Monday, November 21, 2005


Somehow, by force of personality perhaps, I have converted Bogi to football. I suspect this is the kind of stepfatherly bequest that she may end up needing therapy to get over. Over the last few weeks she has started finding football matches on TV and inviting me to watch them with her. Since there is practically always a football match on TV in Romania at any one time this is not hard to do. However, by helping her with her selectivity we have focussed our attention on the Spanish Primera Liga mostly, while typically avoiding the Romanian league (though we do do internationals too).

Her favourite player is Ronaldinho, so we watch every Barcelona game. He is a good player to be into, partly because he’s bloody brilliant, partly because he is easy to recognise from a distance, and partly because he sees a lot of the ball so her interest doesn’t wane. Yesterday, while we were watching Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid (we were both supporting Celta, though sometimes we choose opposing teams just to spice things up), she started asking whether the team would get an “eleven”. I thought she was talking about the number of players on the team, but then finally worked out (with Erika’s help) that an eleven in Hungarian is a penalty. She also started telling me the rules – at one point someone got booked and when he saw the yellow card she excitedly told me in her Hunglish: “The red card is very very rossz” (bad). I was forced to agree. A little later she even told me that “two yellow card is making red”. I have no idea where she gets it all from – school I suppose – but it’s great. Trying to explain the offside rule to a six year old though is a challenge, especially when you have to relate to each other in pidgin versions of each other's language.

Also (and this is definitely classifiable as child abuse) she has got into helping me follow Sheffield Wednesday via the Internet, constantly checking and rechecking the scoreline on one of the websites dedicated to that purpose. The other day a couple of weeks ago, we (Wednesday) were playing Cardiff and she was insisted when she went to bed that the first thing I did in the morning would be to tell her the final score. Sadly we were hammered, so I waited until later in the day so as not to shatter her day in the way my evening had been shattered, as so many before it. Fortunately she is not quite yet so obsessive to actually remember when she wakes up that she wanted to know the score (or even to be bothered for more than 10 seconds). I'll give her about two more months.


nojer said...

Very impressive. I trust you're both suitably nervous about tonights crunch game.

Michael Furey said...

On reflection with your last post, I'm not much of a football fan (correction: I'm not a football fan), but I use to watch games just so I could get use to things like 'mögötte', 'elé', 'utána'... to track the ball and players.

It is possibly the only way to really get to grips with conjugations of these 'prepositions' in Hungarian.

The things you put yourself through to get a handle on this language!

p.s. Is it ethical to brainwash a child in that way?

Andy H said...

I wish I could watch the football with Hungarian commentary - I've always found it helped my language in the past. However, it's only able to help my Romanian here.

Anonymous said...

hey Andy if you want more Hung channels I believe you can get satellite TV fairly cheap these days. There's two major companies in Romania to choose from and they're not prohibitively expensive. Who knows? You might even get some chans from UK itself including your "football" games :)


Andy H said...

We already get 5 or 6 Hungarian channels via cable in Csikszereda. The most intriguing (linguistically, not in terms of content) is the Hallmark Channel, which, for whatever reason, shows schmaltzy American movies dubbed into Hungarian and subtitled in Romanian.

It's possible, I believe to get English football on one of the supplemental packages available with our cable provider, but since I already watch way too much football, I think it would be a mistake to fork out the extra $5 a month (or whatever) to get it. The Spanish league is more interesting anyway and my team is not in the top division in England so we wouldn't be on TV.