The Theoretical Linguistics program at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest celebrated its twentieth anniversary with this delightful video. I’m so charmed I won’t even vent about the worldview expressed in “We are the ones who make a brighter day by making theories”; they are, after all, members of the Theoretical Linguistics program. But I will explain one WTF moment by quoting a commenter at Language Log, where I found the video:

Let me clear this up: the person you see at 1:52 is indeed Miklos Torkenczy, but it’s not his voice. The singing comes from the amazing Agnes Fule (and it’s not a falsetto), who you can occasionally see in the background. This was Miklos’s wish, who wanted to share his overflowing enthusiasm with the world, but was afraid of the damage he might cause with his own voice.

Another commenter clarifies that the soprano/student’s name is Ágnes (Ági) Füle. Enjoy! (Oh, and if you’re curious about the word “Hang” in the credits at the end, it’s the Hungarian word for ‘sound,’ of unknown etymology.)


  1. This is too heartwarming, in a geeky sort of way. I know of few (actually, no) academic departments that could similarly overcome scheduling difficulties, factionalism, long-standing feuds, limited talents, and not-limited-enough-egos (!) to make such a joint declaration of faith in their scholarly efforts.

  2. Maybe they have drawn together in adversity, because funding is about to be cut back sharply. Then the computational linguist will lie down with the philologist.

Speak Your Mind