More on Hungarians

by Eszter Hargittai on August 17, 2006

First, Stephen Colbert commented on a funny Hungarian story the other day. The entire clip is worth watching, but if you want to jump straight to that segment then forward to 3.44 (or 3.37 if YouTube won’t let you do that). Love the way he pronounces the URL. *

Second, Mark Liberman of LanguageLog has decided to do a speech speed experiment on native Hungarian speakers as a follow-up to this matter (his observations here and here). If you are a native speaker of Hungarian, please send him a note and participate. The original peer-reviewed journal publication’s findings were based on just ten participants. Let’s see if he can get at least as many.

[*] Not as funny, but part of the real story is that the vote is only for recommendations that a committee will then consider when making the final decision.



KCinDC 08.17.06 at 11:17 am

Colbert seems to really be getting into attacking websites. Every few days now he sends his minions to overwhelm or manipulate some site: elephant entries on Wikipedia,, Hungarian bridge voting. Where does it end?

Soon instead of talking about sites being slashdotted we’ll have to say they’re colbertied (pronounced col-buried).


arthur 08.17.06 at 1:02 pm

I wonder whether Hungarians who read English language academic web sites represent an appropriate sample for measuring speech patterns of native Hungarians. Crooked Timber and Languagelog readers undoubtedly use more polysyllabic words than “typical” English speakers.


Eszter 08.17.06 at 1:27 pm

Arthur, that’s a fair question, but for now part of the goal is to see whether the findings from that JCR study can be replicated, or not. They didn’t say much about their sampling methods despite appearing in a peer-reviewed academic journal so it would be hard to reproduce their methods.

By the way, I doubt there are even two or three native Hungarians who read this blog. So the idea is more about finding people through referrals, which then extends well beyond CT readership.


abb1 08.17.06 at 2:38 pm

Is it true about Chuck Norris? Why? Does he have a Hungarian grandfather or something?


abb1 08.17.06 at 5:33 pm

Wiki says no Hungarian grandfather and also that he is extremely popular. Yet he seems to be one of the worst actors in the world, at least as far as I am concerned. Go figure.

Well, better Chack Norris than Jean-Claude Van-Damme, I guess…


cheem 08.18.06 at 2:09 am

A lot of the Chuck Norris flood came over from the World of Warcraft forums. Lots of bored kids, I guess.


KCinDC 08.18.06 at 8:45 pm

I don’t think Chuck Norris has any connection with Hungary, abb1, any more than Stephen Colbert does. I assume it’s just people who are fans of this sort of thing.


abb1 08.19.06 at 7:56 am

It’s just that I never thought of this guy as a super-star.


KCinDC 08.19.06 at 10:15 am

I think most of Norris’s legion of “fans” are being ironic. Most people who are fans of Chuck Norris facts probably aren’t actually fans of Chuck Norris.


Dr. Minorka 08.19.06 at 11:01 am

re: (3)
Azért magyarok is olvassák a Göcsörtös Fát…
(At least one regular Hungarian reader)


Eszter 08.19.06 at 4:19 pm

The Chuck Norris vote idea got over 2000 votes on Digg, that might explain the popularity.

Dr. Minorka – ez jó, még sosem gondolkoztam el azon, hogy magyarul mi lenne a blog neve, ez tetszik.:-)


Kenny Easwaran 08.20.06 at 3:03 am

abb1 needs to search for more facts about Chuck Norris on the internet – there’s lots of them of this sort!

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