Welsh place names a hit in Hungary as nation’s cities get a rebrand

The Welsh language map of Hungary by David Smith

A Welsh-language map of Hungary has been a hit with the country’s news media.

The map was published by Welsh-Hungarian information hub Magyar Cymru, who worked with train controller David Smith to translate the names of Hungarian cities including Szeged and Győr.

The 25-year-old, originally from Birmingham, went viral a few months ago after translating the entire London tube map into Welsh with the help of his friends.

The new map was picked up by news media in the country, with Hungarian news portal Index.hu referring to the translations as ‘beautiful’.

Smith said: “I’m so pleased that the place names I created are now seen by thousands across Hungary, and I hope the map will inspire Hungarians to visit Wales once they are able to.”

Balint Brunner, Editor of Magyar Cymru, added: “We wanted to showcase Wales’ characteristic place names and its beautiful language to Hungarians, as part of our journey to build bridges between the two cultures.”

Smith said he had studied the etymology of each city and town, with some help from Magyar Cymru, and then translated them into Welsh to form names that ‘sounded’ like any town or village nestled in Gwynedd or Ceredigion.

Debrecen – or Llefyw – in Hungary

The town of Kaposvár (meaning castle of gates) got the name Casglwyd, while Szombathely (Saturday place) became Llesadwrn – both literal translations.

However, given the complexity of Hungarian place names, Smith sometimes had to rely on the historic names of cities – as well as their names in other languages – for inspiration.

Pécs, a historic city in the south of Hungary, was known by the Latin name Quinque Ecclesiae (five churches) in Mediaeval times, a label that continues to live on in the city’s German and Slovak names. This inspired Smith to suggest the Welsh name Pumllanau, or ‘five parishes’.

Other new names included Llanbedwen (church of the birch region, for Nyíregyháza), Llefyw (living place, for Debrecen), and Bwlch-y-Gafr (the goat’s path, referring to Kecskemét).

 

Ties

Smith said: “My favourite is the name I coined for the town of Veszprém: Tredderog. Many believe the name of the town comes from a Slavic given name meaning stubborn or obstinate. After much research, I came across the old Welsh name Derog, which has a similar meaning. This is how Veszprém became Tredderog, or Derog’s town.”

Alongside Hungary’s cities and the famous Lake Balaton (Llyn-y-Siglen), the country’s “Welshest village” also got a new name.

Lake Balaton – or Llyn-y-Siglen – in Hungary

The idyllic village of Kunágota, which regularly hosts Welsh-Hungarian concerts for its residents, became Llangadda-ym-Mhentregwman – a close translation of the name of the village: the parish of St. Agatha in the village of Cumans.

David Smith has been learning Welsh as he often works on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways in Snowdonia, where he regularly meets workers and customers who speak Welsh as their first language.

For over half a year, Magyar Cymru has been working to strengthen cultural ties between Wales and Hungary. Recent projects included giving a Budapest café a full Welsh-language makeover for Dydd Miwsig Cymru, and translating Calon Lân into Hungarian for a stunning bilingual performance by Hungarian folk singer Andrea Gerák.

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j humphrys
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j humphrys

Next, some concerts maybe, or featuring Franz Liszt’s music?

Elizabeth Sillo
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Elizabeth Sillo

Yesss! Every March, we hold Welsh-Hungarian concerts in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff ( in the Urdd Hall). The next one is scheduled for the 6th March 2021. You are welcome ! Croeso! ( Do you know that Karl Jenkins composed an oratorio called The Bards of Wales…which is a Hungarian poem originally, based on Welsh History?) We might sing that too.

Jenny Agutter fan
Guest
Jenny Agutter fan

Or for that matter, show any classic Looney Tunes cartoon that features “Hungarian Rhapsody #2” (you may recognized it as the song played by Daffy Duck and Donald Duck in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”).

James W. Soares Jones
Guest

A hearty Diolch for cultural interchange and mutual learning!

Elizabeth Sillo
Guest
Elizabeth Sillo

Our last concert was cancelled in the last moment, although a Welsh opera singer was supposed to sing Franz Liszt’s song and some Welsh and Hungarian duest as well with me.😉

Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

Fantastic article. I’m loving this Cymraeg-Magyar friendship

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

Fi hefyd. It’s all good.

Jenny Agutter fan
Guest
Jenny Agutter fan

I can proudly note that in 2008, when I made to state finals for Jeopardy, even though I didn’t advance beyond that I still could identify the name Cymru.

Steve Duggan
Guest
Steve Duggan

It’s good to see at least one part of the UK trying to keep ties close with our friends on the continent.

Jenny Agutter fan
Guest
Jenny Agutter fan

A description that I read of Brexit is that the place that colonized half the world suddenly doesn’t want bureaucrats in a foreign country telling it what to do.

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

Britain gave up her colonies quite a long time ago. Perhaps you’ve been too busy with your fan club to notice?

Alasdair Dunford
Guest
Alasdair Dunford

Are you learning Hungarian then?

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

Why wouldn’t we? Brexit doesn’t mean we’ve turned into a paranoid ‘hermit kingdom’ like North Korea!

Jonathan Gammond
Guest
Jonathan Gammond

If only there was such enlightened thinking in Hungarian politics….

