S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com UU Partner Church Program Page keywords = Unitarian Universalis Partner Church Program Committee Erdely Transylvania Muttontown Plandome Shelter Rock Huntington Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fellowship MUUF church denomination district UUA Metro religio philosoph histor

Updated:   18 Nov 2013, 12:15  ET (17:40 in Erdély; +7 hours ahead)
[original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/uupcp.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/uupcp.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I am scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


UU Partner Church Program Page



in Erdély (Transylvania)

See also SB,III's UNITARIAN page.

Page Index



Pronunciation of Magyar (Hungarian).

Romanian Accent Marks.


U. S. ASCII Characters.

Magyar-Angol Book Source.


The Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Program is administered by the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council.   added (01 Oct 2013)

Partner Ch Council Banner
The banner of the Partner Church Council (provenance lost)

[newer image now (10 Feb 00) courtesy of the Magyarországi Unitárius Egyház
(The Hungarian Unitarian Church)]

This emblem, the "Címer", popular in Hungarian and Transylvanian Unitarian churches and the device of Unitarian denominations in both areas, depicts a dove encircled by a serpent - "Be as peaceful as the dove and as cunning as the serpent", and often bears, or is accompanied by, the motto

Egy az Isten

("Edge uzh Eesh'ten")

[God is One]

as in this image:

(Paint image courtesy of the Petrozsény Unitarian Church)

A hand-carved wooden plaque bearing the "címer" image hangs on the wall of the Worship Room at the Muttontown UU Fellowship on Long Island, NY, and appears on their Webpage; it was presented to Muttontown by their (then) Transylvanian partner church, Bordos.   rev (01 Oct 2013)

The church in Brasso (Brasov) has this beautiful stained-glass window (provenance lost):

Brasso window

[For your convenience, I have added a place name cross-reference
and a pronunciation guide.]

Rev. Eric M. Cherry, minister of the UU's of Southeast Iowa (in Burlington) and of Kolosvár, Erdély (and Director of the of the UUA’s International Office). has put up some wonderful photos of Erdély and the Unitarian churches and their people and environs at
  rev (01 Oct 2013)
they are really worth looking at!  Here, just for example, is the pulpit of the First Unitarian Church in Kolozsvár; it is almost unearthily beautiful and note especially the gorgeous embroidery on the pulpit; this handwork is typical of Hungarian and Transylvanian Unitarian churches:

[Photo by E. M. Cherry]

Unitarian History in Erdély

The roots of Unitarianism in Erdély ("err'-day", Magyar for "edge of the forest", Transylvania - "across the forest" - in English, Siebenbürgen (or, variously, Siebengebirge) - "Seven Mountains" - in German), in Romania, go way back to the Reformation, when Erdély was an independent principality and religious ferment was at its peak.

Dávid Ferenc (Francis David) started it all back in the 16th Century in Transylvania.

Dávid Ferenc
[Francis David, a drawing by prof. dr. László Gyula
from "Dávid Ferenc és az Unitárius Vallás" ("David Ferencz and
the Unitarian Religion") by Varga Béla, Hungary in 1979
(image courtesy of the Petrozsény Unitarian Church).]

In a nutshell, Francis David was an orthodox Roman Catholic priest who became infected with the tide of Protestant reform sweeping across Europe in the 16th Century.  He converted to the Lutheran church and then tried Calvinism but soon found he could not continue in trinitarian ways and, on 20 January 1566, gave his first unitarian sermon at Koloszvár.  His fervent preaching so impressed the ruler of Transylvania, "King" Zsigismund János (John Sigmund) that he (the ruler) converted to the new faith and even (especially), between 6-13 January 1568, issued the great Edict of Torda at the Diet of Torda, which proclaimed religious freedom and tolerance to everybody.  The English translation of the text follows:

"In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel, each according to his understanding of it, and if their congregation like it, well; if not, no one shall compel them, for their soul would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve.  Therefore none of the superintendents or others shall annoy or abuse the preachers on account of their religion, according to the previous constitutions, allow any to be imprisoned or punished by removal from his post on account of his teachings, for Faith is the gift of God; this comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God."

This marked the beginning of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania.

