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The Ultimate Guide on How to Say Hello in Hungarian

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Whether you’re just visiting the country or you’re planning to stay a bit longer, learning how to say hello in Hungarian will definitely improve your first impression! And we at the HungarianPod101.com family believe in the power of first impressions! Did you know it’s made in less than five seconds? That’s exactly how long it takes to say a proper greeting! Don’t worry though; this How to Say Hello in Hungarian guide will definitely help you out on your journey ahead!

How to say hello in Hungarian is one of the first things that students learn when they start learning Hungarian. This most basic greeting is very important in every country and culture. The HungarianPod101 family is here to teach you how to say hello in Hungarian, along with other greetings. If you’re interested in hearing the pronunciation of hello in Hungarian, you can check out our collection at HungarianPod101.com, which includes hello in Hungarian audio!

If you’re still struggling with the confusing Hungarian letters and sounds, here you can learn the whole Hungarian alphabet in just two minutes!

In this article, you’ll learn the basic word for “hello,” in Hungarian, including how to write hello in Hungarian and the most commonly used hello in Hungarian slang.

In European cultures, people tend to pay a lot of attention to proper greetings. The amount of respect you show while greeting someone is going to tell a great deal about your manners in Hungary. And trust us, there’s no better way to charm someone than to master greetings in Hungarian! Are you up for the task?

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Table of Contents

  1. Hello in Hungarian (Formal)
  2. Informal Greetings
  3. Useful Second Thoughts
  4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Hungarian


1. Hello in Hungarian (Formal)

Handshake In An Office Environment

How you say hello in Hungarian largely depends on who you’re talking to, and where.

As we mentioned above, Hungarian can be a very formal language, especially when you have to face someone in a work environment, someone older than you, or someone in a higher rank than you. People also start with formal greetings if they don’t know each other yet. “How do I say hello in Hungarian then?” you may ask. But don’t worry; we’re revealing the secret right now!

Similarly to other European languages, the greetings will vary based on which part of the day it is. How do you say “Hello, good morning,” in Hungarian? How about “good afternoon” in Hungarian? These time-based phrases are very important ways to say hello in the Hungarian language. Here are the most common ways to say hello in Hungarian for each time of day:

  • “Good morning!” = Jó reggelt kívánok!
  • “Good day!” = Jó napot kívánok!
  • “Good evening!” = Jó estét kívánok!
  • “Good night!” = Jó éjszakát kívánok!
  • “Kiss on your hands.” = Kezét csókolom! or Kezit csókolom!
  • “Goodbye!” (Until the next time we see each other.) = Viszontlátásra! or Viszlát!

Kezét csókolom! or Kezit csókolom! is an old-fashioned way to greet older ladies in Hungarian culture. It’s a very polite, very well-mannered way of greeting someone. You should use this phrase in situations when, for example, you greet an elderly woman at the local market. It literally means “to kiss one’s hand.” For context, this old expression was used long ago when men still greeted ladies with hand-kisses. Just say this to an older lady at the local market, and she’ll grow fond of you immediately.

Did you notice the common endings of kívánok? It literally means “I wish you.” Using this is going to make you sound amazingly polite and thorough, but you can also use these expressions by skipping that part. This way, they’ll sound like this:

  • “Good morning!” = Jó reggelt!
  • “Good day!” = Jó napot!
  • “Good evening!”= Jó estét!
  • “Good night!” = Jó éjszakát! or Jó éjt!

These forms are also correct! Please note that saying “good morning” and “good night” is also very common among friends, families, or spouses, not only in official environments. Therefore, whenever you wake up and meet someone for the first time that day, say Jó reggelt! Preferably, you’ll use this phrase before four o’clock in the afternoon, although if you say “good morning” at four, it will clearly indicate that you just woke up and is therefore also correct. (But only say good morning that late to your friends, family, or spouse, otherwise people will think you’re silly.)

