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language list

euskara {basque}
magyar {hungarian}
nederlands/vlaams {dutch}

other links : i ii iii

Can you translate the next 300 words into Hindi, or Korean?; if so, please contact me and there will be rejoicing.

2002 Q1 & Q2

April 30th; My American Spectator article is up.

April 29th; Nigel says SARS is a C disease. Here's his handy Gulf security lexicon.
With Jim & Gordon, I meet a different Robin. Alex introduces me to delightful Vesna and Olivera, both from Novi Sad.
April 28th; For whoever came asking how to translate pineapple into other languages, it is 'ananas' in s e v e r a l languages.

April 27th; I went to the gym. Goodness.
April 26th; Abundant food, drink, and company at Steve's birthday party he & pregnant Noemi hold, but I feel morose and leave early.

April 25th; After dark, genial Gordon introduces me to Wayne, a writer & photographer who studied Hungarian in London.
Earlier, a kind woman directs me to some brisk cosmetics chicks in the metro underpass. I buy a darling set of nail scissors and clippers in a little clear pouch for 450 forints, priced at less than a fifth of Eine Deutsche NailScissor in brushed matt steel from Douglas upstairs in the shopping centre. Out on Ferdinand Bridge across the railway tracks, I took the pack out and in long yellow early-evening sunlight I very carefully clipped and filed the precious 1/8" of nail on my left fingers, the ones not bitten down to the quick like my right.
April 24th; Checking e-mail in the late-night Internet cellar bar, I spend the small hours of Thursday staring into a PC trying to ignore jolly pool-players & a bar television tuned to a football match. At around 2am, the last drinking customer left gets bored and switches the TV to a local porn channel. A cross-looking man is shafting a reasonably svelte brunette in white thong. She moans at polite intervals. It opens in close-up and the 3 of us, proprietor, patron and I, watch for about a minute in thoughtful silence. Then the camera shows the brunette's face, and customer remarks in mild surprise that he knows the girl. He tells us which bar she drinks at, but the weary Internet-kocsma proprietor is not sure where that bar is. The customer gives directions.

April 23rd; Last twinge of shoulder pain as I wake up. Busy day. While teaching Kristina, her mother Marina pops in, looking particularly swish in a striking gold top with stylish gold and red slacks. Marina and I chat briefly about Lenin's deal with the Okhrana, and Andropov's role in helping his protege Gorbachev to power. Once she is out of the room, exasperated young Kristina cries out in her almost-American accent "That was SO boring!!" Her mother immediately shouts back in English from the stairs outside "It's not boring, Kristina, it's the history of your country!"
Later, in the Pot Kulcs bar, Colleen tells me that she has 500 teapots.
April 22nd; Driving with Robin into Kecskemet, we meet Zsolt, a ceramic artist, at his studio, and eat and drink until I must catch the last train. Where I meet Colleen, an old colleague of Marion. Two students in our dimly-lit carriage quietly watch American television on a laptop balanced on their knees as the postal night train takes us north through Hungary.

April 21st; Seems this man, Sina Motallebi has just been arrested in Iran for keeping a weblog. Via samizdata and Hossein Derakhshan.
Jeremy cooks a wonderful lamb lunch and we all sit around in the shade.
April 20th; Kristos Anesti! Happy Easter Sunday, renewal is here once again. Thanks to Greek friends Giannoulis, Szuni at Vista, and John's dad. Yesterday, Letty, 91/2, volunteered a suggestion on how I can get a girlfriend. "You should dye your hair perhaps blue or red, and then you could go to a disco and meet girls there." Such clarity of thought. More motorbiking down rutted tracks of soft, powdery dust between sunlit fields. Shoulder still dodgy.

April 19th; Last night Jeremy and Robin picked me up from Lakitelek in the Russian bike with sidecar. We motor about in the dark. After a lot of sleep, the shoulder hurts less but still feels very weak. In car to Szentes with Gyorgyi and 3 children, including a vigorously naughty Bela. Jeremy achieves some kind of breakthrough fixing the 1968 motorbike he describes as "a bit of a noiser". The puszta is flat, windy and has reeds and bullrushes stretching for miles in every direction.
April 18th; Woke up in pain - my left shoulder hurts all day as if I damaged it in my sleep. Gorgeous sunshine.

April 17th; Wonderful dinner at Jim and Julia's with Gordon, Diane and friends. I drink far too much wine.
April 16th; Another day doing local-currency stuff.