Dávid Ferenc declaring his theory of tolerance to the Diet of Torda.
(Public Domain image - substituted 01 Oct 2013;
click on picture for much-higher-resolution image)

After the Diet of Torda, the ruler extended legal recognition to the Unitarian Church, the only time this has ever occurred.  John Sigismund died in 1571 and with him the free practice of Unitarianism in Transylvania.  Francis David was then accused of "religious innovation", convicted, and thrown in the dungeon of Deva Castle, where he died on or about 15 November 1579.  However, the Unitarian people of Erdély kept their faith alive through all these centuries and it has spread all over the world.

In August 1999, UUs from our River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda, Maryland (from whose report this is taken), visited the pretty Unitarian church in Torda, which is undergoing renovation.  The stone on which David Ferenc stood on his return to Kolozsvar from Torda, which originally was near one of the nine gates in the now-destroyed city wall, is in the foyer of the church in Kolozsvar.  They had heard that he stood on this stone to give the sermon which "converted" the city.  The Reverend Balint told them that David stood on the stone to announce, "We won!" (the decree on tolerance).  River Road ended their report with "Isten adjon!" ("God's blessings!").

Erdély has always been Magyar (Hungarian-speaking) and was transferred to Romania by the League of Nations after World War I without any ethnic or cultural basis in fact.  During the brutal Ceaucescu régime, the Magyar Transylvanian minority was subjected to a deliberate policy amounting to genocide, with the Magyar tongue forbidden, entire villages razed, and the population evicted; the Unitarians fared even worse, with many churches expropriated and the seminary in Kolosvár closed.  Even after the dictator's overthrow in December 1989, repression continued.  Shortly afterward, our denomination sent a delegation, led by then-UUA President William F. Schulz, to Romania to intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters there.  Some improvement followed, but most grudgingly.  Church properties have been returned and the seminary reopened.  There have been ugly incidents since, however; one church was badly damaged when workmen erecting a tall building next door deliberately dropped concrete blocks through the roof.  Even as late as Sep 2013, the official Romanian government Web site for its Embassy here still doesn't even acknowledge Magyar as a minority language - "Official language: Romanian (a neo-Latin language of the Romance languages family)"; at least it USED to add: "although commonly spoken languages include French and English", even though Transylvania amounts to almost the entire northwest third of the country!.   rev (01 Oct 2013)


The first UU Web site in Erdély was established (ca. 01 Jan 99) by Léta Sándor, minister of the Petrozsény Unitarian Church ("Petrosani" in Romanian), located in the southern part of Transylvania in the southern Carpathians in the Jiu valley, surrounded by the Paring and Retezat mountains.

From the UU Commission on Appraisal report of June 1997, "Interdependence: Renewing Congregational Polity ":

"The oldest Unitarian organization in existence is also the most complex.  In the region bounded by Catholic Hungary to the west, Protestant portions of Bohemia and Poland to the north, Ottoman Muslims on the east and Orthodox Greeks and Slavs to the northeast and south, Transylvania gave rise to a Unitarian polity more akin to Lutheranism and Presbyterianism than congregationalism."

More good news - I found my copies of "400 Years", the history of Francis David and John Sigismund put out by the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (undated but probably ca.1985) and "Frances David - What Has Endured of His Life and Work?", written by Dr. Béla Varga, translated by the late Rev. Vilma Szantho Harrington, published by the Magyar Unitárius Egyház (Hungarian Unitarian Church) in Budapest, 1981, under the authority of the late Bishop József Ferencz and printed under the direction of the Rev. Ilona Szent-Iványi (now Orbok, the first woman Unitarian minister in Hungary).  I will excerpt these and add the history on this page.

The tiny Muttontown Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of which I (SB,III) was a member, was partnered with the almost-as-tiny church in Bordos (pronounced BORRR'-dosh - roll that "R"!) in Erdély (Bordos w/ ogonekiu in Romanian).  The minister when we first partnered was Kovács Sándor (Alexander Kovacs); we became fast friends and I had the pleasure of hosting him on one of his visits to the U.S. and of greeting him at the 2001 General Assembly in Cleveland.  That alone is one of the greatest rewards for American UUs; the friendships formed.  The new minister of the Bordos Church is now the Rev. who, like his predecessors, is also assigned to Magyarzsakod and Bordos, and, possibly, even Gyulakuta and Havadto!

The Bordos congregation was headed by Mr. Bernád András (Andrew Bernard), and we understand that his son is now their President.

