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G.B. Shaw on Hungarian Language

“After studying the Hungarian language for years, I can confidently conclude that had Hungarian been my mother tongue, it would have been more precious. Simply because through this extraordinary, ancient and powerful language it is possible to precisely describe the tiniest differences and the most secretive tremors of emotions.”

By |May 21st, 2015|About Hungarian|0 Comments

Big Body Blood – Kinship Terms in Hungarian

The Hungarian version of Big Brother is ’Nagy Testvér’ i.e. sibling and not brother (test + vér = body + blood = either brother or sister). One of the nicest Hungarian words.

For Hungarian learners of English the typical Headway textbook question ’Do you have any brothers or sisters?” sounds overcomplicated. In Hungarian it would be: […]

By |May 21st, 2015|Words in Context|0 Comments

Pull your earlobe for me – Birthdays in Hungary

Some good advice for you if you can’t meet a Hungarian who celebrates his/her birthday. Just call the person (even a text/sms message will do) and say PULL YOUR EARLOBE FOR ME (húzd meg a füled a nevemben). They will understand that you wish them a happy birthday. The whole context is ”Isten éltessen sokáig, […]

By |May 21st, 2015|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

How do you drink Unicum?

Our guest from Melbourne asked:

”I bought a tiny bottle of that Unicum for my son.  I was told that it is sometimes used medicinally.  So do you serve it in a liqueur glass, or in a teaspoon like medicine?”

The accepted view is that Unicum is medicinal. Even its Hungarian categorization supports this belief, it’s […]

By |May 21st, 2015|Visitors asked|0 Comments

A hungry ping dreams of acorns

By |May 21st, 2015|Proverbs and sayings|0 Comments

Kodály Zoltán

The Music Educator of a Nation
Andrássy út, the only straight avenue in Pest, is divided into three major sections by two circuses, Oktogon and Kodály körönd . The Körönd, as it was named originally when the four residential blocs surrounding the square were built in the 1890s, fell victim to the re-naming frenzy of the […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl

The Architect of the Jewish Nation
On my first visit to Tel Aviv back in the 1980s I went to the Knesset to see Marc Chagall’s grandiose frescoes. Once there, I peeped into the Assembly Hall where –to my surprise- the only decoration was a huge portrait of Theodore Herzl behind the Speaker’s seat. It was […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Robert Capa

A Pacifist, an Eye-witness to Five Wars
Robert Capa died holding his camera in his left hand minutes after stepping on a landmine. He was finding the right angle to make a perfect shot of retreating French soldiers in the paddy fields at Thai-Binh, North Vietnam, on May 24, 1954. He was the first American journalist killed […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ferenc Liszt

A Lover of Music and Women
Liszt spent a considerable amount of his life on the roads of Europe touring from Paris to St Petersburg, from Vienna and Pest to as far as Istanbul mainly in a luxury coach designed especially for him, and carrying a Hungarian passport. However, the great Hungarian patriot of whom we […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Katalin Karády

A Sex Symbol and a Legend
Most nations have a history, Hungarians have Fate. If you want first-hand experience of what this means, go to YouTube and listen to Katalin Karády’s melancholy chanson ‘Smouldering cigarette end’ (Hamvadó cigarettavég). A low decadent voice full of eroticism, a woman in her late twenties with a seductive appearance, who […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments