Translating Family Names in Hungarian: A Diachronic Survey

Tamás Farkas, Mariann Slíz


In our paper we focus on the translating practice and translatability of surnames used in Hungarian, from the problems of translating the immediate predecessors of surnames to the questions of translating surnames today. Our main interest is in how multilingualism, language contact situations, language prestige considerations, customs, fashion and other potential factors affect the use of these names in different languages, and the translatability in a wider sense in the actual practice in Hungary and other countries. We shall look at name translation practice in medieval documents, the relevant questions of spontaneous and conscious surname changes, the changes of Hungarian surnames used outside of Hungary, and finally the questions of translating surnames occurring in fiction.


history of Hungarian family names; translation of personal names; name assimilation; name changes in Hungary; fictional names

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