Bordos is in the Maros district (Judetul Mures in Romanian) in north-central Romania [which is south-eastern Transylvania (Erdély)], southwest of Marosvásárhely (Tirgu Mures, along the Maros River), high up in the mountains on a dirt road half-way between there and Segesvár (Sisgisoara).  As Bernád-bácsi wrote us back in 1992, "Sovata {Magyar Szovata, a town about 30 miles north-northeast of Bordos, up on the crest of the Carpathians} it is a border; in Sovata it is the begining the land of Tirnava Mica and in Sovata it is the end of the Reformation - beyond of Sovata begin the Land of Ciuc (Czik) and the Land of Gheorgheni (Gyergyó) and in these lands there are only catolics {sic}; here {meaning to the East} didn't penetrate the Reformation."

I will explain more about this wonderful program of the Unitarian Universalist Association that links the churches in Transylvania with partner UUA churches in North America and the Partner Church Council which administers the program (with links).   rev (01 Oct 2013)

Pronunciation of Magyar (Hungarian)

[This is from a WordPerfect 6.0 document (for use with a Laser Printer) last updated 22 Mar 1995, based on a guide prepared for me by my late Hungarian-born mother (who was an accomplished professional linguist as a young woman) in November 1993.]

Technical Details:

Because most people can not yet access ISO 8859 characters, how DOES one write "Erdo w/ double aigueszentgyörgy"# properly [the first "o" should have a double acute accent mark (as far as I know) over it]?  The ISO 8859-7 D5 and F5 and DB and FB ("O" and "o" and "U" and "u" with double acute accent marks) don't work, at least not yet.

How are we supposed to render the Magyar double-acute accent mark, ", ISO 8859-1, "dblac" (˝ - written in HTML as "& dblac ;"), above a vowel, or the ogonek below or the hachek above Romanian letters?  I have explored ISO 8859-2, Latin-2, but don't know how to implement it (or that anyone out there can read it).

[Ref.:  Roman Czyborra's ISO 8859 Character Sets List from the Web Design Group's site.]

To get us by here, I created a graphic "o" and a "u" with double acute accents and the Romanian "a" with an ogonek and "s" with a hachek.

I am using the IBM extended character set for the single acute marks, Alt 160 for á ("a" with an acute accent), Alt 130 for é ("e"), etc., and Alt 148 for ö ("o" with an umlaut (diaresis), Alt 129 for ü ("u"), Alt 135 for ç ("c" with a cédille), Alt 140 for î ("i" with a cirmcumflex), etc.

Here then is a preliminary set which you can copy off if you wish:

    o w/ double aigue ,  and u w/ double aigue , and  a w/ hachek , and s w/ ogonek ,

as well as capitals:  O w/ double aigue ,  and U w/ double aigue , and A w/ hachek , and S w/ ogonek .

Ooops! - back to the drawing board - but you get the idea {I hope}!

By sizing (and placing) them appropriately, you can insert them in your text; however, how does one get rid of an unwanted background rectangle on a graphic (or add the desired one)?

For that matter, how does one change background color in midstream?

30 Dec 1999 - WOW! - I found an O with a bar over it in the source code of a Web page which showed up on my screen as O w/ double aigue !  I'll work on this and advise.  For the moment, let's try "& Otilde ;" => "Õ" and "& otilde ;" => "õ".  Hey, they work (at least on Netscape) as long as they aren't bigger!  As BOLD characters, they also have double acutes:  "& Otilde ;" => "Õ" and "& otilde ;" => "õ".

  What about making them bigger?

    "& Otilde ;" => "Õ" and "& otilde ;" => "õ"
    or bold "& Otilde ;" => "Õ" and "& otilde ;" => "õ"

    "& Otilde ;" => "Õ"
    and "& otilde ;" => "õ"
    or bold "& Otilde ;" => "Õ"
    and "& otilde ;" => "õ"
  Clearly tildes!

  If anyone knows what this is all about, please let me know.

See U. S. ASCII Characters, below, for an easy way out.

