Home > Uncategorized > Hungary: Arrogance and ignorance by Karl Pfeifer

Hungary: Arrogance and ignorance by Karl Pfeifer

July 9, 2012

A few words by way of introduction. Karl Pfeifer is an Austrian journalist (born in Baden bei Wien) with Hungarian roots. After the Anschluss his family moved to Hungary where he spent the next five years until 1943. He speaks Hungarian and is the correspondent for the weekly Hetek, the publication of the Hít Gyülekezete (Faith Church). I might add that Karl is a regular reader of Hungarian Spectrum.

* * *

It was Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative member of  the British Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber, who invited his compatriot, the actor Hugh Grant, to publicly state his case on press freedom on June 27th in the European Parliament. Grant, after painful experiences with phone hacking by the now defunct News of the World, did so as the spokesman of the “Hacked Off” Campaign that tries to find a proper balance between restraining tabloid journalism and maintaining the freedom of the press. Grant stated that the new media laws in Hungary were a particularly bad example of the infringement of media freedom in Europe in recent years. The press should control the government – and not the other way round.

The newly appointed Hungarian assistant undersecretary Ferenc Kumin responsible for international communication decided to send the British actor a packet of “reliable information” to prove that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the state of the Hungarian media. He made a big show about the difficulty of finding Hugh Grant’s postal address. The star has of course an office which deals with fan mail, but Kumin seemed to be intent on not being mistaken for an admirer.

István Pálffy, a former journalist and now a member of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (the junior coalition partner of the ruling Fidesz) who is also deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee for culture and the press, remarked that Hugh Grant “seems stuck in his role in the film ‘Love Actually’ (2003) and thinks he is prime minister of Great Britain.”

The movie star could counter with an observation by the American educator Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888), which Grant, of all people, could deliver superbly: “To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.”

* * *

And finally a few footnotes to the above. First about Ferenc Kumin. I “met” him first as an “independent commentator” on ATV, a liberal television station. He did try to be neutral but after a few of his performances I wasn’t at all surprised that he was chosen in 2005 by László Sólyom, the newly elected president, as his most important adviser. I thought that it would be a good fit. And indeed he fiercely defended all, even questionable, decisions of the president.

After five years Sólyom was dropped by Fidesz and Kumin lost his job. However, he safely landed in Századvég, a Fidesz think tank, as a political analyst. After Zoltán Kovács, undersecretary for communications attached to the Ministry of Administration and Justice, turned out to be a liability rather than an asset, the prime minister’s office took over all aspects of communication by appointing first András Giró-Szász, also from Századvég, to head communications as undersecretary and about three weeks ago Ferenc Kumin as assistant undersecretary specifically in charge of international communications.

After listening to an interview with Kumin I had hopes that perhaps Kumin understands the world outside of Hungary better than his predecessor, Zoltán Kovács. However, his mad search for Hugh Grant’s address and the very idea that the Hungarian government would respond in this way to a couple of sentences by the actor on the state of the Hungarian media dashed all hopes that the Orbán government can ever have an acceptable way of handling the country’s communication with the outside world.

And for general amusement here are two videos. One depicts the famous scene where Hugh Grants as prime minister of Great Britain dances in Love Actually.

 The other when Ferenc Gyurcsány at the urging of his staff imitates Hugh Grant.

And finally, I’m happy to announce that the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office was successful. Ferenc Kumin and his six-member team managed to find the proper postal address of  Hugh Grant. The letter is on its way. Another Hungarian embarrassment. 

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  1. July 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm | #1

    From “Vicky” Kirkhope’s web:
    The actor Hugh Grant was here to state his case today as spokesman of the “Hacked Off” Campaign. I organised and chaired a small meeting with him and three other European Parliament MEPs from across the political spectrum to discuss the Parliament’s work on Media Freedom and Pluralism.

    The discussion dealt with Parliament’s critical stance on Italy and Hungary with regard to Media Freedom in recent years, as well as Hugh Grant’s involvement in the Leveson Inquiry. Mr Grant would like the support of our Parliament in future regulatory mechanisms which both limit the size of any individual media company and its control of outlets, as well as laying down new rules as to the ethics of journalism and media ownership.

    http://www.kirkhope.org.uk/press_and_photo_gallery/Media2_Jun2012

  2. CharlieH
    July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm | #2

    Győr Calling!

