Wednesday, April 6, 2016
E is for Mekk Elek
Mekk Elek, az ezermester (Elek Mekk, master of all trades) is a 13-episode stop motion puppet show that originally aired in 1974. In addition to featuring freakishly adorable puppets, it is also linguistic genius, courtesy of Romhányi József, one of the greatest punster-poets of Hungarian history.
The language of the show is twofold: One, Mekk Elek, the Goat, speaks mostly in eszperente, a language game that only features the vowel "e", which make him sounds like he is actually bleating. In addition, pretty much all animals talk with words that make them sound like the animal sounds they originally make. For example, Hungarian goats say "mekk, mekk" - which is not only Elek's family name, but also eszperente. Pigs say "röf, röf" so their lines are written with a lot of words with "ö" in them, etc. If you watch the opening 7-minute episode, you can hear a little bit from all of them.
(We all know people like that)
His "genius" means solving problems in unconventional ways - in the first episode, for example, he is asked to make taller chairs for the Sheep family's little kids (ha!), and instead he saws off the legs of their table - while the family is dining. When the Pig family asks for a new sty, he makes the roof first, and makes the family hold it up while he builds the walls - and accidentally walls himself in with no window or door...
(Thinking outside the box is not always a win.)
I was not surprised that I couldn't find an English version - it would be incredibly hard to translate this show. But you can take a look at it (most of it is very much understandable without the words) on YouTube here.