Thursday, October 16, 2008

I wish I spoke Hungarian

One of the principal disadvantages of being born American is that it takes a lot of effort to be exposed to non-English languages. Especially if you grow up away from immigrant, Spanish-speaking, or otherwise bilingual populations. Which I did. And I maybe speak German acceptably. Maybe.

Which is a long way of saying I have absolutely no idea what this fellow is saying about me or anything else. I like the picture though. And it is flattering to be noticed across languages and oceans.

Anyone here speak Hungarian?


jake said...

I'm very far from fluent, but I glossed over it. the first few lines say something like, "I read an interesting bit by Nat Cole. He rights about many things, but most importantly that cartography is not science and is not art. that today's is graphic, sharing possibilities.

If I could see the map n more detail it may give me some more clues. :-) My dictionary is in the other room.

te'r= ground
ke'p= picture
te'rke'p = map
te'rke'pe'szt = mapmaking/cartgraphy

LL said...

Hi, I wrote that post some months ago in Hungarian on the Egoblog. Discussion is easier to the core readers of the Egoblog in Hungarian, they are more lazy in English :-)

I tried to summarize Your post a bit, and bring this theme to the Hungarian readers' attention. It was very interesting to me, and it generated questions in my mind: Cartographers often speak of cartography as a tradition which should be protected. But digital and web tools, and modern ontologies showed that these traditions may be not so unalterable. I am wondering that is it bad if there are maplike graphics what have no map-functions, or if there are maps what do not look like as maps at all? What are the important functions and visual characteristics of a map today? It should be accurate, actual, etc. and I think that maps must tell as much as possible to the reader.
We learned that what are the graphical characteristics of city-maps, orienteering-maps, density-maps, or maps in the press, etc. Nowadays, these maps may be different than our schemas. Cartography is not a privilege of professional cartographers anymore, because wikis, mashups, GPS-tools, satellite images on the Web help people to make and publicate their own maps, everyone can make an own map - as You wrote it. People use these maps, that is why cartographical traditions may change in short-term. I ask on that blog, wether it is bad or good? My opinion is that changes and new perspectives are necessary also in cartography.

And, yes, Térképes Egoblog means "an own blog of maps"

natcase said...

LL, thanks! I think your comment "Cartographers often speak of cartography as a tradition which should be protected" is interesting, My experience in the US is different: cartographers seldom speak of cartography as a tradition, but they do speak of the need to protect it. "Tradition" just isn't as common a word here.

So when cartographers come up against the democratizing forces you talk about, what they see is a dilution of "quality" or "professional standards" or something like that, but the idea of tradition is just not as much a part of out culture over here.

Which I think is pretty interesting. So thanks!