    It just amazes me how the desperate some Hungarians are to compare their press with the UK’s.

    Of course the UK press have been too open – too free – to abuse.

    Leveson will not clamp down at all on press freedom – he will just ensure a better right of reply and ensure no more illegal practices occur such as phone hacking.

    If you are going to use ‘Leveson’ you need to have followed proceedings daily – and have a deep understanding of how the press works.

    Leveson has been uniquely ‘open’ – some say too open – but the prospect of that happening in Hungary? Laughable. LV is clutching at straws – even more laughable.

    From a media perspective Hungary and the UK are chalk and cheese.

    Grant asking for Hungarian government support? Do me a favour (1) – even he is much more savvy about Hungary’s strangulation of the press.

    (So Erik again attempts to justify the bad – with the bad. Do me a favour (2). You just don’t hang around long enough for a debate. You are obviously Fideszbikker blind – we just have to wait for the ‘scales’ to fall from your eyes. A hopeless lost cause)

    (Győr is hot and lovely! The garden is a jungle as high as the house! (Tractor coming tomorrow!) Temp has been 40.2º C! Tar roads very sticky! – Beer is fantastic! Catching up with HS – London to Hungary 20hrs dood to door – driving and cat napping! (1714kms) – Beer is fantastic! About 40 Mosquito bites! – Little England set up – internet radio amazing!)

    Regards

    Charlie

  3. Wondercat
    July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm | #3

    If that REALLY was Feri dancing to the Pointer Sisters, then I am frightened, because I find it, oh, God, endearing.

  4. July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm | #4

    Wondercat :

    If that REALLY was Feri dancing to the Pointer Sisters, then I am frightened, because I find it, oh, God, endearing.

    Yes, the viideo is for real. You should have heard what Fidesz had to say when it became public.

  5. July 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm | #5

    I don’t believe everything the media tells me…

  6. Karl Pfeifer
    July 10, 2012 at 1:42 am | #6

    Népszava published the following:

    Dear Mr Grant,

    I am terribly sorry for putting this message to you through the press. I feel kind of entitled to do so since I have seen many of your films quite many times. You know, you are my wife’s favourite actor. I like the one in which you play the role of the PM but I particularly love that old-sod rock star who almost turns gay at Elton John’s party. I also love the one in which you fall in love with Julia Roberts. My wife just simply couldn’t find the travel bookshop in Notting Hill last weekend. You know she is teaching in England at the moment since we just can’t make ends meet here in Hungary and she is considering the circumstances hopeless. I cannot force her to stay here since she is right. We live in a terrible country where cocksy brutishness and fear ruin and spoil everything. The main source of our impoverishment is that Mr Orban makes the existence of the opposition press impossible – but he doesn’t dare to ban it. I work for a newspaper which has been published for 139 years – which is a real miracle itself. Viktor Orbán figured out that the best way to kill us is not to let companies advertise in our daily paper. What he does with my other employer – Klubrádió – is even more miserable – he does not only make our life impossible, but he is even trying to get the media supervising agency to take back our radio frequencies using shameful tricks completely against the court verdict. ( Now Mr Orbán is trying to overpower the judges, and he seems to succeed in doing so.)

    If you wish, I can visit you in England – since I am going there soon – to have a chat over a cup of tea about the situation of the press in Hungary. I will take my excellent interpreter, who is also your great fan.

    Meanwhile, would you be so kind as to let Mr Orbán know your address because he wants to send you a letter about how wrong you were when you judged Hungary and this lovely media fairy garden here. Many people here would like him to get it and publish it asap since our only consolation is laughing out loud at the insane propaganda letters of Orban’s dictatorship.

    Iván Andrassew / Népszava

  7. Odin’s Lost Eye
    July 10, 2012 at 6:56 am | #7

    CQ…CQ…CQ…DX…CharlieH… Base station Gyor
    This is base station ‘Odin’s lost eye’ in the Boondocks. Welcome back to Lunitania.

    Yes the beer is good. Since I live in ‘Mesopotamia’ I only drink beer brewed to the north of me further up the Danube/Tisza. I do not mind paying for beer but I will not rent it. Well what Budapest drank yesterday, Baja/Mohach drinks tomorrow.

