- BART, István: Hungary and the Hungarians. The Keywords
- Translated by: Judit Szollosy
- Publishing House: CORVINA Kiadó
- Year of Publication: 1999
- Number of Pages: 200
- Language: English
- Language is not just words and grammar, it works by methaphors and allusions, that make up ( and also hide away) meanings which are indecipherable without the knowledge of the culture code. Every student of any foreign language is painfully aware how this meta-language lurking behind even the simplest of turns can make reception of even everyday speech such a precarious affair. For there may be worlds in a word, not unlike the boxes within boxes within boxes of a Chinese puzzle. Languages are made up of popular memories, myths and beliefs, customs and ever changing usage; words ring bells and if our ears don’t hear their toll, life is merely a silent movie. This book was born out of innumerable futile efforts to explain to visitors what is behind a gesture or a melody, a name, an attitude. It is both a guide to the secrets of the Hungarians code-language and a concise cultural encyclopedia of Hungarianness.