Archive for May, 2006
If you translate orgona from Hungarian to English you might expect organ, but it translates to lilac. Similarly, himnusz isn’t hymn but National Anthem. Such words are called false friends.
There are only a few words in English that derive from Hungarian. They include paprika, which has the highest concentration per weight of vitamin C of any food (in fact, vitamin C was first isolated in paprika and named “ascorbic acid” meaning “the acid that prevents scurvy” by Albert Szent-Györgyi – for which he won a Nobel prize); and coach – derived from kocsi, “car” in Hungarian – literally “from the town of Kocs” where in Medieval times coaches were made.
But there are a number of Hungarian-English false friends. For example, the English headline:
Act Reclaims Farmer’s Smoking Combine
might be an analog to the Hungarian headline:
Akt Reklam: Farmer, Szmoking, Kombine
which, since each word is a false friend, unexpectedly translates to:
Ad for a Nude: Blue Jeans, Tuxedo, Lingerie
The most famous Hungarian-English false friends aren’t found in Peter Lazar’s list. They are some of George Carlin‘s seven dirty words – verbatum transcript prepared by the FCC.
Here’s some good eats with plenty of Hungarian paprika from János Mohácsi.
In 1862 President Benito Juarez ordered Mexico‘s army, under General Ignacio Zaragoza, to defend the nation against French invaders. The army, consisting of ill-equiped soldier-indians, met and defeated Napolian’s powerful European army at the Battle of Puebla. May five – Cinco de Mayo – is a celebration of the great victory. Alan and Lia party and parade to mark the holiday. They are cooking traditional Mexican tripe soup, menudo.
The Flag of Earth was first raised May 17, 1970, the creation of James W. Cadle. He made it because, despite being a great patriot, he was disappointed that an American flag was planted on the moon in July 1969; after all we had won the Moon race, wasn’t it time for a more universal symbol?
The Flag of Earth flies at many SETI locations around the world. It symbolizes the fact that SETI is carried out on behalf of humankind as a whole. The yellow part of the flag represents the sun, the blue circle the Earth, and the small white circle the Moon.
Below is an original picture of Buzz Aldrin on the Moon (notice the dirt on the suit), and a remarkable computer reproduction by Andrea Bertaccini of the Life Magazine cover based on that picture. Maybe he will make one of Buzz saluting the Flag of Earth?