Mini language lesson #20 – Hungarian jokes
We can probably agree that understanding and telling jokes in a particular language necessitates a quite good and stable knowledge of the given language. But it’s good to get acquainted with them even if you’re a beginner since they help to understand the nation’s humour, which is an elemental part of everyday life.
Some nations, like the Brits, are known all over the world for their unique humour. Hungarians are not like that, our jokes and humour don’t necessarily follow a similar pattern. Some of the popular joke topics focus on animals, mothers-in-law, policemen, blonde women, marriage, Szekler people etc.
We thought we’d share a few Hungarian jokes with you so that you not only dazzle your friends and colleagues with your language skills, but also with your sophisticated, Hungarian humour.
Keep in mind that we are not linguists in any way, we’re just as dazzled by the curiosities of the Hungarian language as foreigners are. So this series doesn’t aim to explain the etymology of words, it’s more of a fun take on our language. We try to bring Hungarian closer to you with witty learning cards made by Daily magyar, a language-enthusiast person, whose posts give an insight into the complexity of Hungarian grammar. But don’t worry, it’s all done in an easy-going way so that it can make learning fun.
First of all, we would like to reflect on foreigners’ favourite joke about Hungary. Yes, we know that the name of our country is almost “hungry”, but can you imagine how many people have cracked this joke? 😀 A lot…
Something else we don’t really appreciate is when someone mixes up Budapest with Bucharest, which is the capital city of neighbouring Romania. Both capitals are unique in their own way, and it’s not that hard to remember the seemingly similar names. Or else, you’ll get a glance like this:
A personal favourite meme was created during the 2016 European Football Championships when Hungary and Austria were in the same group in the first phase of the competition. This meant that the two countries had to face each other on the pitch.
A witty person came up with the following montage, which describes Franz Joseph I, the onetime ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The next one is kind of weird, but is a wonderful play on Hungarian words:
nagy [ˈnɑɟ] – big; large; great
nagy i [ˈnɑɟ i] – capital i; big i
nagyi [ˈnɑɟi] – grandma; granny
piros [ˈpiroʃ] – red
piros k [ˈpiroʃ kaː] – red k
Piroska [ˈpiroʃkɑ] – Little Red (fairy tale character)
Piroska és a farkas [ˈpiroʃkɑ eːʃ ɑ fɑrkɑʃ] – Little Red riding hood
[Literally: Little Red and the wolf]
The next ones are funny taunts/quips that demonstrate the creativity of Hungarians when it comes to joking with animals. The range goes way beyond squirrels; it’s just a coincidence that both puns include the same animal.
These taunts are not really used in everyday speech, but if someone says something like this, it is guaranteed that everyone will burst into laughter. These also belong to the family of sophisticated swear words, cuss-words.
The next joke needs a little background knowledge on one of the most famous Hungarian composers, Ferenc Liszt. The word “liszt” means flour in Hungarian.
“Would the kid stop playing the piano? I’m getting Liszt-sensitive.”
The word “lisztérzékeny” in fact means “coeliac” – a person with coeliac disease, but in this joke, they are referring to the famous Hungarian composer and the man’s big dislike against classical music.
The next joke speaks for itself.
Lastly, we’d like to finish this language lesson with Yoda.
Source: Daily News Hungary