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Hungarian Minefield Marker

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Uploaded this morning to CMMODS:


The signs in the top row are being used for anti-personnel, the signs on the bottom are for anti-tank and daisy chain.

The wood is derived from Ed Kinney, the unweathered red and white sign base from Andrew T. Fox. Many thanks to Steve Banyai for correcting my non-idiomatic Magyar.

This represents my best guess as to what a Hungarian minefield marker would have looked like. Anyone with better information is invited to get in touch with me (where is Bardosy when you need him?). The red and white markers are probably best used when the Hungarians are on the defense stationed near German units. The plain wooden markers can be used when they're attacking.

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I was hoping you would notice this sooner or later. Now that I have your attention, what's the most idiomatic way of going about this? I've used "Danger ! Mines !" and "Mines !" to show the distinction between anti-personnel and tank mines in several of the other languages. Should it be "landmine" in the singular, or would it be "landmines" or "mines" in military hungarian? Is "mines" better than "landmines"? And is the phrase on the first side appropriate? (Does it work, for example, if the mines are buried in a forest as opposed to a field -- and would you see something like that written on a sign, and if not, what would you see and what would it mean)?

I really want to get this right, and your help would be appreciated.

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There is no such thing as "Landmine" in Hungarian, in the way as you tried to translate it, by separating it into "Land" and "Mine".

Anti tank mine is "Harckocsi akna" plural is "Harckocsi aknák".

APM (which you could mean by landmine) is "Taposó akna" or "Gyalogsági akna" the plural would be "Taposó aknák" and "Gyalogsági aknák".

But wait until Bardosy clarifies this. smile.gif

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I've mentioned this in other threads, but I just want to clarify that I believe the textual distinction between anti-tank and anti-personnel mines is largely modern and a bit anachronistic. We're sensitive to the distinction because of the game and because of the International Convention to Ban Landmines, but in most languages in the forties the signs would mark the presence or absence of mines, and possibly the location referred to (e.g. "Verges Mined"). Since any signs in CM need to be one-size-fits-all, what is needed is textual variations on mines, and the user will have to keep track of the distinction.

One more comment about the colors. I've made two versions of the sign using red-white-red danger bands according to a convention that I am under the impression was in use in the German army. I have no idea if this is what the Hungarians used, but am speculating that it might have been appropriate (because the Hungarians used to run the Austrian army, which was similar in some ways to the Germans, and also because they would be in the line near German troops -- and yes, I know that's quite a stretch). If there is some evidence (any evidence) that they used something else, I'll be happy to go with it. What I don't want to use, however, is anything that looks like the modern symbology. The current iconographic vocabulary for marking minefields seems to date from the sixties and seventies, and I'm not going to saddle any national army in the forties with a skull and crossbones inside an inverted red triangle. I suspect that the minefield marker, as used in-game, didn't really exist as a standard, formal object back then, and that conventions for marking minefields probably varied from place to place. I've spent a certain amount of time trying to interview WW II veterans about this subject, and am always surprised by what turns up (or doesn't). Lots of stories about fear of mines, memories from the forties astonishingly clear and vivid after sixty years, but better recollections of how safe paths through minefields were marked than how the minefields themselves were identified [\end rant].

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If you want create an authentic WWII, Hungarian minefield sign, I think the following:

1., In the WWII the Hungarian didn't uniformize the signs. They used what they have: eg. a wood table. There was no uniform signes or color. If I draw a sign for CM, I use a wood texture and write (with handwrite) white letters: AKNAMEZŐ (minefield) or VIGYÁZZ AKNA (warning: mine).

2., But in the CM there is three type of mindefield (anti-tank, anti-personel and daisy-chain). I don't know how in the hungarian (military langiage) call the daisy-chain. But the other two is above (in Szedrencs's post).

I think you right the calling anti-tank minde is not authentic WWII. And this case the Hungarian used the pure: AKNA (mine) or AKNAMEZŐ (minefild) word. (I think they avoid from the prular, because it's longer and they wrote this words by hand, not with mask). But in the CM there is two type (tank, personel) and I think it's a good (or better) use "harckocsi akna" and "taposó akna".

3., Your Hungarian friend translate the landmines very strange (mirror translate), because the hungarian never (not now and not in the WWII) didn't use "szárazföldi akna". It means like "not-navy mine" in English. Do you understand?

But I'll alarm the Hungarian CM-fan community to this topic and I hope they can advise better solution.

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My present inclination is to go with AKNAMEZŐ and VIGYÁZZ AKNA. I really don't want to use a word that implies anti-tank or anti-personnel.

What, by the way, is the difference between vigyazz and vigyazat? And is vigyazat! akna unmilitary hungarian ? (In other words I would really like the sign that uses the term minefield to have more text in it, because I prefer to have wordier anti-personnel signs).

Out of curiosity, how many numbers are there in Magyar, and which one tends to get used for the collective? The reason I ask is that I notice that both you and my non-military friend seem reluctant to use a plural for a collective. This is interesting, because Indo-European languages originally had more than two numbers (e.g. singular, plural, dual, collective). Ancient Greek retained the dual in about half a dozen words (the dual is what you would use if you were to translate a phrase like "a brace of pistols" into a highly inflected language), and in Latin neuter plurals are commonly treated as collective singulars (i.e. contrary to the normal rules of syntax, a subject in the plural governing a verb in the singular). I suspect that even odder things happen in Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish, since they retained a lot of the quirky details of the original grammar. So I'm guessing that Magyar uses something that looks like the singular for collectives, and that's why you want to say "Mine!" instead of "Mines!". And since Magyar isn't related to the Indo-European language family, you could tell me just about anything and I would believe it.

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Thanks to update your version! It's great!

But take care: the last letter in "aknamező" is very strange! Not ö, but ő. It's mean the german (and some more language) use ö. But ő is used only in Hungarian. I think you can't write it in your Windows (regional settings), but you can draw it to the BMP! Draw two commas over the o and not dots!

There is no different between VIGYÁZZ and VIGYÁZAT (or I don't know).

In Hungarian there is no dual and collective, only plural and singular: AKNÁK and AKNA, but AKNÁK is very strange in a sign. I think AKNA is the best, because (I'm not sure) AKNA is the shorter version of AKNAMEZŐ (you know: mindefield). And the soldiers wanted use the place (for sign) better: they wanted draw big letters for better visibiality. (for this reason I suggest you: use bolder letters for the sign)

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I am currently considering four versions of the marker:


The sign is written in chalk. The sign with the longer text is for anti-personnel mines.


The text for the sign is painted on freehand (not really!).


The text is painted on with a stencil.


The text is painted on with a different stencil.

Too many choices...

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The stencil has the bold already turned off, unfortunately. I played around with it a bit and this may be a little better.


I like the stencil concept because it is visually different from what gets used in the other nationalities, and because of that photograph of a Hungarian trench. By the way, what exactly is written on that sign? I'm assuming that it is something like beware of snipers in the woods surrounding our position...

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