Of European descent

Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 19:42

A colleague of mine at Facultad de Ingeniería pointed me to a note published in the Faculty's gazette about a short cycle of talks we had on April 4th, trying to get life and interest back in the once-active LIDSOL (Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo en Software Libre, Free Software Research and Development Laboratory), which nowadays lies mostly dormant.

Good thing the official communication channels got notice of this! Only I am not sure if they can properly produce Spanish (as this feels more like an English redaction). Quoting only the first lines of the paragraph that referes to me:

La última conferencia fue presentada por Gunnar Wolf, que aunque su nombre nos hiciera pensar en una nacionalidad europea, él es nacido en tierras mexicanas pero con descendencias húngaras, austriacas y polacas.

Which translates to:

The last talk was presented by Gunnar Wolf, that although he has a name that makes us think about an European nationality, he was born in Mexican soil, but with Hungarian, Austriac and Polish descent.

As far as I can tell (and I am almost sure I know all of the story — At least on that regard), I have no descent yet. Not Hungarian, Austriac, Polish, nor of any nationality.

(nitpickers: Yes, similar words are often used. In Spanish, it would be correct to say de ascendencia húngara, austriaca y polaca, and in my attempt towards English translation, it would be of Hungarian, Austriac and Polish descent).

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Andreas Tille's picture

Wolf is clearly German

Hi Gunnar,
I do not have an idea how the posters conclude to Hungarian or Polish. But in German Wolf is "Canis lupus":
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf
Besides this Gunnar is as far as I know of Scandinavian origin and it is not an uncommon name in Germany (at least I know two or three German Gunnars). So Austrian may be possible as well.
While I do not think that the conclusion to the descents can be simply based on the name I frequently enjoyed friends of mine with the puzzle to guess what nationality my good friend Gunnar Wolf might have. :-)
See you, Andreas.

gwolf's picture

Ok, fuller story follows ;-)

My grandfather, Martin Wolf, was born in something that should be written close to Felszoviso, in Transylvania (the portion of Hungary that is present day Romania). I met him his sisters and some of the cousins, and they talked Hungarian at home. I understand his grandfather was Austrian, but moved to Hungary (while it was a single empire, although with clear internal boundaries) as a woodcutter. The Austrian part of my family is my grandmother (Greta Bogner, married to Martin Wolf). They met in Mexico in the late 1920s.
The other two grandparents, Boris Iszaevich and Raquel Fajerstein, were both Polish, but also met in Mexico (or was it on the ship that brought them? I don't remember), also in the late 1920s.
As of today, I know I have some family left in Europe (Graz and Prague), although I have no relation with them.
And about my name: No, "Gunnar" was an inner joke between my father and my mother, while he was doing his postdoc in Gothemburg, Sweden.

Anonymous's picture

I think the native English

I think the native English phrasing would be "of X descent", not "with X descent".

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