How Much Hungarian Would A Woodchuck Speak…

Today, my ratio of learning Hungarian to teaching English wasn’t very good for someone who calls himself an English Teacher.  I talked about Tongue Twisters in one of my classes, and it really got things going.  In case this is an American term, a Tongue Twister is a series of words that are difficult to say with each other.

For example, the favorite of my students:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

My inadequate explanation of a woodchuck didn’t bother them too much.  We were able to put the sentence to a rhythm and practically sing it.  There has never been so much participation.  I’d like to suggest today as International Woodchuck Day.  Who do I talk to about that?

This inspired them to share some Hungarian Tongue Twisters.  Let’s see if I can type these out – keep in mind I copied them on to a piece of paper from the white board where a student had written them.   The likelihood of a misspelling is astronomical, so corrections are welcome.  Plus, they always seem to argue with each other when one student writes something on the board.  I can’t understand the arguments, but I get the impression it’s not an easy language to spell.  This is quite a shock.

  • Sárga Bögre Görbe Bögre
    • This translates to something along the lines of “Yellow mug curved/twisted mug”.


  • Mit sütsz kis szűcs?  Tán sós húst sutsz kis szűcs?
    • What are you cooking little chef?  Maybe you are cooking salted meat little chef?


  • Jamaika A Jamaikai Jamaikaiaké
    • Very, very fun to say.  It means something about Jamaica… I think.


  • Egy icike-picike pocok, pocakon pöckölt egy masikicike-picike pockot, mire a pocakon pöckölt icike-picike pocok pöckölte az őt pocakon pöckölő icike-picike pockot. 
    • The explanation of this one was acted out because there was skepticism that the mid-section of a person is called the “belly”.  It seems to be about two itty-bitty rats.  One of them pokes the other in the belly, and the second one pokes the first one’s belly right back.

If you want to know how to pronounce these, I suggest you find a Hungarian.  I can’t write it out.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think anyone could.  It’s just too, well, twisty.


Hungarian word of the day:

Amerikai Mormota

I wasn’t going to give a word since I think I have already included enough Hungarian.  However, I found “woodchuck” in the Hungarian dictionary.  It’s pronounced Aw-mare-ee-kaw-ee  More-mote-aw.  Share this with someone, you know, in honor of International Woodchuck Day.