How does a Hungarian name their children?

A smile is understood by all people in all nations and by all origins. Likewise, there are names that are recognized and used by multiple culture bases. The Hungarian name Peter, for instance is recognizable by the Americans because we also use that name. The Chinese would not recognize this name, however, because they don't use it. How do the Hungarians name their children?
Hungarian grammar is very different, almost backwards from the American system of grammar. Therefore, the Hungarian name is given backwards. The family name (or what would be our last name-surname) is written first and then the given name (or what would be our first name.) is written last. Because in this region the family names were originally used to describe the person and then tell what his name was, the family name is almost treated like an adjective. Although this is a European form of naming, the Hungarian language (called Magyar) is totally unrelated to European languages.

There is another name that we Americans share in common with this culture, the Hungarian name, Stephen. This is a very popular Hungarian name for a boy because the patron Saint Stephen was the first Christian king of Hungary. Stephanie is the female form of Stephen.

There are some other Hungarian names that we do not share. These are the most fun to discover. The Hungarian name “Zdravko” means “healthy”. There are also names in Finnish and Estonian that fall into the Hungarian language. These three together make-up the Uralic languages and are spoken by about 20 million individuals. This is a small number of people, but the areas they cover are large.

The Hungarians have name days; something similar to the Americans naming baby girls born in April, April. These name days, though have not only months assigned to them, but, as their name suggests, a different name for each day of each month of the year. Pick a date, let’s say June 15th. If you would have been born in Hungary, your name date name would be Jolan,Vid. Keeping in mind that written forms of names in Hungarian are written backwards, this name would be pronounced (or spoken) Vid Jolan. Let’s do another one…September 19th. Lucky for you you weren’t born in Hungary! The name date name for this date (are you confused yet?) is Vilhelmina. There is only one name with this name day.

The name “Laszlo” was given to many men in Hungary. Five of their kings were named Laszlo. We have this name in the Americas, but we spell it Laslo. The Hungarian name of Stephen, as mentioned earlier was actually spelled Istvan and pronounced Istifan. In Spanish, Stephen is pronounced “Esteban” which is very similar.

It is a Hungarian name that comes to mind when I think of the movie “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn. There is a song in this movie that Rex Harrison sings and he is trying to explain the differences in language, as he is a professor of language. It is amazing to me that although they are worlds apart in origin, that so many languages, like Spanish and Hungarian are so similar. Although they are similar, it would a hard pressed situation to fluently communicate with someone who uses a totally different language than you do.

The smile may be universal, however, the name that someone is called is not, nor do they have the same meanings, nor do they derive from the same place. It’s nice to know that although we are so different in many, many ways, in some we are very similar.
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