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Learn the Most Practical Hungarian Phone Call Phrases

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Remember the time your mom handed you the phone, telling you to order the pizza yourself if you wanted it so much? You were shaking so badly that you ended up just eating leftovers from the fridge that night… 

For some, speaking on the phone can be challenging or even frightening. During a phone conversation, we cannot see the other person’s facial expressions or other body language cues that we normally rely on for effective communication. 

Now imagine trying to talk on the phone in a foreign language! 

As a language learner, you’ll benefit from learning Hungarian phone call phrases for different situations. Knowing the essential phrases and expressions by heart will allow you to speak on the phone with more confidence. You’ll be able to go over the conversation in your head (and in Hungarian!) as many times as you need to before picking up the phone.

In this article, we’ve compiled the most useful Hungarian phrases for a phone call and categorized them according to the normal progression of a phone conversation. If you feel like something is missing, however, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments. We’d be glad to help!

A Girl in a Blue Checkered Shirt Smiling and Speaking on the Phone

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Saying Who You Are
  3. Stating the Reason for the Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Leaving a Message
  7. Asking for Clarification
  8. Ending the Phone Call
  9. Sample Phone Conversations
  10. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Reach Your Hungarian Learning Goals

1. Picking up the Phone

To start, how should you answer the phone in Hungarian? 

Most phone calls begin with a friendly greeting, so here are a couple of different ways you can greet the caller when picking up the phone: 

Haló?
“Hello?”

Tessék? / Igen?
“Yeah?” / “Yes?”

You can use these next three phone phrases in Hungarian whether you’re the caller or the receiver: 

Szia!
“Hi!”

Jónapot!
“Hello!” (Literally: “Good day.”)

Mondd!
“Tell me.”

That last phrase works kind of like “shoot” in English, like when you’re encouraging someone to say something. 

2. Saying Who You Are

When you make a call in Hungarian, it’s expected that you introduce yourself to the other person. 

Your introduction should include your name at the very least. If you’re making a formal or business call, you should also include the name of your company. 

Here are some common phone phrases in Hungarian for introducing yourself: 

Péter vagyok.
“I’m Peter.”

Péter beszél.
“This is Peter speaking.”

You could use that second phrase when making or receiving a call, though it’s most commonly used when answering a call from an unknown number.

Péter vagyok a HungarianPod101-től.
“I’m Peter from HungarianPod101.”

Note the Hungarian suffix used in the phrase above: -től. The suffix you attach to a word will depend on the vowels the word contains. When you’re calling from a company, the suffix will either be -tól or -től.


Someone Dialing a Phone Number on Their Work Phone

3. Stating the Reason for the Call

Once you’ve greeted the receiver and stated who you are (and possibly the name of your company), you should brief them regarding the subject of your call. 

A simple “Yo, what’s up with you?” (Na, mizu veled?) might suffice for a casual chat with one of your friends, but most other situations will require that you know some formal Hungarian phone phrases. Below, you’ll find some neutral phrases that you can adapt for either context. 

Azért hívom / hívlak, hogy (a lakásról) kérdezzek.
“I’m calling to ask you (about the apartment).”

You would use hívom in formal contexts and hívlak in casual contexts. Again, watch the suffixes (-ról and -ről).

Azért hívom / hívlak, hogy megerősítsem (az időpontot).
“I’m calling to confirm (the appointment).”

Here, we’re confirming a date or appointment. In both English and Hungarian, the noun is in the accusative case; in Hungarian, this means adding the suffix -ot / -et / -öt.

Szeretnék a menedzserrel / vezetővel beszélni (a kiszolgálásról).
“I’d like to speak to the manager (about the service).”

Ha minden igaz, volt Öntől / tőled egy nem fogadott hívásom. Ezért hívom / hívlak.
“If I’m not mistaken, I have an unreceived call from you. That’s why I’m calling now.”

Öntől is the formal version of “from you,” and tőled is the informal version.

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

This step will come in handy when you’re calling an office or company, as the person who picks up may not be who you’re looking for. You might also need to ask if a friend is home should you call them on their landline. Most of these Hungarian phone phrases can be used in both formal and informal contexts. 

