mátyás in Hungarian, Matei Corvin for Romanians) has been a bone of contention between Hungarians and Romanians for ages. Gheorghe Funar, the Hungarian bashing Romanian mayor of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in the 1990s, took the claim of Romanian history textbooks that Mátyás was of Romanian origin literally, and […]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Attila the Hun

Every 7th of January I have to call four friends called Attila and congratulate them on their name day. A Hungarian table calendar tells you whose name day it is, and just to make sure every morning the radio announcer congratulates those who are celebrating their name day. In addition a little sign at the […]

By |January 4th, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

LÁSZLÓ BÍRÓ, the inventor of the biro

Whenever I travel to less developed parts of the world, such as Cambodia, I always take hundreds of ballpoint pens with me for convenience. The reason is that hordes of children will nag you for a pen: “pen, Sir, gimme a pen”. If it were not for language difficulties I would tell them that this […]

By |October 5th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Matthias, the Just

The King-in-Disguise
The personage of the fifteenth century King Matthias (Mátyás in Hungarian, Matei Corvin for Romanians) has been a bone of contention between Hungarians and Romanians for ages. Gheorghe Funar, the Hungarian bashing Romanian mayor of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in the 1990s, took the claim of Romanian history textbooks that Mátyás was of Romanian origin literally, […]

By |July 22nd, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Albert Szent-Györgyi

 The genius behind the discovery of vitamin C
I like eating lecsó (letscho), and I love making it. It’s in season from June to September, making it the Hungarian summer staple food. The quintessence of this vegetable stew is sweet peppers in all shapes and colours mixed with onions, tomatoes, and paprika-spiced sausage.

Hungarians are crazy about […]

By |June 24th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

HOW TO PRONOUNCE ’SZÉCHENYI FÜRDŐ’?

One of the most common linguistic frustrations of tourists in Budapest is when they inquire from passers-by how to get to Széchenyi fürdő, locals cannot figure out what they are trying to say. Although most phrasebooks attempt to help by providing some sort of transcription like Rick Steves’ guide: (SAY-chehn-yee) or Wikipedia using IPA (International Phonetic […]

By |June 23rd, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

The Greatest of the Magyars

Whose sad eyes gaze at you from the 5000-forint banknote? Whose idea was it to connect Buda and Pest by a chain bridge and merge the twin cities? Whose idea was it to set up an Academy of Sciences to safeguard the Hungarian language and cultivate young minds because –as he said – only an […]

By |June 22nd, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Capa in Color

Don’t miss a unique photography exhibition at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center, 8 Nagymező Street, 1065 Budapest if you happen to be in Budapest between now and September 20.
For details go to: http://capacenter.hu/en/kiallitasok/capa-in-color-2/
”Though his name may not sound all too Magyaresque, Robert Capa could not have forgotten his Hungarian roots even if he had […]

By |June 12th, 2015|Real-time Budapest|0 Comments

Fungarian quiz

1. One of the most famous Hungarian cakes is called ’Dobos torta’, which means drummer’s cake. Why is it called Dobos?

a.) The confectioner, who baked it first was called József Dobos.
b.) It is covered with caramel which makes it similar to a drum.
c.) The inventor baked the cake for the wedding of a famous drummer

2. […]

By |May 31st, 2015|Fungarian quiz|0 Comments

Gone with the wind

Michael Lee from Atlanta had a keen interest not only in the language but in Hungarian history too. He turned out to be a born talent to pronounce Hungarian words correctly. He was surprised to learn that many Hungarians still associate Atlanta with Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller. The popularity of this otherwise mediocre novel was owned […]

By |May 31st, 2015|Memorable Classes|0 Comments