Balázs

Rainbowlight

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello,

I am truly sorry for not speaking Hungarian.

I have a quite simple question concerning the pronunciation of Hungarian surname Balázs.

Would anyone be so kind as to tell me what its proper/approximate pronunciation is in either in English or Spanish?

Also, does the word have a meaning in Hungarian?

Thank you so very much for your attention,

Rainbow
 
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hello,

    I am truly sorry for not speaking Hungarian.
    You shouldn't be sorry. It's perfectly normal not to be able to speak Hungarian. :)

    Using IPA symbols, the pronunciation of 'Balázs' is /ˈbɒlaːʒ/.

    Don't let the accent mark confuse you: it doesn't indicate word stress as in Spanish. The stress is on the first syllable.

    'a' is a short vowel that sounds like the 'o' in the British pronunciation of 'Bob', 'top', 'lot', 'rock', etc.
    'á' is a long vowel which is like Spanish 'a' but longer
    'zs' is a digraph for a sound like French or Portuguese 'j' or in the English word 'treasure'

    The name 'Balázs' doesn't have a meaning in Hungarian. It comes from the Greek-Latin name Blasius (Blaise in French and English).
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you so very much for your help. : )

    I have just one more question, though. Surely there is a Hungarian word that is somehow related to Balázs? I fail to believe that a surname can come out of the blue, as so many of them indicate professions, personality traits and so on. What do you think of it?

    Oh, and thanks again. : )
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Surely there is a Hungarian word that is somehow related to Balázs?
    I'm pretty sure there isn't. :)

    I fail to believe that a surname can come out of the blue, as so many of them indicate professions, personality traits and so on.
    No, it didn't come out of the blue, it came from the first name Balázs, which is a lot more common than the surname.
     

    Torontal

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Balázs is originally a personal name, as a surname it was most likely originally a patronymic, i.e. the family had an ancestor whose personal name was Balázs.
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I'm pretty sure there isn't. :)


    No, it didn't come out of the blue, it came from the first name Balázs, which is a lot more common than the surname.
    Just one more last question: Are you sure that the word carries the stress on the first syllable? That is, "Bá-lazs". It is somehow difficult to understand why there is an acute accent on the second syllable. Isn't it supposed to mark the stress when placed on a vowel? What sense does it make to place the accent on the first "a", then?

    Thank you, thank, thank you in advance for your patience and your help. : )
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Are you sure that the word carries the stress on the first syllable?
    Yes. In Hungarian, every word is stressed on the first syllable.

    It is somehow difficult to understand why there is an acute accent on the second syllable.
    As I said, the acute accent mark doesn't indicate word stress.

    Isn't it supposed to mark the stress when placed on a vowel?
    No. The accent mark indicates vowel length.

    What sense does it make to place the accent on the first "a", then?
    This is how Hungarian works.
     
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    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Yes. In Hungarian, every word is stressed on the first syllable.


    As I said, the acute accent mark doesn't indicate word stress.


    No. The accent mark indicates vowel length.


    This is how Hungarian works.
    Yes. In Hungarian, every word is stressed on the first syllable.


    As I said, the acute accent mark doesn't indicate word stress.


    No. The accent mark indicates vowel length.


    This is how Hungarian works.
    Thank you! :)
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello Raibowlight,

    The accents differentiate the vowels according to their length of pronunciation normally in Hungarian (i/í, o/ó, etc.) but in the case of a and á it is special: here the accent indicates a different vowel altogether. A is not the "short version" of á. (To some extent it is the case of e and é as well.)

    For the pronunciation: the a does not have an equivalent in English but English native speakers can get "away with" (i.e. without Hungarian native speakers noticing) pronouncing it as an /o/ (as it has already been mentioned), meanwhile á is very much like the u in sun or even the a in far (depending on whether it is pronounced short or long).

    P.S. As for your question whether there is any word to which Balázs can be related to: in fact, there is (balázsolás or balázsjárás) but the other way round as you expected (when you thought it was a surname). It is the first name Balázs that is used as a root for these words. They indicate a folk custom of schoolchildren going around telling little poems and collecting donations. This was (is?) always done on 3rd February, the name day for all the Balázs.
     
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    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hello Raibowlight,

    The accents differentiate the vowels according to their length of pronunciation normally in Hungarian (i/í, o/ó, etc.) but in the case of a and á it is special: here the accent indicates a different vowel altogether. A is not the "short version" of á. (To some extent it is the case of e and é as well.)

    The a does not have an equivalent in English but English native speakers can get "away with" (i.e. without Hungarian native speakers noticing) pronouncing it as an /o/ (as it has already been mentioned), meanwhile á is very much like the u in sun or even the a in far (depending on whether it is pronounced short or long).

