Perhaps because Hungarian sounds so very odd to English ears, or because being the grandchild of remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire does tend to leave its mark, whenever I meet anyone even faintly Hungarian I wheel out my few words to impress them and even their expression of pity doesn’t stop me. But I need more; my desire to spread the Joy of Hungarian is far from sated.
There is hope. One of the joyous consequences, for me, of my new novel is that, slowly, erratically, an appreciation of this unusual language is slowly spreading among those who have already read the proofs. This is for them, and for any of you whose birthday it is - one of the most silly-sounding phrases you will ever hear, in any language:
Boldog születésnap – ‘bull-dog soo-lertaishnop’