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How do you pronounce Lugosi's first name?


TomJH
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As a fluent Hungarian speaker, I can attest that "Bay-la" comes the closest to the true pronunciation. An exact transliteration is not possible, as the "é" in "Béla" has no precise equivalent in English pronunciation. I appreciate Mr. Osborne's show of accuracy.

 

Béla is a true blue, ancient man's name in Hungary. It is a pagan period name in the Hungarian language that goes back to over a 1,000 years, when the Hungarians converted to Christianity and took on the names of Catholic saints. There were a number of ancient kings named Béla. Hungarians would be dismayed to hear it pronounced as "Bella"!

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Thanks very much for the Hungarian viewpoint on the correct pronunciation, ThemaTodd. Bay-la it is, then. Interesting to note that the actor reknowned as the screen's most famous Dracula had a first name shared with ancient kings of his homeland.

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Hi folks!

 

I'm delighted by all the milage and interest Lugosi is getting around here!

 

As scsu pointed out, his original name was Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó. Béla is still a very common man's name in Hungary. "Ferenc" means Francis; "Dezső " is David. He was originally of Slavic ancestry, hence the name Blaskó. When he joined the theater, he wanted to Hungarianise his name. Being born in the village of Lugos, adding an "i" to the end of it meant "one from Lugos", hence Lugosi.

 

In English, we pronounce the "s" in his name as in "sit", but in Hungarian it is pronounced "sh" (as in shot). "Loo go-shee" (said rapidly), would come close.

 

There is some confusion as to what country he was born in, due to the changing territorial settlements in the region. Lugosi was born in Hungary, but Hungary was reduced considerably in territory following the First World War at the Treaty of Trianon in 1919. Lugosi's hometown was ceded to Romania, where it is still located. I believe it is now called Lugoj in Romanian.

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Hello finance,

 

I edited my post to clarify.

 

There are a few words of Hungarian dialogue in the *Black Cat (1934).* When the police show up at Poelzig's house in feathered caps, they say:

 

"*Csendőrség!"* (constabulary, the word literally means "guardians of the peace".)

 

(Officer): "*Mondja kérem, hogyan történt ez a baleset?"* (Tell me please, how did the accident happen?)

 

(Lugosi): "*Én meg a másik úr voltunk a résztvevők*" (Myself and the other gentleman were involved.)

 

The rest is in English.

 

Some of the geographical references:

 

The famed *Orient Express* went through Hungary on it's way to Istanbul, and was often taken by honeymooners, as depicted in the film. {font:Arial}{color:black}*Visegrád* was one of the stops on the way to *Budapest*, which lies a few miles to the north of the capital city. It features a spectacular view of the Danube river taking a tight, virtually 90 degree turn from east west to north-south.

 

*Gömbös* is a town no longer in Hungary, located in Slovakia.

*Máramaros* was a region and county that is no longer in Hungary. It was the scene of savage fighting (as the film suggests) when the Russians invaded in the First World War. It is an area now shared by Ukraine and Romania.{font}

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Thanks for the cool info, Thelma! I'm Hungarian and just LOVE knowing there are so many Hungarians involved in classic film. My grandmother claimed to be a distant relative to B?la and she certainly resembled him as she aged.

 

Although I don't speak it, my understanding of the "S" is often pronounced like "ts" as in "Tse tse" fly. I also remember calling aunties "Szit-szee" is that correct? Our name was common Szerba (homogenized by Kevin Sorbo & my boss George Sherba)

 

My Nana (Terakish) had Alzheimers late in life and I came to live & care for her. I often heard her through the walls talking Hungarian in her sleep -very spooky-like The Haunting! And when she went into the nursing home she'd terrorize bedridden clients by standing in their doorway, making a threatening face & clawing the air like B?la as Dracula!

 

I certainly have inherited the macabre & artistic personality of my heritage.

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> Although I don't speak it, my understanding of the "S" is often pronounced like "ts" as in "Tse tse" fly. I also remember calling aunties "Szit-szee" is that correct?

 

Now that is interesting. In Italian, we refer to our aunts as "Zizi," a colloquial term, which is pronounced the same way as yours. Even the one aunt I had who was not Italian (she was Hungarian!) understood the term.

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Hello TikiSoo!

 

It's nice to hear about how many here are of Hungarian heritage! The name by which you called your aunt must have been a personal nickname or surname derived. It is not the commonly accepted word for aunt.

 

The rules of Hungarian spelling are very precise, consistent and strictly follow pronunciation.

 

The s sound as in “share” is written as “s”.

 

S as in “Saturday” is written “sz”

 

The ts sound as in tse-tse as you give it, would be written with a “cz”, “czi czi”.

 

Older spelling rules may be reflected in surnames, especially ones that are not Hungarian.

 

There were a great many talented Hungarians in the film business! *Adolph Zukor* was born in Hungary and founded Paramount Studios. *William Fox*, the founder of 20th Century Fox, was also Hungarian born. The brothers *Alexander, Vincent and Zoltán Korda* started London Film Studios.(The Jungle Book(1942), The Thief Of Bagdad(1940), Things To Come (1936), The Third Man (1949)) Others were directors *George Cukor, Michael Curtiz* (Casablanca (1942)), *Lugosi, Vilma Bánky* (silent star), *Ilona Massey* (1930’s) the *Gabor sisters*, music director *Miklós Rozsa* ; many connected with production, directing and writing etc. were Hungarian. Others born here but proud of their Hungarian heritage were *Ernie Kovach and Tony Curtis*.

 

The studios employed many Hungarians. There used to be a sign on the wall of the commissary at MGM in the 30’s that gave a not too subtle message to the American born employees:

 

*“You don’t have to be Hungarian to work hard around here!”*

 

Check out this *Adolph Zukor* biography from an English language website out of Budapest, illustrated with embedded classic film videos:

 

*When Hungarians Ruled Hollywood: A Birthday Tribute to the Great Adolph Zukor*

 

http://www.pestiside.hu/20100107/when-hungarians-ruled-hollywood-a-birthday-tribute-to-the-great-adolph-zukor/

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*The famed Orient Express went through Hungary on it's way to Istanbul, and was often taken by honeymooners, as depicted in the film. Visegrád was one of the stops on the way to Budapest, which lies a few miles to the north of the capital city. It features a spectacular view of the Danube river taking a tight, virtually 90 degree turn from east west to north-south.*

 

 

 

Hi Thelma . . .

 

 

You Paint such a Beautiful and Scenic Picture of Hungary, especially the view of the Danube River . . . How Breathtaking that must be. Is that Train Ride still available today ? I'm sure it's such a Beautiful Place to Visit and I know many Tourists have made their way there. Have you, yourself, or anyone else on this board, had the pleasure of visiting there recently or anytime soon. I know that would be an Experience in itself . . .

 

Oh and thanks so much for the *'S'* Pronunciation Lesson . . .

So, therefore, the name 'Budapest', would be pronounced like ... Budapesht ? ... Is that Corret ?

 

 

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Hi ugaarte,

 

The *Orient Express* still runs. In the days before the "chunnel", it departed from Paris, but now you can catch it in London and ride under the English Channel.

 

The area around the bend of the Danube, near *Visegrad*, is scenic and romantic countryside. The Danube river is about a 1000 feet wide. and lit up from both sides. Many excursion and tour vessels ply those waters. *Budapest*, further to the south is a stunningly beautiful and romantic capital.

 

You took my lesson well; Budapest is pronounced "Budapesht"!

 

BTW, I know you've been a fan of my exploitation threads, check out the hyprlinked index I posted!

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