    It is good to know that there is at least one more English man amongst these loonies, it will help keep me sane. My Hungarian tribe (I got them by marriage) and have had to look after them ever since. It has gone Noon they are now all fast asleep, but I am not (though the English are effete they are impervious to heat).

    I am sorry to hear about your problem with your local Mosquito bites. Long ago and far away I was bitten be every brand of ‘mossie’ found in tropical and arctic climes and the gnat and midge found in the Scottish Highland . The local mosquitoes find my blood so poisonous that they now give me a wide berth. Apart from that my home made mosquito traps ‘do for’ a kilo or so of the damn things each week.

    Karl I am sorry to read about the ‘straights’ of the paper/broadcasting organisation. I do not know how I can help you , but I dare say that some idea may well ‘turn up’

    I must go below and dampen the bath tub for the cats and open the garage so the dogs have somewhere cool to lie.

  8. July 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | #8

    Re the Nepszava letter to Hugh Grant.
    Now that you guys ran out of the EU, the EC, the IMF, the ECB to fulfill your desires you came up with the BIG gun: Hugh Grant. He will come to Budapest and solve all your problems.
    I hope he won’t be arrested for soliciting like he was in Los Angeles.

  9. Karl Pfeifer
    July 10, 2012 at 10:42 am | #9

    Louis Kovach: This action with Hugh Grant makes the functionaries who want to teach this actor a lesson look a bit foolish. Do you believe that Sache Baron Cohen is making a film about Orbanistan and Grant will get the role of Viktor Orbán?

  10. LwiiH
    July 10, 2012 at 11:18 am | #10

    Hey Louis, who said everything is set and done with the EC/EU, IMF?

  11. July 10, 2012 at 11:56 am | #11

    K. Pfeifer: I consider the Nepszava letter to Hugh Grant also perfect for a SBC movie.

  12. Karl Pfeifer
    July 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm | #12

    Louis Kovach: Do you imply Orbán & Co to be Hearing Impaired?
    In the meantime, Hungarian functionaries make a fool of themselves by trying to give lesson to all those who critizise Absurdistan. And many Hungarians come just now to the conclusion: Extra Hungariam est vita.
    Probably Sacha Baron Cohen will make his next film about Orbanistan? Would be a good idea.

  13. Odin’s Lost Eye
    July 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm | #13

    Ah Karl… Yes indeed ‘Extra Hungariam est vita’ (or as my old Latin master would have corrected me ‘Extra Hungariam vita est’). Most of the younger ones know this and that is why they wish to go where there is a chance of a real life. I dare say that when the Government and its hangers on will also go when they have scraped, conned and thieved every last Filar from poor old Hungaria.

  14. Karl Pfeifer
    July 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm | #14

    Thanks Odin’s Lost Eye. I had Latin only four years and forgot a lot.
    I am afraid, that the Government and its hangers on will continue until the moment when they will not be able anymore dazzle their people with national symbols and rhetoric.

  15. jozan-esz-101
    July 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm | #15

    What is killing good many Hungarians? Frustration, pain, anger?
    The nation is a good candidate for anger management.
    The West is mild, The East is wild.
    Brainsurgery needed.
    The decent people can not wait longer.
    The Ferenc Kumin type confused aggressors are ruining all hope.
    It is a challenge to peel off even the disappointed voters from the FIDESZ/Jobbik trend.
    Their meek existence drives them into the eternal trap again.

  16. g0g0
    July 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | #16

    Extra Hungariam non est vita, si est vita, non est ita.

    Off course there is a better life outside of Hungary.

    Unless a replay of the Ferenc Deak era will pop up one day.

  17. July 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm | #17

    g0g0: “Unless a replay of the Ferenc Deak era will pop up one day.”

    Please lets consider that for some strata of society those were the upward mobile wonder days…BUT millions of peasants got so disillusioned that they emigrated to the USA.

  18. petofi
    July 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | #18

    Louis Kovach :
    Re the Nepszava letter to Hugh Grant.
    Now that you guys ran out of the EU, the EC, the IMF, the ECB to fulfill your desires you came up with the BIG gun: Hugh Grant. He will come to Budapest and solve all your problems.
    I hope he won’t be arrested for soliciting like he was in Los Angeles.

    Yeah, right, he might hit on that rascal in drag who wrote that marvelous piece of work you
    call an ‘alaptorveny’…or constitution…or whatever. But you know who I mean, right Louis?
    One of your prime examples of Hungarian constitutional authority.