Now, to the Pronunciation, itself:

Magyar (Hungarian) only uses three special accent or diacritical marks - a single acute (aigue), a double acute (aigue), and a double dot (diaresis/umlaut):

A  - a low sound, somewhat like in "dumb", "glum" (short sound)
Á  - like "mob", "rob", "car" (long sound)
B  - "bread", "butter", "bring"
C  - like "pizza", "tsar"
Cs - "champion", "child"
D  - "den", "dog", "dribble
E  - "fed", "head", "best" (short)
É  - "table", "shape" (long)
F  - "fang", "felon", "friend"
G  - "give", "grant"
Gy - no comparable English sound; perhaps "Nadia", "Magyar"
    {Not so!  Try "adjust!} - (added 25 Nov 99)
H  - "hair", "have
I  - no comparable English sound(?); "literature", "Istvan",
    "Istenem" (short)
Í  - "he", "bee", "leave" (long)
J  - "year", "yellow", "high"
K  - "keg", "Kaltenborn" {wow, that dates it!}
L  - "long", "lost"
Ly - sound similar to Hungarian "J" in "high"
M  - "man", "mystery
N  - "name", "nor"
Ny - "lanyard", Russian "nyet", French "magnifique", "denier",

Italian "lasagna"
O  - "horse", "moss" (short)
Ó  - "wrote", "quote" (long)
Ö  - "earth", "urn" (short)
O w/ double aigue  - "fur", "burn" (long)
P  - {omitted; suggest:} "Peter", "put"
Q  - not used in Hungarian
R  - a sharp, hard sound, vibrating from behind the tip of the tongue
against the inside front of the upper palate
S  - "sh", "short", "sham", "shrank"
Sz - "s", "sin", "sample", "sink"
T  - "tin", "tank", "turn"
Ty - no comparable English; nearest: "Matthias", "Mátyásföld"
U  - "put", "foot" (short)
Ú  - "lute", "moot" (long)
Ü  - no English equivalent; French "u" - "du" (short)
U w/ double aigue  - no English equivalent; French "sud", "lune" (long)
V  - "victor", "van"
W  - not a Hungarian letter.  In foreign words, it is pronounced "V"
X  - called "iksz", like in "mix";
    no Hungarian use except in mathematics
Y  - called "ipszilon"; used only in combination with consonants
    or in mathematics
Z  - "zest", "zinc"
Zs - "genre", "Zsuzsi", "azure" {or "measure" - SB,III
    - it's my pleasure!}   added (16 Dec 2010)

The above was formulated for me some 20 years ago by my late Budapest-born mother.


a w/ hachek ("a" with a hachek), as in Str. Dra w/ hachekg a w/ hacheklina, street in Kluj-napoca (Kolosvár).

s w/ ogonek ("s" with an ogonek), as in Tîrgu Mures w/ ogonek or Medias w/ ogonek (Marosvásárhely and Medgyes, place names).

AHA!  The Romanian S and s with little hooks under them do NOT have an ogonek nor either cedilles nor commas underneath but rather a character derived from an ancient cedille; however, in ordinary usage, a comma is the closest substitute and is represented in HTML coding by "& # x 0218 ;" (Ș) and "& # x 0218 ;" (ș) - thus:

    ("ș" with a comma), as in Tîrgu Mureș or Mediaș (Marosvásárhely and Medgyes, place names).   new (18 May 2011)

Place Names in Érdely

PLACE NAMES IN ERDÉLY (TRANSYLVANIA) - Romanian vs. Magyar (Hungarian)


Alba Iulia 			Gyulafehérvár
Arma w/ hacheks w/ ogonekeni			      Czíkmenaság
Baiu Mare 			Nagybánya
Ba w/ hachekla w/ hachekus w/ ogonekeri			     Balavásár
Blaj 				Balázsfalva
Bordos w/ ogonekiu			       Bordos

Careii Mari 			Nagykároly
Cluj-Napoca 			Kolozsvár

Fîntînele 			Gyulakuta

Gogan 				Gógánváralja

Jacodu 				Magyarzsákod

Leliceni 			Csikszentlélek
Lipova 				Lippa

Ma w/ hachekna w/ hachekstirea		      Szentbenedek
Medias w/ ogonek 			       Medgyes

Nades w/ ogonek			       Szásznádas

Oradea 				Nagyvárad

Petrosani			Petrozsény

Salas w/ ogonekuri			       Székelyszállás
Satu Mare 			Szatmár
Sebes w/ ogonek Alba		       Szászsebes
Sighet 			  	Szeged {?}
Sighisoara 			Segesvár
Sîngeorgiu de Padure 		Erdo w/ double aigueszentgyörgy#
Sovata 				Szováta
Sumuleu 			Czíksomlyó

Teius w/ ogonek			       Tövis
Timis w/ ogonekoara		       Temesvár
Tîrgu Mures w/ ogonek		       Marosvásárhely
Turda 				Torda

Vetça 				Székelyvécke

Prepared by S. Berliner, III (22 March 1995), with the assistance of Rev. Kovács Sándor, then of Magyarszákod (in the Maros district of Erdély) [Jacodu (Transylvania), jud. Mures w/ ogonek, Romania] and corrected 26 Feb 99 by Rev. Léta Sándor of Petrozsény (Petrosani).

