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Interesting Recommendations & Shorts

Worth waiting through the leading advertisement to hear Anthony Bourdain in shock at how much he was impressed in Budapest.
http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/06/bourdain-cooper-budapest-sot-ac.cnn

Visually very well done tour video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8HSwsRob8I

Budapest air show in May. I have already booked my room for next May
https://www.youtube.com/embed/0px9HFIVYjY?feature=player_embedded

Alice Cooper likes Budapest??? Really??????????????????????
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vApAmydLjjo

Tony Curtis was of Hungarian roots by the way ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O_zre2iT94

Saw her in concert at the Opus Jazz Club in June. She was amazing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-wq6QX7bMA

Stock Travel advertisement but well done
https://www.youtube.com/user/Hungary

Another pretty good travel advertisement
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzNnpX3f-p8

If you pay any attention while traveling around town you will not the abundance of book stores. Speaks to the values of the culture. Some of the libraries are amazing: http://welovebudapest.com/budapest.and.hungary/13.of.the.most.beautiful.libraries.in.budapest

Posted by
557 posts

I just saw Anthony Bourdain's episode this past Sunday. Great episode. But I was getting annoyed with because he wouldn't use the proper pronunciation of Budapest. Yet when it comes to French words he's spot on. Most people mispronounce it and I often wonder why.

Posted by
10369 posts

He also didn't even use the correct country name! I think we can let it slide. He comes in contact with French more than Hungarian. Even the locals won't correct you for having an English pronunciation.

Posted by
10369 posts

Okay, so I have been traveling to Budapest a couple of times a year for over a decade. I call Budapest; Buda-Pest and all my Hungarian friends forgive me. Its my "American Accent". But if you want to try and sound like a local or even pretentious then you would call it Buda-Pescht. In Hungarian to have anything close to our S sound you have to precede it with a Z. So if the city name were written as Americans (and most of the world for that matter) pronounce it you would have to spell it Budapezst.

Even if the only word to come out of your mouth was Budapest pronounced "properly" all Hungarian speakers would know you weren't Hungarian because with the best of efforts the nuances are tough to get correct.

Of course if you are going to worry that much about how you pronounce Budapest then you should also try and get the name of the country correct. You will not find the word "Hungary" on any Hungarian document, cause it just ain't the name of the country. It isn't even a rough translation. The country is Magyarország which explains why we call it Hungary.

Go to Hungary and enjoy. Don't worry too much about such things. Try and speak a few Magar words like Please, Thank you, Hello and good bye and they (the Magars that live in Magyarország) will love you no matter how poorly you pronounce it (and you will).

Posted by
12084 posts

I always thought that in English we call it Hungary because of its name in French.

Posted by
10369 posts

I read a long article on it once a long while back and if my memory is correct it dates back to an origin in Latin which would makes sense if the French word is similar. When I was still taking Hungarian lessons I could pronounce it with some certainty; but any Hungarian could still tell I wasn't Hungarian based on any single word that came out of my mouth. What a "remarkable" language.

Posted by
12084 posts

In French the country is Hongrie which does resemble Hungary in English is pronunciation and spelling, closer than the German Ungarn.

Posted by
10369 posts

And it Spanish Hungría and in Romanian Ungaria; which if you adjust for pronunciation are all pretty similar being of the same Latin roots. Go figure.

Wikipedia: The English name Hungary is from Medieval Latin Hungaria, built from the ethnonyms (H)ungarī, Ungrī, Ugrī. Non of which share an origin with the name chosen by the inhabitants of the country. One of life's oddities.

Posted by
12084 posts

All the languages listed above show their Latin roots for Hungary. The Romanian area was partially Latinized and the first to be lost. The Magyars elite chose Latin as their official language of administration and diplomacy, which lasted until Mohacs (not sure about that), but Latin was their official language to communicate with western Europe.

Posted by
10369 posts

Interesting. My wife is a native Spanish speaker and recognizes the similarities with Romanian. I do believe that at some period leading up to the mid-1800's the language of the Hungarian nobility and well to do was German. Until the nationalist movement that created the dual monarchy I have the understanding that speaking Hungarian was sort of low class. Then there were a pretty large group of minority tribes scattered throughout the region that were recorded as late as the 1930's as having unique dialects.

One of the most interesting books I have ever read. Bet you have read it Fred, but if not:

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Woods-Water-Constantinople-Classics-ebook/dp/B005EH3B9Q/ref=sr_1_30?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434138835&sr=1-30&keywords=hungary

Posted by
12084 posts

Spanish (obviously) and Romanian are both Latin based. The Magyar nobility prided themselves on knowing Latin and speaking German, ie Germanised culturally and linguistically. Use Liszt as an example. The nationalist movement leading to the Compromise was a victory for the Magyar elite in the linguistic sense since Hungarian was put on par with German in administration and the language of command for Hungarian troops. The Mil. Hist. Museum in the castle hill district shows the document enlarged on the wall whereby the Hungarian prime minister in the fateful crisis of July 1914 gives his answer of approval, however reluctantly, to the Austrian Foreign Minister on going to war against Serbia. The text of his answer appears in three languages, Hungarian, as may be expected, German, and English, the last one surprised me since I would have thought French. Thanks for book suggestion. I'm not familiar with that one. On your taking language lessons....my compliments for putting in the time and the energy to tackle a language with 16 cases. On that feature it's a remarkable language.

Posted by
10369 posts

Thank you Fred; very interesting. Comprehending written Hungarian isn't too terribly difficult for a young mind, and recognizing pronunciation from the written is not too difficult for a young mind; but actually forming intelligible sounds that resemble the Hungarian language is a real challenge. By the way, I don't have a young mind either.

Still, and you have heard me say this before, there is a very unexpected sense of familiarity in the Hungarian culture. Reminds me very much of my youth. And so I continue to return.