As long as we're talking about novels today, I figured that this fit in quite nicely.
My pal Bart Baker is a successful writer of about a dozen TV movies and several feature films. He's also recently started writing novels the past few years, which I've mentioned here, most notably Honeymoon with Harry, which I heartily recommend. Yes, I'm biased, since I edited the book, but I'm not wrong -- it has a 4-1/2 star rating out of five on Amazon, and its been optioned by the movie production company, New Line for Warner Bros. (You can get the book here. Did I say it's really good?)
Anyway, the novel has been out for a while, but for reasons unknown to me, it just got published in, of all places, Hungary. Bart sent me a copy of the Foreward, though he has no idea what it says because (aside from not speaking Hungarian) he thinks it got heavily edited. He remembers mentioning several family members -- like his father -- who he doesn't see anywhere among the words. But...I'm in there! (Which is why he sent me a copy.) What's most hilarious, however, is that I'm referred to as Robert J. Elisbergnek.
I have no idea why on earth they’d change the spelling of someone’s last name. They didn’t change “Robert.” Was Barack Obama known as "Barack Obamanek" when he visited Hungary? Perhaps so, for all I know.) But there it is -- Elisbergnek.
Making this all the more bizarre is that at the end of the first line, you can see someone mentioned, Joe Elvisnek. That ended "-nek" aside, his actual name is Joe Alway. How it became Elvis...oh, who knows?
Not understanding a word of Hungarian, Bart was not only curious how they'd edited and translated his Foreward -- but his whole book, for that matter.
And not understanding a work of Hungarian, I know no idea. But I did have a brainstorm – I used the Google Translate app on my phone and took a screenshot of the Foreward. And so I got a translation!! (I changed one thing from the results. The app didn’t have a translation for the word "Koszonom," but I found it online. So I added that in here. It means “Thank you.” And it also couldn’t find “Kulon,” but checking online that appears to mean “separately,” so I’ve fixed that line, as well. ) And to be fair, this isn’t even remotely an accurate translation, but a computer app version. So the syntax is going to be terrible. But it's pretty impressive that it does such a respectable job. While having a few chuckles in there, too.
Here’s a rough version of what Bart Baker is saying in his Hungarian Foreward --
Let me give you my family, Joe Elvis, Isaiah and Emmanuel, who are always with me and they love me, even if I do not deserve it. You are my life, safe shelter. In addition, I would love to say good-bye to my wonderful relatives and fantasy bartenders, who are not only inexhaustible inspirational sources – but I can not deny – but also the most enthusiastic supporters at the same time.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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