Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook

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"Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook" is a Monty Python sketch that first aired in 1970.


The sketch is set in Britain. A Hungarian enters a tobacconist's shop carrying a phrasebook and begins a dialogue with the tobacconist; he wants to buy some cigarettes but his phrasebook is poorly written and the translations of his desired phrases do not resemble in the slightest what he wants to say. Many of them are plainly bizarre and some of them are mildly sexual in nature (for example: "Do you want to come back to my place — bouncy-bouncy?"). After the customer has conveyed his desire in gestures, the tobacconist looks in the phrasebook to find a Hungarian translation for "six and six" (i.e. six shillings and sixpence); he reads out a phrase, which provokes the Hungarian to punch him in the face. A policeman, hearing the punch from a considerable distance, runs to the shop and arrests the Hungarian, who protests absurdly, "My nipples explode with delight!"

The Hungarian is apparently released, and instead the publisher of the phrasebook is taken to court, where he pleads "not guilty" to a charge of "actions tending to provoke a breach of the peace". After the prosecutor reads some samples from the book (mistranslation for "Can you direct me to the station" reads "Please fondle my buttocks"), the publisher changes his plea to "incompetence".



The 1970 version is partly filmed in London in Dunraven Road, near the football ground of Queens Park Rangers F.C..

In other Python works[edit]

In the same episode, the Hungarian character appeared in the "Spam" sketch.

The sketch also appears in And Now for Something Completely Different. In this version, another Hungarian tells someone on the street, "Please fondle my buttocks," a mistranslation of "Please direct me to the railway station." The listener then gives the Hungarian directions in English.

In other media[edit]

The phrase "my hovercraft is full of eels" is often mentioned in relation to any translation system, in particular ones which translate poorly.[citation needed] The phrase is also used as a cliche that takes the form of a character thinking they can speak a language, but whatever they try to say in that language ends up sounding nonsensical or outright rude to native speakers of the language in question.[citation needed]

The phrase "Drop your panties, Sir William; I cannot wait until lunchtime!" was spoofed in the Nintendo DS game Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations, as an outburst by a supporting character in the game's second case.[clarification needed]

The phrase "I will not buy this record, it is scratched" was used in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's Sahnoon Rog Laan Valia on his Magic Touch album.

In South Park: The Stick of Truth, the poorly translated theme song of Princess Kenny include the Japanese lyrics, "Watashi no hovercraft ni unagi aru" which literally means "there are eels in my hovercraft".

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