What the Hungarian?!

What the Hungarian?! – Anna (imyril)

Üdv! Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you had no idea what was being said? Well, the brave people taking part in the What the Hungarian?! feature can experience exactly that. 5 qoutes, 5 guesses, 5 answers. How well would you do?

The rules:

  • You get 5 passages in Hungarian from books you’ve read, and a couple of hints.
  • You have to guess which book they are from. And for extra fun, try to guess what the qoute might be about!
  • You can also ask 1 question regarding each passages which I’ll answer with “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know” – as I didn’t read each of the books.
  • You can’t use a dictionary or a translator.
  • And you just have to have fun!

Simple, isn’t it?

Today’s player is the awesome Anna or else known as imyril with whom I had the pleasure to meet twice last year!

imyril is a lifelong lover of fantasy and scifi who has been reading for nearly as long as she’s been walking, arguably with greater success (or at least fewer bruises). Other favourite things include movies, cats, whisky and getting lost in the wild, but she can mostly be found curled up with a book. You can find her bookish opinions at There’s Always Room For One More – join her in May for a month-long outburst of enthusiasm for all things fantasy with Wyrd and Wonder

Anna: This was so much fun – I confirmed that I know absolutely no Hungarian and my other languages or some convenient SFnal naming won me about 6 words from one end of the excerpts to the other! I’m very grateful for your clues, as I would have been all at sea without them (I think I’d have had one or two max).

Let’s see how she did then!


De a fekete hajó továbbra is a csendes kikötőben állna kikötözve. Csontjai csikorognának ahogy próbál ellenállni az árnak. A legénység morogna és sopánkodna miközben a fedélzeteken isznak, és ő öntudatlanságba esne ebben az öreg nyúzó kunyhóban. Itt volt ő, hajófeleség csupán névleg. Parancsnok szóban. Csőd.

Hints: Book 1 of a series, traditionally published, male author, matriarchy

Anna: I’ll be honest, this is a guess based purely on your hint – I can’t think of that many matriarchies off-hand! But just to be sure, I asked if this book is mostly set at sea. It is, so I’m sticking with it. I hope I’m right – I loved this book, so any excuse to talk about it!

Even though I can’t understand a word of it, this somehow feels like an inner monologue or first person narrator – I think it’s the short sentences. I love the rhythm of the first sentence, which I’m sure I’m mispronouncing! The final emphatic word at the end automatically reads as swearing (or at least an insult) in my head, so it probably means ‘good’.

Guess: The Bone Ships by RJ Barker

The correct answer: The Bone Ships by RJ Barker

(Note: you got the inner monologue part right, but it’s not first person 😛 Also, this is an awesome book, so I agree with taking any excuse to talk about it! And the last word is not a swearing, we have more complex words for that, lol.)

The original quote:

But the black ship in the quiet harbour would still sit at its rope. Its bones would creak as they pulled against the tide. The crew would moan and creak as they drank on its decks, and he would fall into unconsciousness in this old flenser’s hut. Here he was, shipwife in name only. Commander in world only. Failure.



Igazság szerint a fiú már látta _, ha csak részben. A fa istenség ezüstös ágainak felhője magasan a palota teteje fölé emelkedett, lehetetlen volt látni a Faltól, és a hegyek alacsonyabb dombjairól; legalábbis így mondták neki. A fiú és az apja, a borkereskedő nehezen téveszthették el az _ veztő úton.

Hints: Book 1 of a trilogy, traditionally published, female author, mythological creatures on the covers

Anna: This is another one I’m guessing purely from the hints, which is rash given just how many books I own with mythological creatures on the covers. Still… most of them aren’t trilogies, and as Timy confirmed that the trilogy has a different beasty on each cover, so I’m feeling pretty confident. Another series I can talk about all day (I am Not Over The Poison Song, GAAAH).

Guess: The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

The correct answer: The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

(Note: I shouldn’t have given away that it’s a trilogy *sigh* Damn, you are good, lady!)

The original qoute:

In truth, the boy would already have seen Ysgeril, at least partly. The tree-god’s great cloud of silvery branches burst up above the roof of the palace, and it was impossible to see it from the Wall, and even the foothills of the mountains; or so she had been told. The boy and his father, the wine merchant, could hardly have missed it as they made their way into Ebora.



