A vowel is a vowel is a vowel … right?
Well, not exactly. A vowel is only a vowel when it’s recognized as one,
and a vowel in the word ‘gyógyfürdő’, I’ve discovered, isn’t recognized as one in all places.
Below, the back-story, told backwards:
A steamy experience in Hungary is featured as ‘Monday’s Poem’ at Leaf Press:
The photo that appears with my words is the only one I took at the spa–the only snapshot the attendant permitted.
This bath is my favorite in Budapest–a city touted as ‘spa capital of the world’.
The process that accompanied publication included a linguistic snag:
The original submission was called ‘rudas gyógyfürdő, budapest’. The Hungarian word ‘gyógyfürdő’ translates into English as ‘medicinal bath’. This word–gyógyfürdő–is the one that caused the glitch.
I am working on the poem now, and am stuck on the last o in gyógyfürdő … my software (Dreamweaver) simply has no character for that. Even when I go to a website and copy the word and paste it directly in, it still turns up as a question mark.
It’s interesting that Dreamweaver understands the vowels ó and ü, but not ő.
Makes me wonder what other languages feature the first two vowels, but not the last…
An abbreviated all-English version now stands: rudas bath, budapest
This blog post is included in Edition #4 of the BluePrint blog carnival >Language>Place.
It is hosted by UK-based editor, translator, and university administrator Jean Morris.
The direct link to the carnival is here.