If you’ve never studied music, you may not have heard of Zoltán Kodály. But listen to this. He’s a Hungarian composer who can teach us something interesting about rhythm… not with his music (though that’s nice enough); with his name.
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Hungarians, Estonians, and Finns can understand each other if they speak slowly-Derf
Finnish and Estonian are quite similar. Hungarian is much more distantly related. As an example, “Give me a glass of wine” in Finnish is “Anna minulle lasillinen viiniä”; in Estonian, “Anna mulle klaasi veini”; in Hungarian, “Adjon egy pohár bort.” “What is your name?” is “Mikä sinun nimesi on?” in Finnish, “Mis su nimi on?” in Estonian, and “Mi a neved?” in Hungarian. In other words, Estonian seems sort of like Finnish that’s been worn smooth, while Hungarian requires the skilled eye of a linguist or philologist to discern its relation to the others. (I think the phonological details were as big a tip-off to relatedness originally as any lexical correspondences.)