Revised for Web:  26 Feb 1999 AND 14 Nov 2008

{# - although the list has now been checked, the accenting of Erdo w/ double aigueszentgyörgy has still to be resolved.}


Since our Erdélyi friends mostly use Magyar or European keyboards, it may help to know what their unfortunate American coreligionists use; the U. S. ASCII Keyboard reads as shown on my Language page (both this page and my Computer page are almost full).

However, selecting from it those of use for Magyar (after checking them via e-mail):

Alt 160 = á, Alt 130 = é, Alt 161 = í, Alt 162 = ó, Alt 163 = ú,
Alt 132 = ä, Alt 137 = ë, Alt 139 = ď, Alt 148 = ö, Alt 129 = ü,
 (none)    , Alt 144 = É,  (none)    ,  (none)    ,  (none)    ,
Alt 142 = Ä,  (none)    ,  (none)    , Alt 153 = Ö, Alt 154 = Ü.
{more to follow}

All you do is hold down one of the "Alt" keys and press the number pad keys for the numbers shown (do NOT use the numbers on the top line of the keyboard!) and then let go of the "Alt" key.  It even seems to work on e-mail.  For the "o" or "u" with a double acute accent (aigue), I suggest we use an [o] followed by a quotation mark ["] thusly: o", until someone more knowledgeable explains a better way.

I found "& # 337 ;" on the Starr King School for the Ministry site; let's see - Lőrinczi.  Hey, it works (at least on my Windows 7 computer)!   new (26 Dec 2010)

Magyar-Angol Book Source

For those who wish to buy Magyar or English books here for shipment to Erdély (or to use here to learn Magyar), I used to use Püski-Corvin in NYC, but they went out of business, so I suggested contacting Lajos Huszti (Huszti Lájos, owner) at his then-newly-opened (Sep 2000) shop,

    Blue Danube Gifts
    225 East 83rd Street
    New York, New York  10028
    Tel. & FAX:  212-794-7099

    e-mail:  blue-danube@hungary.com

    http://www.blue-danube.com/ (Magyar)
    http://www.blue-danube.com/eng/index.html (Angol)

[Unfortunately, Blue Danube does NOT ship books directly to Erdély;
you'll have to ship them yourselves.]

Even MORE UNFORTUNATELY, as of 18 Nov 2013, Huszti and Blue Danube seem to have vanished without a trace!  If anyone has information, please advise.   new (18 Nov 2013)

Years back, I bought (and have since packed and mislaid) an Angol-Magyar Kéziszótár (Országh László and Magay Tamás) and companion Magyar-Angol volume from Akadémia Kiadó via Püski-Corvin for only $28.00.  They are identical to the much-more-expensive set from the Oxford University Press.  I also sent an English grammar and English learning book by Szenczi (then $10.00) to Bordos.

I finally found my smaller útiszótár, Angol-Magyar U'tiszótár Magyar-Angol, also by Magay Tamás (with Mentlné Láng Ilona, Rátz Otto, Skripecz Sándor, and Végh Béla), Akadémia Kiadó, Budapest, 1990, ISBN 963 05 5720 7.  It's not quite pocket size, measuring 4" x 5.5" x 1.75" (10cm x 14cm x 4cm), but it's easy to keep to hand.

There is a Magyar-Angol dictionary online at Sztaki.  Travlang also has foreign language tutors (including Magyar) at Languages and dictionaries at Dictionaries, plus others.

There is virtual travel to Erdély at HipCat or at Szekely.

We now also have the benefit of Google's excellent on-line Google Translate program; which allows direct translation of words (and short phrases) from English to Hungarian and v/v.   added (01 Oct 2013)

I remain, in faith, hope, and love,
baráti szeretettel,
S. Berliner, III
[Greeting courtesy of Rev. Léta Sándor - I like it.]


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag


THUMBS UP!  -  Support your local police, fire, and emergency personnel!

Contact S. Berliner, III

(Junk and unsigned e-mail and blind telephone messages will NOT be answered)

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013  - all rights reserved.

Return to Top of Page