Sitie kiansinlai blogi!

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acb764se
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Joined: 2018-11-06, 9:29
Real Name: Sandro C
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Sitie kiansinlai blogi!

Postby acb764se » 2018-11-06, 9:38

....which language is it, and what does it mean?

The context is in chapter 16 of Olivia Manning's novel "The spoilt city" and it runs like this:

"....and [Despina] said that when a peasant, recognizing her as Hungarian, had refused to serve her, she had shouted 'Sitie kiansinlai blogi!' and overthrown his basket of tomatoes".

A search on translate.google.com could not locate this, neither as Rumanian (the novel is set in Bucharest) nor as Hungarian. It is maybe misspelt, Olivia Manning is known to have had more than a little Rumanian to her name, but no Hungarian at all.

Thanks to any expert for your help! :) :P :yep:

h34
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Re: Sitie kiansinlai blogi!

Postby h34 » 2018-11-06, 18:13

Not that I'm an expert but it looks neither Hungarian nor Romanian. My first thought was that it could be misspelt Lithuanian:

šitie kiaušiniai = these eggs (nom.pl.)
blogi = bad (nom.pl.)

Šitie kiaušiniai blogi.

So it would mean something like 'These eggs are bad' (the verb would be yra, 'is, are', but I think it can often be dropped in Lithuanian, so grammatically it should be correct). But then, according to the context you provided, it doesn't make a lot of sense. It should be tomatoes instead of eggs and Romanian or Hungarian instead of Lithuanian. :)

acb764se
Posts: 2
Joined: 2018-11-06, 9:29
Real Name: Sandro C
Gender: male

Re: Sitie kiansinlai blogi!

Postby acb764se » 2018-11-30, 12:29

Hi h34, and thanks for your answer!

Maybe some sense could be found: saying "these eggs are bad" could be a joke (tomatoes are red, so if these are eggs, they are really VERY very rotten, and I destroy them!". Not much convincing, I know.

One hypothesis: Manning wanted a joke in Hungarian, based on the peasant taking Despina as such. She could not write one herself, so she asked some friend -asserting to know Hungarian!- to translate this joke for her. The friend wrote the mess that is now in the book.

Fascinating, the Balkans..... living crucible of languages and people forever presuming and (mis-)understanding each other all the time!


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