Hungarian place names from a Moroccan perspective
- Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Keywords: languages, phonetic transcription, toponyms
Abstract. Hungarian, or "Magyar", is a Finno-Ugric language that is different from the other European languages. Despite existing within an Indo-European environment and experiencing some Latinization (Indo-Europeanization), it has retained its distinct characteristics. Nevertheless, it also has some linguistic features, such as a phonetic structure that carries no specific sounds that cannot be easily uttered by a French, Italian, German, or English speaker, rendering it relatively easier for speakers of some Indo-European languages. On the other hand, Morocco has a multilingual environment, with Standard Arabic and Berber (Amazigh) as official languages, along with French and dialectal Arabic. Thus, the coexistence of these languages allowed for a bilingual representation of place names; an Arabic endonym and a French exonym. Both variants hold an official status and are used in maps and road signs. Therefore, the goal of this study is to record Moroccans' pronunciation of Hungarian place names. It is worth investigating whether such Arabic speakers with French knowledge will have difficulty reading the Hungarian toponyms and what is the reasoning behind such difficulty.