Tuesday, 25 May 2010


The Hungarian language has 44 letters. It isn't the longest alphabet in the world - that honour goes to the Cambodian alphabet with 79 - but it's long enough to confuse me! Not only is it long, it also has several (to the English ear) things that make it very difficult to pronounce. Looking at the Wikipedia entry, E with an umlaut should be pronounced as in "same" while e with an acute accent is as in "hey". Personally, I struggle to see the difference. Added to that, I live with a Cumbrian who pronounces "hey" as "hey" and "same" as "serm". Goodness knows what a Hungarian would make of any attempt he might make on their language! Some letters (like u with a double acute accent) don't even get an English pronounciation equivalent. I occasionally try pronouncing Hungarian words (street names etc...) while in Budapest. Invariably I get them wrong, and am often surprised my feeble attempts don't meet with more hilarity. This really isn't a language (even on a pronounciation level, let alone a comprehension one) for the faint-hearted.
And yes, that is a poor attempt at Queen Elizabeth 1! She is commemorating a special event this week.

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