March 15

It’s the 15th of March today which is the most patriotic Hungarian national holiday. Hungarians wear a cockade on this day of the year to commemorate the 1848 anti-feudalism revolution and the ensuing freedom fight against the Austrian empire.  Eventually the Hapsburg ruler called for help from the Russian tzar, within the framework of the post-Napoleonic  Holy Alliance, and the preponderance of  Russian army defeated the Hungarian one in August, 1849.

DSC_0022

I’ve just returned from the city where I was listening to Prime Minister Orbán’s speech. Here is my cockade and here is some food for thought from his speech:

“March 15 is proof that we lived, we live and we’re going to live. That’s our triumph.  We have always won the wars for the survival of our country and nation here at the crossroads of cultures, empires and civilizations…

On this day, an assassination shook ancient Rome 2061 years ago. Revolutions broke out in Europe in 1848 and Europe is approaching a state of revolution now, too.  Nations rebelled against the Unholy Alliance of Brussels bureaucrats, the liberal global media and  international bankers always craving for more profit. First the Brits rebelled then the Americans did and this year the rebellion will continue… Brussels and the international financial capital may not care about the safety of European peoples. But we do.  They may not care about our staying Hungarian. But we do. We must defend our borders, we must prevent crowds with alien cultures from settling here, we must make the foreign financed lobby networks transparent and we must keep the right of deciding on our taxes, minimal wages or our regulations for utilities.”

mar15crowd

Since our Polish friends took their own good part in these historic events,

c681z5rwkaa8aoq

traditionally Polish people come to Budapest on March the 15th to celebrate, too.

That’s why Orbán’s speech could be read in Polish on a nearby screen.

mar15history

As always on this day, there will be family programmes as well.

DSC_0021However not only Hungarian and Polish patriots attended the speech.  This man, surrounded by a gang of similarly looking men, started a very loud siren close to the place where I was standing.  Surprise, surprise: Three or four busy photojournalists were shooting their expensive cameras right there…  “Something should be done” was the helpless word in the crowd which did want to listen to  Orbán’s speech.  Tensions were rising.  I took this picture of the siren man and I quickly made my way back through the crowd where I had seen some heavily built, bouncer looking security guys.  I guided them to the yellow trousers.  His siren was still on. There was no justling or fighting. After a few minutes of talking and muscle flexing, the security guards made the siren stop and they escorted yellow trousers and his cohort out of the crowd. Hopefully I ruined the day for the photo reporters. 😮

All right, now back to the family programmes. 🙂

Update:  Read, or listen to, the full speech in English here.

Advertisements

The wonders of the Hungarian language

Happy New Year, folks!

This post will not be about Hungarian politics or international politics related to Hungary. I  thought I would write my very first blog entry about 2016 this year, the year which may well enter history books as the year when the worldwide rebellion against globalist, politically correct liberalism started (apart from pioneer Hungary or Poland). But I’ve changed my mind.  I’m going to write about our wonderful language instead.

Let’s give a thought about the language rhythm first.  This is a  very common sign which every customer may read in Hungarian shops every day:

afas-szamla-igeny-a5-tabla-118418

Please tell us in advance if you need a VAT invoice!

Listen here! This is a hexameter.  Yes, Hungarian is very well suited to metrical poems and Hungarian speakers may enjoy the language music perfectly in, say, an Iliad  translation just like the ancient Greeks could.  So is Hungarian a mora-timed language like Greek or Latin?  Hungarian words are always stressed on the first syllable, so Hungarian cannot be mora-timed. So is Hungarian a stress-timed language like English is?  The lengths of Hungarian vowels always stay constant, so this statement is debatable at least.  Or is Hungarian a syllable-based language like French? There are short and long vowels in Hungarian so that cannot be true either.   Perhaps Hungarian doesn’t fit in either linguistic category.

Now let’s take a random expression from a news site: adóhatósági eljárás  Er… literally this means “tax authority procedure”, that is what people (hopefully!) end up with if they evade tax.  (You see I just couldn’t resist bringing some politics in! 🙂 )

  • ad – give, yield
  • adó – giving, the one who gives =>  transmitter or…  tribute, duty or tax  !
  • hat (verb) – affect, influence, cause
  • ható – the one who affects/enforces something
  • hatóság  –  -ság (or -ség in other cases) is a noun-making suffix which often creates abstract concepts, e.g.:  boldog (happy)  -> boldogság (happiness), rendőr  (order+guard=policeman) -> rendőrség (police)
    hatóság
    means ‘authority

-ság or -ség?  Oh, well, vowel harmony makes Hungarian sound nice.

  • el  – away
  • jár  –  walk, travel, move (back and forth), frequent, etc.
  • járás –  a noun, moving around, the act of walking… Járás  is also an administrative unit in Hungary, below megye (county), which corresponds to a ‘shire’ in the UK.
  • eljárás – procedure … er, that may be unexpected but there’s logic to it:  eljár = 1. proceed 2. attend

Yes, Hungarian is a very analytical language. We create words and phrases from small building blocks. Let’s see another fun example

  • köz – public, common
  • társ – companion, mate, partner, peer
  • ság (see above)
  • i : This suffix turns a noun into an adjective.  (It often denotes location like Budapest -> budapesti ,  that is a person living in Budapest or coming from there.)
  • el–  short for “elöl“, that is “front”, also as in “first in rank”
  • nök : a person in some position, for example:  ügynök  (ügy=matter, cause), that is an agent or spy or door-to-door salesman or írnok (ír=write), that is a scribe or a clerk

Can you guess, without consulting a dictionary, of course, what  köztársasági elnök  means?   Yes, it’s a political term. Please comment below.

%d bloggers like this: