Monday, December 14, 2009

Tavasszal minden felébred téli álmából.

(In spring, everything wakes up from its winter sleep (hibernation).)

The other day I was trying my luck with Anne az élet iskolájában, but it was a bit tiresome. I am really not able to read a real text in Hungarian yet, but I will keep trying. As a warm-up, I worked with the third text from the FSI Easy Reader today, and it made me fall in love with Hungarian all over again. The overly enthusiastic voice of the woman on the recording almost took away part of the beauty of it, but after I had listened to her a couple of times, I got used to it. When I'm looking up things in the dictionary in Hungarian, I am often struck by how beautiful words are, or how different, harmonic, symmetric they are. This never happens with Russian. Russian words are just Russian. Hungarian words are small wonders all on their own.

How about ibolya (Violet)? For some reason, I always enjoy learning the names of flowers or trees in foreign languages, and I probably know more names for trees in Russian than in French or perhaps even English. Another word that struck me was zümmög, in méhek zümmögnek (the bees are humming). Kizöldülni (come into leaf, become green), megsárgulni (turn yellow). Perfectly logical and lovely words, even though they may not be extremely useful.

Az erdei utak szélén feltűnik a hóvirág, majd a szerény ibolya. Méhek zümmögnek, pillangók röpködnek. Lassan csupa virág, csupa illat lesz minden. A tavasz a legszebb évszak.

(My attempt at a translation: Along the edges of the forest roads snow flowers appear, then the modest violet. The bees are humming, the butterflies are flying around. Slowly everything becomes a pure flower, a pure fragrance. Spring is the most beautiful season.)

To continue my Hungarian afternoon, I thought I would start making my Hungarian verb book.


  1. I am glad you enjoyed it! It makes me really happy to hear this. :-)

    You are reading quite complicated texts now. Congratulations! I am amazed how good you've gotten at this.

    Did you know that many flower names, including Ibolya, can be a girl's name as well in Hungarian?

    A small correction to your transcription: pillanok should be pillangók. Probably just a typo.

    Yes, ibolya is viola, or the colour violet. Hóvirág means snowdrop (snödroppe). "csupa" is difficult to translate, it means "full of", "having a lot of".

    And yes, unfortunately the voice of that woman is not very pleasant. You should hear the Greek FSI recordings---that man sounds like a drill sergeant.

  2. Köszönöm! :)

    I corrected the typo, but I will leave the other things as they are. I don't think I would be able to work with the FSI book only since the recordings kind of make me want to kill myself. But I do like the texts in the easy reader, they are actually interesting.

  3. I got more curious and downloaded the book--and it was a very pleasant surprise. It is a very interesting selection of readings. There is a lot of literature (though the texts are simplified in many cases). I think it would be difficult to find anything comparable in a modern language book.