Cell Block Tango

There’s a number in the musical Chicago called The Cell Block Tango. Six women are telling the stories of how and why they killed their husbands/lovers. One character, Hunyak tells her story in another language. I’d try to translate it, but I don’t even know what language it is. What she says (according to the liner notes) is:

Mit keresek, en itt? Azt mondjok, hogy a hires lakem lefogta a ferjemet en meg lecsaptam a fejet. De nem igaz, en artatlan vagyok. Nem tudom mert mondja Uncle Sam hogy en tettem. Probaltam a rendorsegen megmagyaranzi de nem ertettek meg…

Does anyone know what language this is or how I could find out? I’ve been curious about this for a good long time.

Strange, I always thought it was Italian, but that’s obviously not.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
– Henry David Thoreau


I put it into a translator (Hungarian to English) and this is how it translated:

It’s not very clear, and the parts in italics didn’t translate at all, but I guess that’s what I get for using an online translator.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
– Henry David Thoreau

OK, I found a few more words. I can sort of make out the gist of it. Of course, I still can’t figure out how she killed her husband, which is what I really wanted to know in the first place. But that’s the way it goes, I guess.

What searches, en here? That term, that the famous lakem clinches my husband en plus precipitate the his head. But it’s untrue, I innocent am. I don’t know mert term Uncle Sam that en it made it. Probaltam the rendorsegen megmagyaranzi but not ertettek plus…

Now if that doesn’t clear it up, I don’t know what does. Incidentally, jens, how did you know it was Hungarian?

It looked Hungarian to me, but then it might have been Turkish. I have seen a bit of both languages, but know only a few words of each, not enough to distinguish. So I did a web search on a bunch of the words from the message, and every hit was from *.hu. That clinched it.


And, of course, Hunyak looks and sounds a lot like the derogatory term for Hungarians that is (often but not always) spelled Hunyock.


I just want to know what “precipitating his head” means. It sounds really, really painful.

Just saw Chicago tonight. She is Hungarian, she was charged with the ax murder of her husband.