there is no life outside Hungary

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ilocas2

Banned
Czech
Hello, I read in an old Czech textbook of geography that there is a nationalistic phrase that there is no life outside Hungary. Is it true? How is it in Hungarian? Thanks
 
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  • Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    I think there are several references, expressions about the same idea but the word "nationalistic" is a bit double edged here and difficult to know what it exactly refers to.

    The "neutral" expression (or simple translation) of "there is no life outside Hungary" would be "nincs élet Magyarországon kívül" but this is not a term I would recognize as widely used or a concept that could be said without any irony. There is no general concept I know of that indicates that other places can't compare to Hungary's merits.
    On the contrary, I'd say we'd rather think that even if life could be much better elsewhere and no matter how unfortunate your life may be in Hungary, this is our home and we should appreciate it for that. (This is the "nationalism" or patriotism you would find in quite a lot of literary references.)

    Your term may refer to one of these: one of our well known poems (also called "our second national anthem" see Wikipedia here), entitled Szózat (written by Mihály Vörösmarty, a great Hungarian poet of the 19th C), has some lines that I could imagine your book referred to.
    It addresses Hungarians about the importance of being "faithful to their country" but that was in the 1830s an era when nationalism was rising in Europe everywhere and it had a positive meaning.

    It is the second stanza that may interest us in particular (and this every Hungarian would recognize). I give the literal translation suggested by wiki:
    A nagy világon e kívűl In the great world outside of here
    Nincsen számodra hely; There is no place for you
    Áldjon vagy verjen sors keze: May fortune's hand bless or beat you
    Itt élned, halnod kell. Here you must live and die!
     

    ilocas2

    Banned
    Czech
    Thank you, I must confess that I somewhat didn't mention exact informations. I just wanted to make some discussion about this topic and I didn't know how to begin. In fact it's a Latin phrase, here is how it is in that book: "Extra Hungariam non est vita, et si est vita, non est ita", I thought that there is a Hungarian version of it, because I assumed that if this phrase is used nowadays it's in Hungarian. It would be weird if some nationalists used Latin phrases. Maybe it was used long time ago. I could use Google but I just wanted to make some discussion. I should rather start to study Hungarian and make some linguistic threads.
     

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I have never heard of anything like this either. It must have fallen out of use with the disappearance of Latin.

    I searched for this phrase on the Internet and the literal translation seems to be:

    Magyarországon kívül nincs élet; (és) ha van élet, az nem olyan.
    (There is no life outside of Hungary; and if there is life, it's not like (* as good as) [the life in Hungary].)


    The only reliable source I found is from Zsigmond Móricz, a Hungarian author, who used the phrase in its paraphrased Hungarian form:

    A fiatalok másképen látnak. A fiatalok már idegen iskolákban nőttek fel, olyan nyelven tanulták a tudományokat, amelyen szüleik ma sem értenek, nekik tehát szükségszerűen egy új magyarságot kellett kitermelniök magukból. Egy szociálisabb és kultúráltabb magyarságot. Európaibb magyarságot. Ők már semmit sem tudnak az extra Hungariam jelszaváról. Ők már nem mondják, hogy Magyarországon kívül nincsen élet s ha van élet, az nem élet.
    The youngsters see things differently. Our youth was raised in foreign schools, learning subjects in a language that their parents don't speak even today. Therefore, they necessarily had to grow a new type of Hungarian out of themselves. A more social and cultured Hungarian. A more European Hungarian. They know nothing about the motto of extra Hungariam. They no longer say that there is no life outside of Hungary, or that if there is life, it's no life.

    However, this is definitely not a phrase I or anyone else I know would know or associate with Hungarian nationalism.
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I agree with both Zsanna and SReynolds.

    For curiosity, this phrase was used in 1918 on a reunion of the Slovak Nation Party by Andrej Hinka, one of the most important Slovak public activists in Czechoslovakia before the Second World War:

    Za tento krátky čas nám násilnícki Česi spôsobili viac trápenia, ako Maďari za tisíc rokov. Teraz vieme, že Extra Hungariam non est vita (mimo Uhorska niet pre nás života). Pamätajte si tieto slová, čas ukáže ich správnosť!

