English whispers

Over the last few months, we’ve tried out a number of popular online games. Every second Thursday, we gather on our Discord server in the ‘Big Table’ voice channel. After a short intro round, sometimes followed by an amusing ice-breaker game, we choose something from our favorites list. Depending on the number of attendees, we play Jackbox, Taboo, Fishbowl, Codenames or skribbl.io. This Thursday we tried out a new game called Gartic Phone, which turned out to be the greatest fun ever! In short, it is the modernized online version of the well-known Chinese whispers game.

We create a room, everybody joins, then the host launches the game. In the first round, you write down a few words as a scene title to start the chain. In the second round, the computer shuffles the titles. This time you have to draw a scene based on a random player’s title. In the third round, someone else will receive your drawing and has to give a new title to it. The chain goes on until we reach the number of players.

When the writing and drawing is over, the host presents the stories on the screen. All you need to do is laugh out loud as the stories evolve from the very first title until the last drawing, filtering through everyone’s crazy imagination. Before you quit the game, you can download any of the story chains as a GIF. Scroll down (after clicking on ‘Continue reading”) to see a fine selection of our slideshows from Thursday:

Continue reading


Well, hello there. It’s been a while since we talked, so allow me to bring you up to speed and tell you the latest in TAKE FIVE matters.

Where to start… Okay, so the club has been going well. We’ve had the first two sessions of the spring season and they were great. Last time we had 20 visitors, which is quite a few, and hopefully – I daresay it seems so – we will have even more. We’ll have plenty of time to break our record of 27 people, as there are still 6 sessions left till summer. That is, of course, not to say that we put quantity over quality, and anyone who has ever been to a club session will agree that our guests make a fantastic group of people.


And speaking of our beloved guests, there are two I would like to draw special attention to. The reason for this is that being an English Conversation Club, it is humbling, flattering, and most certainly damn good fun to have two native English speakers in our midst. Ed has been attending the club long enough now to be called a regular club member, and he bears the proud title of being the first native speaker to frequent our sessions. Sylvia only discovered the club about a month ago by accident, but it would seem that she and the club are a match made in heaven. The funniest part is that she has been living opposite CDFŰ for quite a while now, neither of us knowing of the other. We look forward to having both of them at the club.


Some of these envelopes have been waiting for years to accommodate a topic – don’t let their dream die, adopt an envelope today.

Still on the topic (notice the word) of our visitors, we have a public announcement for you! As you know, TAKE FIVE topics don’t grow on trees (strangely, the TAKE FIVE tree’s fruit is bells and strange words like ‘excrescence’), and it would be a disastrous waste not to give you the opportunity to discuss the fascinating topics that interest you! So, both practical and enjoyable, WE CALL ON ALL OUR MEMBERS TO TAKE PART IN THE TOPIC-CREATING! We’re sure there are plenty of things that interest you, so share your opinions and ideas with us! If you have something in mind, do not to hesitate; just send it to one of the organisers or the TAKE FIVE page, and we’ll get right on it. You can send just a sentence and we’ll try to expand it into a topic, or we’re always happy if we receive full topic descriptions with relating questions.

Also, our newer members may not know this, but waaaay back in the day, when Zsombor was almost young, I was slightly less old, and Era was a shockingly mature teenager, there used to be a TAKE FIVE album. It was put together by our club members, and now we plan on putting together something similar. So, we ask you to think about songs you like and might play well in the background of a session, and who knows, maybe a second TAKE FIVE album won’t be a dream anymore.

But enough about us, come to the next session so that we can hear from you!

Well, this was a first

Yes, that’s right, we have had our very first Summer Session!

It truly was an international occasion: Hungarians talking in English with German precision and French elegance, and all of this in what most certainly felt like a Finnish sauna. Despite the heat and lack of oxygen, we did have a good time in the patented TAKE FIVE way; lots of laughs, an interesting topic, and a game at the end, which happened to be Taboo.

Also, even though we originally intended to put the topics in reserve for next autumn, we did use one from our topic hat, and we will continue to use them. HOWEVER, we hope it won’t be the only source of discussion-material, and we encourage all club visitors to bring topics that interest them, as we would love to talk them over.

As a feature of the Summer Sessions, we plan on getting our guests more involved in the topics, knowing from the TAKE FIVE discussions that they are fascinating individuals, bursting with ideas. So don’t be shy; send us a topic/article/thought-provoking sentence along with some questions for the others to get the ball rolling, and if all goes well, it will be featured at the next club meeting! You can send it via Facebook to the club’s page.

Clink, clink!


Only one more like and our club will have no less than one hundred online supporters. I would like to give a short online speech on this special occasion. [He clears his virtual throat.]

In the summer of 2011, I founded the TAKE FIVE club merely out of curiosity. It was an initiative resting on wobbly pillars – vague and experimental. As time passed by, a row of poorly organized meetings and the awkwardness of constant low attendance made me recognize the necessity and importance of a well-working team of managers. From the hard core of the visitors I selected a small group of people who assisted in raising the standards of the club in an exceptionally passionate and cooperative spirit. Thus, after years of persistent work, my concept has finally burst into bloom. Last week I was sitting there in the dimness of light and witnessed the club spread its wings and fly away. I would like to express my gratitude to all of my direct helpers and all of the visitors for making this possible. Thank you.

Zsombor Váczi, March 7th, 2014

Fanni has a dream


“I have a dream that one day this club will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all language learners are created equal.
I have a dream that one day under the tender lights of the FISE gallery English majors and their former students will be mixed up at our table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the A1 speakers, those eager souls, sweltering with the heat of new words and faulty grammar, will be transformed into confident and proud language users.
I have a dream that my ten little students will one day be mistaken for native speakers, be congratulated on their accent, and learn the difference between simple and progressive tenses.
I have a dream today!”

Fanni Petrák, September 24th

On English


“The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.”

Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within