Ned csöppet sem volt oda. Amennyire ki tudta venni a kicsiny, magasan lévő ablakokon át beszűrődő fény derengésében, Aix-en-Provence Saint-Sauveur katedrálisa totál kaotikus: odakint is, ahol az apja csapata egy előzetes felvételsorozathoz készülődik, és idebent is, ahol tökéletesen egyedül van a félhomályban.

Hints: Stand alone book, traditionally published, male author, famous Canadian

Anna: Okay, I’ve got more confidence this time around! Ysabel is the notional (and oh, so disappointing) sequel to the Fionavar trilogy, in which a teenage boy called Ned (hey Ned) goes to Provence with his dad and hangs out in a cathedral. This snippet conveniently locates itself in Aix-en-Provence and references ahem ‘the totally chaotic cathedral of Saint-Sauveur’ (probably), which is pretty unique on my shelves!

Guess: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay?

The correct answer: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

(Note: dammit, I thought this would be a really hard one so decided to leave the names in… I shouldn’t have as it obviously made it too easy 😛 Btw, this was my first Guy Gavriel Kay book and I liked it…)

The original qoute:

Ned wasn’t impressed. As far as he could tell, in the half-light that fell through the small, high windows, the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence was a mess: outside, where is father’s team was setting up for a pre-shoot, and inside, where he was entirely alone in the gloom.



Tapasztalt londoniként, Martin a testet a tipikus londoni bánásmódban részesítette – egy pillantást vetett rá, hogy megállapítsa, hogy egy részegről, őrültről, vagy olyasvalakiről van szó akinek segítségre van szüksége. A tény, hogy valaki egyszerre lehet mindhárom mutatja, hogy a jó szamaritánusság miért számít extrém sportnak Londonban – mint a bázisugrás vagy a krokodil birkózás. Martin, látva a jó minőségű kabátot és cipőt elkönyvelte részegnek, amikor észrevette, hogy mellesleg hiányzik a feje.

Hints: Book 1 of a series, traditionally published, male author, maps

Anna: So there’s this bloke, Martin, and he’s living in London testing typically London something or others. Crucially for me, the narrative has opinions about being a Samaritan being an extreme sport in London and then talks about crocodiles. I didn’t think the Faceless Man and the Little Crocodiles got a mention until book 2, but the hint clearly states this is book one, so Rivers it is, Little Crocodiles or not! (…and it’s not. The Samaritan was enough for me to find the passage in Rivers, so hooray, an answer I’m sure of!)

Guess: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich

The correct answer: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich

(Note: Fuck, and I thought I was really smart and smug with this one *facepalm* HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT?)

The original qoute:

Being a seasoned Londoner, Martin gave the body the ’London once-over’ – a quick glance to determine whether this was a drunk, crazy or a human being in distress. The fact that it was entirely possible for someone to be all three simoultaneously is why good-Samaritanism in London is considered an extreme sport – like base-jumping or crocodile-wrestling. Martin, noting the good-quality coat and shoes, had just pegged the body as a drunk when he noticed that it was in fact missing its head.



A hajóm, Jóvátétel Hajó Bajos Kutya néhány méterrel keletre állt a levegőben, akár egy hatalmas bronz lövedék. Mielőtt csatlakozott a Jóvátétel Házához, a Bajos Kutya egy Ragadozó kategóriájú nehéz cirkáló volt az egyik leghatalmasabb emberi frakció, a Konglomeráció szolgálatában.

Hints: Book 1 of a series, traditionally published, male author, you met him

Anna: Oh hai Trouble Dog – although I bet Bajos Kutja isn’t Trouble Dog, it’s some other ship name as a red herring – but the Konglomeráció has to be the Conglomeration, which seals the deal (I have met Gareth L Powell on several occasions now, he really is one of the loveliest blokes in the genre).

Guess: Embers of War by Gareth L Powell

The correct answer: Embers of War by Gareth L Powell

(Note: if I had known you’ll outsmart me, I would have made this MUCH harder, gah!)

The original qoute:

My ship, the Reclamation Vessel Trouble Dog, stood a few hundred metres to the east, hanging in the air like a monstrous bronze bullet. Before she had joined the House of Reclamation, the Trouble Dog had been a Carnivore-class heavy cruiser for one of the more powerful human factions, the Conglomeration.

Results: 5/5

Well, I guess we have our first full scores, well done Anna! I swear this is MUCH harder than it seems!


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Check out how the other did in this feature on my What the Hungarian?! page!