April 15th; Intense, melatonin-fuelled dreams continue.
April 14th; Robin is still in town. He and Istvan reintroduce me to Goran, who gives me some delicious cod he battered earlier. A possible impulse trip to Belgrade tomorrow briefly captures our imaginations.

April 13th; Morning coffee with David and visiting poet Antony. Pineapple milkshake with Diane in brilliant sunshine. Later a Tarot reading from Elysia while Tamas plays background guitar in his yellow cardigan and rustles up a quick supper. I draw the Hermit and the Priestess three times in succession. Later at Kultiplex with Jim and friends. Hungarian avant-garde artists have the look down to perfection {stubbly, tired - wearing loose, unzipped, retro sports wear in muddy browns & greys, with the occasional stripe of washed-out blue or faded acid green} but aren't very good at the actual art. We retire to Castro's, where Bill, a graph theorist, kindly works out the odds for me of drawing the same two cards in 3 separate draws {7, 5, 5} from a 22-card pack, the Major Arcana. It's not that unlikely, around 1 in 18 - since any two of the first 7 could have been the pair occurring again in the 2nd draw.
April 12th; I give Esther back her phone. I go to Jeff's play finally, to hear my own recorded voice acting a reclusive art collector down a phone line. Jeff seems cheery. Gordon, Diane and Jim introduce me to sparky Victoria and cheery Bill at Szimpla. Victoria & her husband are both architects. Then the Spare Key, less smoky than usual. I bump into A. My back is fine now.

April 11th; By day, Kristina's father, a wary, muscular man who makes holographic security tags in Ukraine, gives me a lift. Eszter mentions her parents' website.
By night, a slightly odd meeting of writers' group, belatedly guided to hospitable Gabor's flat by instructions from Elysia. {For professional reasons Tamas needed to be at an alternative venue helping bike chicks in zip-up leather outfits.} Gabor shows me a couple of the waterbeds he sells. Waterbeds wobble when you punch them. Scott shows us humorous Vietnamese spaceman animation videos he wrote scripts for, and later Scott & I go on to Adrian's party with Anna from Russia and Jelena from Serbia. This is after Esther leaves her mobile phone behind, phones it up and finds me. The cocaine-sniffers sniffily note how much filth young Hungarians on alcohol and nicotine spread round a flat that isn't theirs.
April 10th; Affable Gordon cooks dinner for myself and alert Diane from Glasgow, plying us with gin, coffee and wine. I drone on for probably three hours straight.

April 9th; Robin and I explore Jeremy's excellent garage on Filler utca, and Jeremy shows us his 50s photo magazines, German technicians' calendar & Christopher Robin hats. The real Robin gives me a white-line painting, which immediately makes my place look alarmingly wide awake. Feel worrying urge to tidy.
April 8th; When exactly did Elysia and Esther come round and cook and drink gin in my kitchen last week? My back feels much much better, anyway. Work more on article. Event at the Ludwig {Old news footage + Serbian folk record relates death of a Kennedy} with Istvan and Robin.

April 7th; Worried by my backpain postings, kindly Rob recommends me his physio, and points to a twin-primes {...(17 19), (29 31)...} 'breakthrough' story. I don't want to be ignorantly unappreciative of these men's painstaking work, but where's the punchline? Are there infinitely many prime pairs or not? Are clearcut proofs hopeless now? Oh, and still hurts, but much better thanks.
Morfablog links to a fine clickable map test.
April 6th; The back muscles at least hurt less than last night, when I flopped around like a fish for a 1/2 hour, unable to get off the floor because every position hurt too much. All day walked and sat very upright, like a Victorian being photographed.

April 5th; Excellent. Now I have a vivid backache. Finally have found a true kindred spirit. "I was thirsty and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water."
April 4th; Still have headcold. Whole day pitching to v a r i o u s US journals.

April 3rd; Exhausted after teaching & rushing all day yesterday. Met Bob, who had found a Hungarian anti-European Union poster.
April 2nd; They weren't joking. I come up with something very scruffy while nipping around at school and elsewhere. Long day.

April 1st; The headcold digs in and shows stubborn resistance. I'm alarmed to learn the deadline for that Swedish business-plan competition is within hours.
March 31st; Dinner with Bob. I contact Weekly Standard.


Mark Griffith, site administrator / contact@otherlanguages.org

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