The same way, you can use the expressions Jó éjt! or Jó éjszakát! as the proper ways of saying goodbye at a late hour. You might consider using these phrases:

  • Whenever you say goodbye to your friends after drinking a fröccs.
  • At the end of a night-long phone call with your Hungarian significant other.
  • When you’re going to sleep with your Hungarian spouse.


2. Informal Greetings

Say Hello

Now, let’s look at how to say an informal hello in Hungarian.

Hungarians can be very friendly, and among friends, family, and lovers, you have to use the informal language. Please note that if you meet your Hungarian spouse’s family for the first time, it shows a higher manner to speak formally until they offer you to speak informally. Don’t start with a casual hello!

But if you’re just around friends (for example, at a party, get-together, or bumping into each other on the street), here’s how to say hello in Hungarian language:

  • “Hi/Hello/Bye” = Szia!
  • “Hi guys/Bye guys” [Plural] = Sziasztok!

How to say hello in Hungarian is very easy and simple when you’re doing so in an informal environment. Szia! sounds almost exactly like Seeya’, just with a silent y, so more like a See-a’. Note that the second phrase is a way to say “Hello, everyone,” in Hungarian.

This is how you say both hello and goodbye in Hungarian to your friends, schoolmates, family, and spouse. Additionally, you can use Jó reggelt! and Jó éjt! as we mentioned in the previous section.

We highly suggest that you listen to many audio lessons and videos in Hungarian to get the pronunciation right. It’s one of the most difficult aspects of the language, so we think it’s worth putting more attention into.


3. Useful Second Thoughts

Pointing at Name-Tag

And last, but not least, after you say hello in Hungarian, you also need to introduce yourself. We collected a few essentials for you to begin strengthening that great first impression you just made on the person you’re talking to. Now it’s time to move forward!

There are many ways to say “Nice to meet you!” in Hungarian:

  • Örülök, hogy megismertem!
    “I’m pleased to meet you.” [Formal]
  • Örülök, hogy megismertelek!
    “I’m pleased to meet you.” [Informal]
  • Örvendek!
    “I’m happy.” [Formal & Short.] This is commonly used.
  • Örülök!
    “I’m happy.” [Informal & Short.] This is not used commonly.

And here are the essentials for self-introductions:

  • Én [name] vagyok.
    “I am [name].”
    Én is the pronoun for “I.”
    You can use this as a way of saying “Hello, my name is,” in Hungarian.
  • Hogy hívják?
    “What’s your name?” [Formal]
  • Hogy hívnak?
    “What’s your name?” [Informal]
  • Hogy van?
    “How are you?” [Formal]
  • Hogy vagy?
    “How are you?” [Informal]

If you would like to master your introduction and go deeper into the topic, check out our self-introduction video on our YouTube channel! You can find several videos on Hungarian grammar and useful phrases, so feel free to check out other videos as well! We’ve prepared for you some two- to three-minute-long ones, as well as some that are eight hours long (so that you can listen to our lessons while you’re sleeping)! How amazing is that!

If you’re interested in learning beginner daily conversations in Hungarian, you can find a lot of materials on our website to dig deeper. We hope that you’ll master this beautiful language and share our interest in language-learning!


4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Hungarian

Open Book, Pen, Studying Woman

By now you should have a better idea of how to say hello in the Hungarian language. After all, how difficult does it seem to say hello in Hungarian?

We really hope that we intrigued you into learning Hungarian, because it’s indeed one of the most difficult yet beautiful languages in the world. If you’re looking for a unique language to learn, Hungarian is definitely your thing! If you’re moving to the country for an exchange year, it’s also very useful to get familiar with a few basic expressions. Anyway, learning the basic greeting phrases is essential in mastering any language.

Do you know how to say hello in Hungarian now? What’s the difference between greeting an old lady at the local market and saying hello to your friends at school? Don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below!

Would you like to learn more about the Hungarian language? The HungarianPod101 family is always happy to help you out! We have tons of materials in every language, so if you’ve enjoyed your first Hungarian lessons, now you’re ready to continue! If you would like to extend your vocabulary, check out the 100 core Hungarian words or this list of the 10 most common conversational phrases in Hungarian!

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