    In English (my ad hoc translation):
    During this short period the tyrannical Czechs caused us more suffering than the Hungarians in thousand years. Now we know that Extra Hungariam non est vita (there's no life for us [i.e. Slovaks] outside Hungary). Remember these words, the time will show their rightness!.

     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    There is a 49 page analysis by Andor Tarnai about the Latin sentence (only in Hungarian, unfortunately) originating from the Italian Coelius Rhodiginus (15-16th C), saying that in Hungary it was largely unknown but it was mainly picked up by the German and Slovakian intelligentia (between 1690 and 1770) in their expression of their patriotism of the time (p.48).
    This may explain why we (Hungarians) seem to be as ignorant about the saying itself (I have heard the Latin version but nothing more).

    It is interesting, however, that on another web site (here) the author seems to recognize a similar idea in the poem I mentioned above - although probably for another reason...

    In any case, the saying seems to have a long and very interesting history just in itself but it would be out of the scope of this forum to describe all that.
     

    vortalwombat

    New Member
    Hungarian
    This is an old proverb from the 17th century and it's not nationalistic in the modern sense and it's not in use in Hungary.

    It reflected the main goal of the Hungarian nobles of the 17th and 18th century: to uphold the status quo, no matter what happens abroad.

    After both the Treaty of Vienna in 1606 and Rakóczi's War of Independence in 1711 the Hungarian nobility reached a compromise with the Royal Court in Vienna (In Hungary the Habsburgs ruled as the King of Hungary as Hungary was not part of the HRE, hence the Royal title). Those compromises meant that the King respected the rights of the Hungarian nation (which meant only the nobility, so a Hungarian peasant was not part of the Hungarian nation back then, while an ethnically Slovak nobleman of the Hungarian Kingdom was considered Hungarian) and the autonomy of the counties, guaranteed the religious freedom and respected the unwritten constitution (Golden Bull of 1222, Tripartitum etc).

    Between 1606 and 1686 and from 1711 to the 1830s the Royal court respected these agreements and the Hungarian nobility "withdraw" to the counties. They sent their representatives to the feudal parliaments, voted the military budgets, etc. but otherwise they acted almost like the Hobbits in LOTR. If they had a foreigner visitor, that was a rarity and they wasn't interested in foreign ideas, like Enlightment and such.

    In the 18th century the counties of Hungary was acted almost like 50+ small, separate countries (for example they stopped chasing bandits on the county borders) and they really didn't care what happens elsewhere in the country. And if that elsewhere was not even in the country...
    This noble paradise was ended when the French Army beat the "Hungarian Insurgent Nobles" (that meant the rural landlords on horses as they tried to defeat the professional army of Bonaparte) badly in the Battle of Győr in 1809. That defeat, which forced King Francis to sign the Treaty of Schönbrunn with Napoleon showed that the Hungarian nobility couldn't defend the country. When the war ended in 1815, the grain prices began to decline, which destroyed the financial basis of this golden life. In 1825 the young, romantic aristocrat, Count István Széchenyi started to ask questions about the state of Hungary and liberalism became the new mainstream ideology of the nobility and the Hungarian elite until 1918.
     

    franknagy

    Senior Member
    I agree with both Zsanna and SReynolds.

    For curiosity, this phrase was used in 1918 on a reunion of the Slovak Nation Party by Andrej Hinka, one of the most important Slovak public activists in Czechoslovakia before the Second World War:

    Za tento krátky čas nám násilnícki Česi spôsobili viac trápenia, ako Maďari za tisíc rokov. Teraz vieme, že Extra Hungariam non est vita (mimo Uhorska niet pre nás života). Pamätajte si tieto slová, čas ukáže ich správnosť!

    In English (my ad hoc translation):
    During this short period the tyrannical Czechs caused us more suffering than the Hungarians in thousand years. Now we know that Extra Hungariam non est vita (there's no life for us [i.e. Slovaks] outside Hungary). Remember these words, the time will show their rightness!.
    I have heard that the Germanic troops "deliberating" Hungary from the Turks caused more devastation and depopulation during 15 years (1684-1699) than the Turks had made from 1526 until 1684.
     
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