Gyere ide!

Go Blue! The fève to put in our French Galette des Rois, meant to cheer on the French soccer team.

‘Gy’ is pronounced as a ‘d’ in Hungarian so the expression, « Gyere ide » would be pronounced something like this. ‘Dyedd+eh+eee+deh.’ The ‘Dyedd’ part rhymes with red and the ‘e’ at the end of it is actually an ‘r’ that is rolled and comes up to almost a ‘d’ sound. The ‘eh’ is like the ‘e’ sound in the word ‘met.’ The ‘eee’ rhymes with meet. The last ‘deh’ has that ‘e’ that rhymes with met.

This is one crazy language for those of us who are used to English and/or romance languages. Add into it that it is almost primitive and simple in some respects. When you go to translate, you can decidedly not do that literally, because you almost sound like a cave man. If I were to translate ‘Nincs penzem,’ I would say that it means that I don’t have any money. Literally it is more like ‘None or no money – mine. The ‘em’ on the end of ‘penz’ means it belongs to me, something added on to the end of the word to signify that.

Nonetheless, when I am doing these anti-Alzheimer exercises, I am utilizing my almost seventy year old brain to learn a new language; it takes me back, much as the Madeleine that Proust tasted and started thinking of past experiences. I hear my family, especially my grandparents, even my own mother, speaking in this fascinating tongue that has no relationship whatsoever to ththe languages that surround it in east central Europe;.

The expression ‘Gyere ide’ came to me the other day as I leafed through a Hungarrian grammar book I got for Christmas from Mary Kay. I had totally forgotten it. Certainly, before my beginning to study the language (Pimsleur in 30 lessons, I am on #17), I would never have recognized ‘Gyere ide’ as being come here. Yet I heard that so often in my youth. Now that I am ‘playing’ at learning the language, these moments spark memories in me.

I am doing the Pimsleur method which is mainly a listen and repeat and then answer type of program. They don’t let you see the written word until lesson 15 and then they do so with random words that they tell you about and tell you how to pronounce. Language teacher that I am and in the belief that I know better for my individual learning program, I have transcribed everything I have learned from Lesson one on, first in cursive (because my writing motor skills have almost disappeared) since I always find myself with a keyboard, and then onto a ‘Pages’ table with Hungarian on one side and English on the other. So far, if nothing else, I have improved my cursive.

I am up to Lesson 17 and although the thirty minute lessons are set up to be done one day and then the next one the next day, I have decided that since I have waited this long to study Hungarian on my own (since it is almost impossible to find a program at a university to do so – why didn’t I go to Indiana University?), that I might as well do it right. I am doing each lesson until I get it way over 90% correct, I might even say 98% correct. Then, periodically, I am listening to the beginning lessons all over again. I do that at the gym as I am on the rowing machine.

Okay, I admit to being a little crazy…more to come…

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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