  19. July 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm | #19

    Louis Kovach :
    He will come to Budapest and solve all your problems.

    What problems, Kovach? Like … lack of media freedom? High budget deficit? Curtailed freedom of speech? Destruction of the judciary? Recession? Idelogical terror? Theocracy? Fixed voting system? Incompetent government? Lying flip-flopping prime minister? Nazis in the curriculum? Which one of “our problems” could Hugh Grant fix? Can you be just once more specific? I understand that the BJ he got in LA 17 years ago when he got busted with that hooker is more important to you but that’s not really an opinion.

    By the way the girl made more than a million bucks later with interviews. Despite of the arrogant dumb letters, your hero, Orban the 5th, is about to do the same to the EU very soon, whether you like it or not, Kovach.

  20. July 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm | #20

    MuttD:
    “Despite of the arrogant dumb letters, your hero, Orban the 5th, is about to do the same to the EU very soon, whether you like it or not, Kovach.”

    Well, if according to you Orban will make millions by being solicited by the EU, then there will be additional funds to decrease the deficit.
    I am sorry that I upset you so much that you can’t compose.

  21. July 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm | #21

    Well, the FIDESZ way. Be proud of it.

  22. Karl Pfeifer
    July 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm | #22

    It is my gut feeling that we’ll see more foolish actions of Hungarian Government. With actions like the tourism with Nyirö’s ashes and letter to Hugh Grant the Hungarian Government hopes to deflect attention from the failure of their economic policy.

  23. July 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm | #23

    Louis Kovach :

    Please lets consider that for some strata of society those were the upward mobile wonder days…BUT millions of peasants got so disillusioned that they emigrated to the USA.

    Most of them came the Slovak inhabited areas because of the poor conditions there and a lot of them actually were Slovaks although they were called Hunkies because they came from Hungary.

  24. Kirsten
    July 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm | #24

    Karl Pfeifer :
    It is my gut feeling that we’ll see more foolish actions of Hungarian Government. With actions like the tourism with Nyirö’s ashes and letter to Hugh Grant the Hungarian Government hopes to deflect attention from the failure of their economic policy.

    Yes, but what is most amazing is that even with blatantly foolish and amateurish behaviour and without outright force it seems impossible to threaten OV’s and Fidesz’ position. But last week showed that we need not believe that the countries in the vicinity are doing so much better.

  25. Karl Pfeifer
    July 11, 2012 at 1:39 am | #25

    Kirsten I do agree, however it reminds me of the Kádár period, when communist functionaries used to point out to western journalist, that in Romania the situation is much worse. A good friend of mine the historian Miklós Szabó who died a few years ago used to answer. “That is true, but no Hungarian would have compared his country with Romania during the monarchy or Horthy period. Hungarians looked westward and compared their country with Austria”
    So the last events in Romanian politics are cold comfort. If Hungary continues to go the way Orbán-Matolcsy lead it then in short time it will be probably compared with Zimbabwe?

  26. July 11, 2012 at 10:16 am | #26

    Dr Balogh. “Most of them came the Slovak inhabited areas because of the poor conditions there and a lot of them actually were Slovaks although they were called Hunkies because they came from Hungary.”

    There were many Slovaks but even more Hungarians. In Ohio you can still see abandoned cemeteries in the old mining districts with dozens of Hungarian names (all dead on same day! in mining accidents) like in Congo. The Hungarian immigration of those days is well covered by Dr Bela Vardi and others. My ex-wife’s family in both side came in those days to the USA. One side form Baranya and the other from Bekes region and Laszlo” and “Szeretoe” are NOT slavic names! If you count up the old churches formed in those days, you will fined more Hungarian than Slovak in most areas.

  27. Some1
    July 11, 2012 at 10:43 am | #27

    Louis Kovach :
    Re the Nepszava letter to Hugh Grant.
    Now that you guys ran out of the EU, the EC, the IMF, the ECB to fulfill your desires you came up with the BIG gun: Hugh Grant. He will come to Budapest and solve all your problems.
    I hope he won’t be arrested for soliciting like he was in Los Angeles.

    Are you into conspiracy theory Louis? You seemed slightly more intelligent to begin with, although Orban did too. LOL

    p.s.: No one had to go to to the EU, EC, IMF, ECB, High Grant, as Fidesz does an incredible job on its own to discredit and make a laughing stock itself. (Just like you do lately.)