    P.S. As for your question whether there is any word to which Balázs can be related to: in fact, there is (balázsolás or balázsjárás) but the other way round as you expected (when you thought it was a surname). It is the first name Balázs that is used as a root for these words. They indicate a folk custom of schoolchildren going around telling little poems and collecting donations. This was (is?) always done on 3rd February, the name day for all the Balázs.
    Thank you so very much! I'm so glad I'll be able to pronounce this word correctly from now on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    You are welcome. :)
    You can also listen to the pronunciation of the name here (by several native speakers). (Click on the triangles to listen to the different speakers.)
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I have just one more question, though. Surely there is a Hungarian word that is somehow related to Balázs? I fail to believe that a surname can come out of the blue, as so many of them indicate professions, personality traits and so on. What do you think of it?

    Oh, and thanks again. : )
    Are you sure Balazs was used as a surname? It is usually a first name. I've never known or heard of anyone with the surname Balazs. Where did you see/hear it? Did you know that Hungarians put the surname in front of the first name which would explain why you thought it was a surname.
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I've never known or heard of anyone with the surname Balazs.
    Are you sure?:eek:
    There's Balázs Fecó (musician), Balázs Péter (actor), Balázs Béla (writer) and many others.

    Actually, these surnames that are identical to first names are quite common, especially in eastern Hungary and Transylvania.
    Just think of the Székely national hero Gábor Áron.
    I personally know people with the surnames Zoltán, Sándor, László, Péter and Imre.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Actually, these surnames that are identical to first names are quite common, especially in eastern Hungary and Transylvania.
    Not only, they exist in all languages I know something about, including Spanish. I don't know how frequent they are in various languages, but they surely do exist.
    I have just one more question, though. Surely there is a Hungarian word that is somehow related to Balázs?
    As it has been already said, there is no such Hungarian word. The reason is simple: the Hungarian first name (or Christian name) Balázs is not of Hungarian origin. Most probably it comes from the Latin Blasius. The Spanish equivalent is Blas. (French Blaise, Italian Biagio, etc ...)
     
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    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Are you sure Balazs was used as a surname? It is usually a first name. I've never known or heard of anyone with the surname Balazs. Where did you see/hear it? Did you know that Hungarians put the surname in front of the first name which would explain why you thought it was a surname.
    The full name of the person in question is André Balazs, an American-born businessman and hotelier of Hungarian origin. His father, who was born in Hungary, also bore the same surname.

    I really don't know why he changed the order of his name and surname, in case that is what actually happened. Perhaps he did so in order to accommodate to US society rules?

    In any, case, the use of "André" as a surname strikes me as odd. Is "André" a Hungarian surname?

     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I really don't know why he changed the order of his name and surname, in case that is what actually happened. Perhaps he did so in order to accommodate to US society rules?
    In Hungarian, the surname comes first. It's an unusual feature, so when Hungarians move abroad, they change the order to avoid confusion. In my post #15, I used Hungarian name order because I was replying to a Hungarian.:)

    In any, case, the use of "André" as a surname strikes me as odd. Is "André" a Hungarian surname?
    No, "André" is his first name, in "US" order.
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    In Hungarian, the surname comes first. It's an unusual feature, so when Hungarians move abroad, they change the order to avoid confusion. In my post #15, I used Hungarian name order because I was replying to a Hungarian.:)


    No, "André" is his first name, in "US" order.
    I have one more question. I checked all the Forvo pronunciations by native speakers of Hungarian and all of them pronounced Balázs with a clear stress on the last syllable. In Spain, it would be written (and pronounced) "Bo-lásh", as opposed to "Bó-lash", which would be an example of a word with a stress on the first syllable.

    Pronunciaciones encontradas para Balázs (desde Dzsudzsák Balázs hasta Péter Balázs)

    I have read some past messages in which you stated that all words in Hungarian are stressed in the first syllable. However, this runs counter to the many words I've heard pronounced in Forvo. Could you please enlighten me on this issue?

    Thank you so much.

    : )
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I checked all the Forvo pronunciations by native speakers of Hungarian and all of them pronounced Balázs with a clear stress on the last syllable.
    It's the different phonology of your native language that influences your perception.;)
    No native Hungarian speaker will pronounce "Balázs" with the stress on the second syllable. You think you hear a stressed vowel because it is long. However, vowel length and stress have no correlation in Hungarian. It's pitch and volume that matters.
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Yes, I confirm what AndrasBP wrote. The misleading "feature" here is the length of the second vowel (= á) especially as opposed to the short first vowel (= a). ;)
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    It's the different phonology of your native language that influences your perception.;)
    No native Hungarian speaker will pronounce "Balázs" with the stress on the second syllable. You think you hear a stressed vowel because it is long. However, vowel length and stress have no correlation in Hungarian. It's pitch and volume that matters.
    Thanks again for the aclaration. : )
     
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