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He's A Very Patient Fellow

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Waiting Is The Watchword:

He’s A Very Patient Fellow

By Dave Grey

All his life, Andras Balint has had to wait—let years pass patiently by until he could make the next step in his career as an educator and a student of languages.

After graduation from secondary school in Budapest, Hungary, in 1940, he had to wait five, years until World War II was over to start his university education. He spent much of his time either as a printer’s apprentice or in labor camps.

After resuming his studies and going abroad to England, he had to wait two years upon his return to Budapest in 1949 to get a teaching job; his citizenship had been taken away by the Communists while he was out of the country.

He then had to wait seven years during which time he worked primarily as a college instructor and later as managing editor of a Hungarian-English dictionary.

Waited Again

After volunteering his services to be the English-speaking voice for Free Radio Kossuth of Budapest during the revolution last year, he had to be patient once again in waiting to come to this country.

Now at exactly age 35 (today’s his birthday), Balint is waiting for a government order that will change the parole status of himself and 25,000 other Hungarian refugees to that of permanent resident. Along with this hope is that his mother, his only living close relative, will someday be able to join him in this country.

Balint, who lives in a single room at 1428 Washington Hgts., is currently working on his master’s degree at the University's English Language Institute. An all-A student this past summer session, he holds the position of teaching fellow here.

His wide variety of experiences and stories about himself are full of human interest and hardship. They also show a man with a firm ambition.

Of almost all of his experiences in Hungary, he must still remain silent because of his mother. But much of his background as an educator is a story itself.

Speaks Three Tongues

He speaks three languages with considerable ease —Hungarian, English and German— has done teaching in Italian, has had eight years of Latin study, and uses French in his work.

He recently had printed in Austria, under the sponsorship of the International Rescue Service, an English grammar book for Hungarians.

He is currently working on a modern Hungarian-English dictionary based on American English rather than on British. He hopes it will have approximately 100,000 entries and 100,000 phrases and colloquialisms.

He will get his master’s degree this spring and is looking forward to the day when he may be able to get a doctorate and maybe teach English as a foreign language.

Financial problems at present center greatly around his appeal for a foundation grant to help pay for his dictionary research, which he does in his spare time.

The problem of acquiring permanent residence in the United States is a key to his future. “All the world is waiting to see what America will do with the many Hungarians who have come to this country after the revolution,” he reflects.

But until the time that his status is determined, Andras Balint must again continue to wait patiently.

HUNGARIAN TEACHER, STUDENT: Andras Balint’s current step toward his much-delayed goal of learning the English language now finds him working for a master’s degree at the University’s English Language Institute.