Yoda – the semi-cuddly, lizardly Jedi Master of the Star Wars series, is famous for his wisdom, delivered in his own peculiar speech pattern, which has been dubbed ‘Yodaese’ by his more avid fans. There are Internet forums dedicated to speculating on the origins of Yoda’s unique syntax. Amateur linguists have taken his speech apart, studied it, and deemed it a valid language unto itself. There is even a nifty little Yoda speech generator for those with time to waste. But the word on the street in Hungary is that Yoda actually uses Hungarian syntax translated into English. If the story is to be taken as truth, it goes like this: George Lucas (Lukas?) wanted to give Yoda a more exotic sound to his speech, so he had a Hungarian technician working on The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars II) set translate Yoda’s lines into Hungarian, then back into English, retaining the Hungarian syntax. Thus “I will go” becomes “Go, I will” with the stress of the important information coming at the beginning of the sentence, as it does in Hungarian.
Here are some examples of Yodaese:
“If into the security recordings you go, only pain you will find.”
“Confer on you, the level of Jedi Knight, the Council does.”
“Good relations with the Wookies, I have.”
The theory seems to hold up, though the use of suffixes and prefixes in an agglutinative language like Hungarian makes such strict translations difficult, and therefore, makes the theory difficult to prove. If you have any information as to whether or not Yoda actually speaks in Hungarian syntax, or if this is just another urban legend, please comment. Until you prove us wrong, believe we will.
In the meantime, enjoy a snippet of Yoda, in all his little green, Hungarian wisdom.
PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.