  28. July 11, 2012 at 10:48 am | #28

    I can’t find any census data for the 19th century (Deak era) that breaks down the immigrant population by language spoken or region of birth. The earliest I’ve found (1920, 1930) states that roughly equal numbers of Slovaks and Hungarians (by language spoken) immigrated.
    One thing is sure: at the beginning of the 20th century Cleveland had the biggest Slovak community in the world.
    I believe Hungarians settled down mostly in Pennsylvania first then migrated to Ohio later.

  29. July 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | #29

    Louis Kovach :

    There were many Slovaks but even more Hungarians. In Ohio you can still see abandoned cemeteries in the old mining districts with dozens of Hungarian names.

    The statistics, as Mutt also mentioned it, are not completely reliable. However, going to cemeteries is not the best way to decide this particular issue.

    According to several sources “the next wave [after 1848-50] was the turn-of-the-century “Great Economic Immigration” that landed about 1.7 million Hungarian citizens, among them 650,000-700,000 real Hungarians (Magyars), on American shores. These immigrants came almost solely for economic reasons, and they represented the lowest and poorest segment of the population.”

    http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Ha-La/Hungarian-Americans.html#b#ixzz20KCeA962

    According to another source, just in ten years, between 1900 and 1910, 377,527 Slovaks came to the United States.

    http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Pa-Sp/Slovak-Americans.html#b#ixzz20KBdoDEs

    If these figures are approximately correct then more Slovaks and other ethnic groups came from Hungary than Magyars. The large Slovak emigration is especially striking if we consider that in Greater Hungary (minus Croatia-Slavonia) in 1900 there were 8.5 million Hungarians and only 2 million Slovaks.

  30. Karl Pfeifer
    July 11, 2012 at 11:19 am | #30

    I lived only about four years from summer 1938 until January 1943 in Hungary. At that time people spoke about the tót, meaning in a pejorative way the Slovaks. Now the Slovaks have a higher standard of living and despite all the machinations of Fidesz, most Hungarians vote for Most-Hid a bi-national party.

  31. July 11, 2012 at 11:35 am | #31

    Karl Pfeifer :

    I lived only about four years from summer 1938 until January 1943 in Hungary. At that time people spoke about the tót, meaning in a pejorative way the Slovaks. Now the Slovaks have a higher standard of living and despite all the machinations of Fidesz, most Hungarians vote for Most-Hid a bi-national party.

    The main reason for the large emigration from the Nothern, Slovak counties was the extreme poverty. For example, before the First World War 300,000 Slovak moved to Budapest. Again for economic reasons.

  32. Wondercat
    July 11, 2012 at 11:41 am | #32

    Prof Balogh, a bit deeper — what were the reasons for such disparate poverty in the Felvidek? Different administrative structures / taxation / access to education…? Thank you.

  33. Ron
    July 11, 2012 at 11:58 am | #33

    Wondercat: Here is one answer from Chicago: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/618.html

    This part is very familiar: Although World War I and the restrictive U.S. immigration laws of the 1920s curbed immigration, Hungarians continued to arrive. The Trianon Treaty had deprived Hungary of two-thirds of its territory, leaving three and a half million Hungarians as an ethnic minority living outside the nation’s new borders. Many decided to leave, and Hungarian Americans waged a steady campaign to raise the immigration quota. Ensuing years of chaos, revolution, counter-revolution, extreme nationalism, and anti-Semitism created many political refugees.

  34. Ron
    July 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm | #34

    Wondercat :
    Prof Balogh, a bit deeper — what were the reasons for such disparate poverty in the Felvidek? Different administrative structures / taxation / access to education…? Thank you.

    I believe it was also a combination of factors, such as mechanization of agriculture. At that time Hungary or actual the Austrian-Hungarian empire was very agricultural, and this mechanization could not be absorb by other industries.

