Der Spiegel tells us that Viktor Orbán is demonstrating that he really meant it when he laid out his populist-nationalist agenda for Hungary ("Goulash Archipelago"--oh, Spiegel, you're such as kidder). Meanwhile, from the Wall Street Journal, I learn that the Hungarian government doesn't want the folks to learn English as a "first foreign language" because it is too easy.
Boy, I can relate. I'm not a good foreign-language speaker but in Europe I am a fairly adept guesser and in Hungary, I am toast (unless I want someone to serve me gulyásh in my kocsi). But it is not just the utterly unfamiliar language, stranger than Klingon; it's the pronunciation of that strange language. The Hungarians appear to trade in vocal subtleties that are beyond anyone other than, perhaps (just guessing) the Cantonese. I recall one day in Budapest when a tourguide was trying to give us a bit of history. In a desperate and forlorn attempt to show I had done my homework, I piped up:
Or maybe it was the other way round. Would have been lost on me either way.
By the way, that language point--would it have anything to do with the fact that Viktor was an English major?