Heath
Guest
Heath

Hungarian politics is very enlightened. They place a high priority on preserving their culture and not allowing their country to be overrun by non Europeans. If only the UK was so enlightened.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

If only the U.K government and in most part, the Wales government, followed the example of the Hungarian Government, in terms of preserving the country culture and allowing the countries native people to remain the majority of the population.

Jenny Agutter fan
Guest
Jenny Agutter fan

That was literally Hitler’s modus operandi.

Alasdair Dunford
Guest
Alasdair Dunford

Admiral Horthy ( not Hitler) was Regent of Hungary during WW2. Eastern European states did not break from Communist bloc
in 80/90s only to have Western (EU!)
neo liberal policies imposed on them. A study of their histories under Ottomans or Russians or Germans would give you a better understanding of our Eastern European cousins. And really they are central Europeans as most of the east of Europe is in fact Russia, another great European power.

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

The plan’s not quite ready yet. I think the coronavirus has killed too many of the slave labourers so regrettably there are serious delays on the Panzer tank and V2 production lines. But once our Welsh stormtroopers advance back into Europe it will be a Thousand Year Reich! Heil Drakeford!

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

Those bloody non-European Americans! Always trying to influence our culture!

joseph skinner
Guest
joseph skinner

Your referring to immigration (International or specifically ‘English)?

Jenny Agutter fan
Guest
Jenny Agutter fan

Nice racism you got going there.

Jason Evans
Guest
Jason Evans

Been reading your replies to some of the comments and besides coming to the conclusion you’re a troll I’ve also realised you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
Hey stick to Twitter or Facebook

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

He has that yankee style. ie NO style.

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

I know exactly what you mean by non-Europeans! You’re talking about those damn Americans influencing every part of our culture with programmes such as “Friends” and fat greasy burger chains like McDonald’s or Burger King, those damn Yanks, always invading our culture and trying to change our identity through media. A Bane on our society.

Howard Edwards
Guest
Howard Edwards

Gan y bydd Gwledig Prydain yn ymadael â’r Undeb Ewropëaidd, syniad ardderchog yw ffurfio cysylltiadau diwylliannol rhwng Cymru a gwledig yn Ewrop. Mae Cymru’n perthyn i Ewrop.

Howard Edwards
Guest
Howard Edwards

Cywiriad – gwledydd, ac nid gwledyg !

Alasdair Dunford
Guest
Alasdair Dunford

Diolch am ei egluro.

Alasdair Dunford
Guest
Alasdair Dunford

Fel yr oedd y Sudetenland yn perthyn i’r Almaen?

Philip Davies
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Philip Davies

Mae’n bendant sicr bod diwylliant Ewrop yn bwysig i Brydain holl. Ond nid busnes y biwrocratiaid ym Mrwsel yw llywodraeth ein gwlad. Nid yw bloc yr UE gwmws yr un peth ac Ewrop. Mae rhaid cofio hynny. Ond mae’n braf iawn bod Cymru fach yn dal i gael parchusrwydd gan bob gwlad ar y Cyfandir fel cenedl ar wahân.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Welsh National expression is so much more positive than Scotland’s .
Proof positive that UK’s sovereignty doesn’t restrict our love of Europe ( the continent, the people ,not the political construct)

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

I love Scotland! The Edinburgh festival and the haggis and chips, and landscape, of Inverness!

Alasdair Dunford
Guest
Alasdair Dunford

I prefer the Netherlands with its windmills, clogs, cheese , pornography, drugs, and Dutch caps.

C Krudy
Guest
C Krudy

What about Sopron?

C Krudy
Guest
C Krudy

What about Sopron

Barrie
Guest
Barrie

Sopron is a lovely place. Stayed there once when driving back to Cardiff from a wedding in Bwdapest. Bendigedig!

Jenny Agutter fan
Guest
Jenny Agutter fan

Now let’s throw Icelandic into the mix to REALLY blow everyone’s minds!

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

treip o uda.

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

???

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

[the above ‘Cannot be edited’]

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

A ydych yn dweud ei fod yn siarad rwtsh? Mae’n ddiddorol i sylwi er mai 320,000 o bobol Gwlad yr Iâ sydd yn siarad iaith ei hunain, tra bod 550,000 ohonom ni yn siarad Cymraeg, brodorion Gwlad yr Iâ sy’n ennill y wobr, oblegid mae naw deg saith y cant ohonynt yn siarad iaith eu Gwlad, sydd wrth gwrs yn golygu mai iaith y mwyafrif bo hynny. Credaf fod llif amser yn caniatáu i ni ganmol cenedl y Llychlynwyr am lwyddo fel hyn. Mae’n sicr bod fanteision i fyw ar Ynys, fel deallodd y Derwyddon gynt yn iawn, a wnaeth… Read more »

365 Constantinople Days
Member

Lake Balaton should have been Lake Bala/Llyn Y Bala/Llyn Tegid.

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

I was thinking that, Bala ton translates to Bala Town in Old English.

Ann Moore
Guest
Ann Moore

annieyncymru@gmail.com
I would so love to see the London Tube map too!
Do you have a link please? 😊

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

Me too!

Philip Davies
Guest
Philip Davies

As the Irishman said to the Englishman who had lost his way, and was asking for directions, ‘Well, I wouldn’t be starting from here.’