    I found this on the internet page 131 : .http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/Czech_04%20_Slovak_Immig.pdf

  35. July 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | #35

    K. Pfeifer: “I lived only about four years from summer 1938 until January 1943 in Hungary. At that time people spoke about the tót, meaning in a pejorative way the Slovaks”

    Please note that the Tot, Toth was not a pejorative name in Hungary. There are many people surnamed Toth (as there are Olah, Racz, Horvath, Nemet, Orosz, Lengyel etc.) Although no Roman or Slovak.
    The name Slovak was born in Cleveland in the 1880s “Rovnianek for the National Slovak Society (NSS) and Furdek for FCSU. Fr. Furdek in his writings coined the title “Slovaks” here in America, while Rovnianek was using the term “Slavonians” for the same ethnic group, later accepting Furdek’s term “Slovaks” as more accurate. Rovnianek would go on to emphasize the proper Slovak national colors of white, blue and red.”

    So not only in Hungary, but anywhere else there is no history of “Slovak” prior to 1880.
    A community in Southern Hungary was founded in the XVIII century and proudly named itself Totkomlos.
    The claim that “tot” In Hungary is pejorative was initiated as a Slovak anti-Hungarian propaganda.

  36. July 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | #36

    Dr Balogh: “If these figures are approximately correct then more Slovaks and other ethnic groups came from Hungary than Magyars. The large Slovak emigration is especially striking if we consider that in Greater Hungary (minus Croatia-Slavonia) in 1900 there were 8.5 million Hungarians and only 2 million Slovaks.”
    Maybe two popularizing websites are not the best place for getting data (Hmm I learned this from You! :-)) First of all, prior to the 1910 US census, the nationality (e.i Mother tounge) of the immigrants were not recorded. Thus any claims prior to that data are subject to national propagnda on either side.
    I recommed to you Table 4 and Table 6 of “http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0029/twps0029.html”. The mother tounge can be extrapolated somwhat to the past also.

    However, I can not make sense out of your math either, you are adding up different numbers and the Slovak number you cite has to be incorrect based on the US Census bureu data.

  37. July 12, 2012 at 8:58 am | #37

    Wondercat :

    Prof Balogh, a bit deeper — what were the reasons for such disparate poverty in the Felvidek? Different administrative structures / taxation / access to education…? Thank you.

    At that time Hungary was overwhelmingly an agricultural country. Even after 1945 still 56% of the population lived off the land. The “Upperlands” were mountainous and most of the land was not the best quality. The Slovak peasants grew mostly potato.

  38. July 12, 2012 at 9:04 am | #38

    Louis Kovach :

    <pThe name Slovak was born in Cleveland in the 1880s “Rovnianek for the National Slovak Society (NSS) and Furdek for FCSU. Fr. Furdek in his writings coined the title “Slovaks” here in America, while Rovnianek was using the term “Slavonians” for the same ethnic group, later accepting Furdek’s term “Slovaks” as more accurate. Rovnianek would go on to emphasize the proper Slovak national colors of white, blue and red.”

    So not only in Hungary, but anywhere else there is no history of “Slovak” prior to 1880.

    Louis Kovach is a fountain of knowledge. He knows that there was no such a word in English or even in Hungarian as Slovak ~ Szlovák before 1880. I have news for him. The word existed both in Hungarian and in English from 1828 on. I do hope that you are not going to question the Oxford, Webster and the Hungarian etymological dictionaries.

  39. Wondercat
    July 12, 2012 at 9:14 am | #39

    Thank you. The parallel with the “Highlands”, the Scots regions where men were hard put to live by crofting, thus goes beyond the names. The best product of both regions — their peoples — were forced to emigrate to survive, it seems.

  40. July 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | #40

    Dr Balogh: “Louis Kovach is a fountain of knowledge. He knows that there was no such a word in English or even in Hungarian as Slovak ~ Szlovák before 1880. I have news for him. The word existed both in Hungarian and in English from 1828 on. I do hope that you are not going to question the Oxford, Webster and the Hungarian etymological dictionaries.”

    Well the word started to be used probably even before the 1828, except not exactly in the context of a specific slav nation in N Hungary.Dr Balogh, there is an important item in historiography and that is “context”!
    It is still obvious that in the 1880s in Cleveland the good folks still were not sure what their name is. But even if I would agree with your date difference of 60 years, it would not change the recent use of Slovak compared to tot in Central Europe. Whether it was 1000 or 960 years (historically speaking) does not make any difference.
    I am glad that you commented on my comment to K. Pfeifer.

