Compound names

ausermilar

Member
Portuguese
Hello everyone,

I searched for this thread, but I think that I'm proposing something new. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry.

About compound names, I'd like to know three things:

1. When does a compound name appear in a (good) dictionary? I can't find in the dictionaries (published by the Akadémiai Kiadó) words like csokiszolárium (a solarium in Érd that offers chocolate treatment for the skin!), autóbontó, autókölcsö, faelgázosító, szônyegház (a carpet shop in Budaörs), vésznyitó (in any Volán busz), kidobnivaló and many more. But I find these words written in the streets and in the net.
2. If there is a kind of "liberty" to create these words, how can we say that a text is written correctly? (the proper question is "how can a teacher correct these words!"). We all have eaten franciasalátát and have used a franciakulcs, but can we write franciapezsgô or franciatájföldrajz?
3. Length. I've been told about 21 letters as a maximum length, and the example was the OTP (orzagos takarékpénztar, 21 letters -> 2 words) while belügyminisztérium (18 letters) is just one word. Therefore, is this rule correct?

These were my doubts. Thanks for your help.
 
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hello,

    About compound names, I'd like to know three things:
    You probably mean compound nouns.

    1. When does a compound name appear in a (good) dictionary?
    When the compound is well-established and frequent enough.:)

    csokiszolárium (a solarium in Érd that offers chocolate treatment for the skin!)
    "Csokiszolárium" is just a fancy name for a tanning salon, it is not a "word" that we use. I don't think they offer chocolate treatment, the name most probably refers to chocolate-brown skin.

    autóbontó
    I agree that "autóbontó" should be included in a good dictionary.

    autókölcsö
    It's "autókölcsönző".

    faelgázosító
    I've never heard this word before, I had to check the meaning. It's a technical term.

    szônyegház
    "Szőnyegház" is a fancy name for a shop, not an actually used compound noun.

    If there is a kind of "liberty" to create these words, how can we say that a text is written correctly?
    Native speakers may disagree on whether a compound actually exists or not, whether it sounds natural or not and whether it is written correctly or not.

    Length. I've been told about 21 letters as a maximum length, and the example was the OTP (orzagos takarékpénztar, 21 letters -> 2 words) while belügyminisztérium (18 letters) is just one word. Therefore, is this rule correct?
    I've never heard about the 21-letter rule. We count syllables, not letters. If a compound noun consists of more than two elements and is longer than six syllables, it should be separated by a hyphen (labdarúgó-bajnokság). Proper names, such as place names or names of institutions do not always follow this rule.
    "Országos Takarékpénztár" is not a compound noun, it consists of an adjective and a noun.

    Good luck,
    András

    PS: Nice avatar!:)
     

    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    Thanks for your patience and corrections.

    In any case, it's fantastic that anyone can create such a compound nouns!

    And the avatar, én is minden görbe fánál állok (a nyelv miatt!)
     

    javamonkey

    Member
    English - US
    To add to András's answer, whether a compound word becomes a single one depends on how familiar it becomes over time and how people perceive it as one single thing instead of a modified noun or two seperate things loosely combined. For instance in your example franciasaláta is obvious for Hungarians to write as one word because it's a concept that's very familiar and writing francia saláta, would actually imply it is a salad from france, but that association is dubious or lost in history somewhere so now we all know what it is and it never occurs to us that it has anything to do with the country France. In contrast pezsgő has no such association so when you say francia pezsgő, you're actually saying it was made in France, and there's just no such thing as franciapezsgő. This distinction is also present in the spoken language, you don't say franciasaláta the same way you say francia pezsgő, if you did it would sound very funny. In the case of francia pezsgő you have to make sure there's a gap between the two, while if you put a gap in franciasaláta when you speak that could sound funny too. Yes you can come up with all kinds of funny compound words in Hungarian including curse words or combining animal names or curse words plus animal names plus body parts, etc. and a few of these become widespread so most people hear them but a bunch of them will just be like private jokes. That area allows you a lot of creativity but in the general language you can't just come up with new combinations. You can even call people things like malacdisznó which means something like piggypig. You just make this stuff up or use some standard ones. They often use the animals and good body parts as nicknames for kids too, like cicafül, kutyafül, nyuszifej, cicafülü, etc. Dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, even hamsters are common for calling kids, while rats, roaches, lice are for people you don't like, and calling someone some type of monkey means they're a clown. You often combine the animal with something else to make it even more interesting. Even married couples often call each other animals, it's funny but completely normal to Hungarians.
     
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