Wow, The Word Of The Day Picked Itself

As you know, I try to have a Hungarian Word of the Day.  Usually, I connect it to some topic I'm discussing, or I tell something interesting that I learned that day.

Today, the decision was made as soon as I saw the word.

Let me set the scene.  It's about 8:15 in the morning, and I'm teaching one of my 9th grade classes.  They're the most advanced of their grade level, but they're still relative beginners.

I had finished what I had to teach, and I was now on the second part of my lesson.  My classes usually begin with the boring stuff, and about halfway through I change to something else.  Typically I have a plan of what to teach, but I often change it depending on how it's going.  If they're behaving and participating, I can play a game instead of some textbook activity.  If they're misbehaving, I practice my medieval torture methods.

Just kidding - I wanted to see if you're paying attention.

Returning to the story, this particular group usually behaves quite well.  When I came to the point where I could make a decision, one student raised her hand and asked what Hungarian words I know.  They have been fascinated by this since day one, so we started talking about it.

I put them in groups and told them to think of useful phrases or words to teach me.  It started out with a few common words like juice and sunglasses, but then one girl asked if she could come write a word on the board.

You must know that this particular student has a very stern look about her.  She's not mad or unhappy, but her face naturally has an intense, almost angry, look on it.  When she's a mother, I think she'll have very well behaved children.

That's important to know because she came up to the board and started writing.  I think most others would have started laughing.  She was focused.

Then she kept writing.

And she wrote some more.

The pen dried up and she needed a new one - just kidding, but it's possible.

Finally she finished.  It was one word.

"We don't know how to say this word in English, but it's the longest Hungarian word."

If you speak Hungarian, I bet your laughing.  If you don't, I bet your not ready for this.  This is what she wrote:


She quickly read it out loud so I could repeat.  I stared at her and the class laughed.  Then she drew lines at certain intervals and taught it to me in parts.  I'm proud to say I managed to pronounce it, at least in a rough manner.

So there you have it.  That's what I learned in school today.  If you're wondering what it means, just ask around.  After all, it's not like it's difficult to pronounce.