    I am still waiting for the correction of immigration into the US data you presented.
    PS my unabridged Oxford Dictionary does not give a date for Slovak and Merriam Webster gave: “No results found in the 1913 edition. Please modify your search and try again.
    ——————————————————————————–
    No results found in the 1828 edition. Please modify your search and try again.”

  41. Some1
    July 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm | #41

    Louis Kovach :

    I am still waiting for the correction of i

    Kovach, Do you have some memory imbalance? We are still waiting for about a dozen of subjects that we discredited you with FACTS with. You became silent. I tried to protect you before from others calling you names then you started calling me names. You are a hypocrite and areal ass. I wish you would get lost because you do not add to any subjects, you are simply trolling each conversation and dragging out with questionable theories with a clear bias towards the extreme right.
    I can only hope that Eva will stop replying to you.

  42. July 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm | #42

    Louis Kovach :

    PS my unabridged Oxford Dictionary does not give a date for Slovak and Merriam Webster gave: “No results found in the 1913 edition. Please modify your search and try again.
    ——————————————————————————–
    No results found in the 1828 edition. Please modify your search and try again.”

    I don’t have to check my sources. I happen to have the two-volume compact edition of the OED. This is the complete text of the twelve-volume original plus the supplement. Oxford University Press supplied even a magnifying glass to aid the reader because the text had to be reduced greatly. In the second volume on page 2872 there are the details. Used first in 1829 in Ecycl. Metrop.

    In Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, in my edition on p. 1110, the claim is that first appearance of the word “Slovak” in English occurred in 1828. It doesn’t give more details as Webster’s doesn’t in general.

    As far as the Hungarian use of the word is concerned, I used A magyar nyelv történeti-etimológiai szótára. In the third volume one can read this: szlovák 1828 and gives where it can be found and in what context. To quote: “A’ Vendek … megértik a’ Slowák beszédjét is.” In English: “The Slovenes can understand the speech of the Slovak.”

    As for “no results found in the 1828 edition” I can’t even comprehend what you have in mind. If you think that the date behind a word in dictionaries means that that particular word can be found in that particular edition of the dictionary you are wrong. For example the word “ignoramus’ first appeared in the English language in 1615. Naturally not in a dictionary but it was the title of a play by a certain George Ruggle.

  43. July 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm | #43

    Some1: I am not aware of a single refute on my past comments.

  44. Kuner
    July 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm | #44

    as for the origin of word Slovak here is a nice summary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovaks
    with regards to Slovak immigration to the United States aswell forced magyarization policies and repression of Slovak culture by Hungarian government played important role.The comparison to Scotland is quite good. The main diffrence is Scots decided to stay within Uk and Slovaks used first opportunity (famous Trianon)to escape.

  45. Some1
    July 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm | #45

    Louis Kovach :
    Some1: I am not aware of a single refute on my past comments.

    Read Eva’s above post and many others. Read back on other replies by many others. Are you seriously having problems of remembering every time when your comments (speculations, sentences made based on questionable resources, blurs that were dismissed with factual data) were absolutely written off?
    Maybe you should pull your head off from your own behind and read what others write to you. I know it is hard to do with your narcissistic disposition, as we see the same traits in Orban, but try.

  46. An
    July 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm | #46

    Spot on, Some1.

  47. July 13, 2012 at 10:11 am | #47

    Dr Balogh: Slovak was used as a generic term also for “Slav”. I have cited that in Cleveland the good folks (Furdek & Co) were still arguing in the 1880s what to call themselves. Your dictionary citations have not changed anything in that regard,
    Regarding your dictionaries, I have both of them Oxford and Webster and can read them without magnifying glasses. I went back to the earlier editions to see when it actually showed up in the unabridged Webster. As you can also try it, the word was not there.
    Even the Kuner cited Wikipedia article shows that the name use is murky in the past.
    Additionally you were wrong in your numbers for Slovak immigration into the US based on the US Census records. Taking random numbers from various nationalistic sites is not professional.

  48. July 13, 2012 at 10:54 am | #48

    Paul is right. The guy does this squabbling intentionally.

    I miss you Johnny Boy …

  49. petofi
    July 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm | #49

    Louis K. is the sharp edge of Hungarian mediocrity as represented in the devious fifth columnists of Hungaricum presently located in the US and wishing they were back home to cheer on the leading lights of Hungarian political genius–kover, matolcsy, and the
    Felcsutian himself, Herr Kaiser Orban!

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