Szeretnék Katával beszélni.
“I’d like to speak to Kate.”

Beszélhetnék Katával?
“May I speak to Kate?”

Kata ott van?
“Is Kate there?”

Keep in mind that the phrase ott van is much too casual for use in business calls or other formal situations. Only use it when calling friends or family members. 

Oda tudná / tudnád adni Katának a telefont?
“Could you put Kate on the phone?”

This is another informal phrase, though using the tudná (Ön) conjugation makes it a bit more formal.

A Blond Secretary Wearing Glasses Is Speaking on the Phone in an Office

5. Asking Someone to Wait

We’ve all been there. Where, you ask? Talking on the phone with our friend, only to be interrupted when our parents barge in to tell us the least important thing ever that apparently could not have waited. 

Well, there are a million other reasons why you might have to ask someone to wait a little bit. Here are some useful Hungarian phone call phrases you can use in these situations: 

Csak egy pillanat, megnézem.
“Just a moment, I’ll check.”

Tartaná egy percig, kérem?
“Would you hold for a minute, please?”

Below is a very formal phrase you should save for business contexts (avoid using it with friends or family unless you want to joke around): 

Hadd irányítsam át egy kollégámhoz! Kérem, maradjon vonalban!
“Let me direct you to one of my colleagues. Stay on the line, please.”

This next phone phrase, on the other hand, is quite informal. Refrain from using it with business partners.

Várj csak egy kicsit!
“Just wait a bit.”

6. Leaving a Message

Although it can happen in friendlier atmospheres, you’ll most likely have to leave a message when making a formal/business call. For instance, perhaps the person you’re trying to reach is unavailable, but their assistant would be happy to take a message. (Or maybe you’re the assistant offering to take a message for your boss.) 

In either case, we have just the perfect Hungarian phone call phrases for you. (Mind the formal / informal conjugations of words.)

Most nem tud a telefonhoz jönni. Szeretne / szeretnél neki üzenetet hagyni?
“S/he can’t come to the phone right now. Would you like to leave a message?”

Milyen üzenetet szeretne / szeretnél hagyni?
“What message would you like to leave?”

Hagyhatok üzenetet?
“Can I leave a message?”

Megmondaná / megmondanád neki, kérem, hogy hívjon vissza a […] telefonszámon?
“Can you please tell him/her to call me back at [phone number]?”

7. Asking for Clarification

Asking for clarification is a crucial part of any phone call in Hungarian, especially if you’re a beginner or lack confidence in your listening comprehension skills. While it might be a bit embarrassing, wouldn’t it be even worse if you failed to deliver what you were asked because you didn’t understand? 

If you’re uncertain about what someone has said, don’t be afraid to ask. Hungarians will appreciate that you want to pay close attention.

Here are some common phone phrases in Hungarian you might use when asking for clarification:

Elnézést, de nehezen hallom / hallak. Szerintem rossz a vonal. Megismételné / megismételnéd, kérem / kérlek?
“I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time hearing you. I think there’s a bad connection. Could you repeat that, please?”

Lebetűzné / lebetűznéd a nevét / nevedet, kérem / kérlek? Nem értettem jól.
“Could you spell your name, please? I didn’t understand it well.”

Csak hogy biztosra menjek, hogy jól hallottam / hallottalak…
“Just to make sure I heard you correctly…”

Mit mondtál?
“What did you say?”

That last one is an informal way of asking what the other person said if you didn’t hear them clearly.

A Man in a Blue Shirt Wearing Glasses is on a Landline Phone and Taking Notes in an Office

8. Ending the Phone Call

At the end of each call, we say goodbye to the other party and hang up, right? Right. So, here are a few simple Hungarian phone call phrases for ending a call:

Tudok még valamiben segíteni (Önnek / neked)?
“Can I help you with anything else?”

Önnek (formal “to you”) or neked (the informal version) are not necessary in this Hungarian phone call phrase. You could choose to include one of them, but the sentence is grammatically correct without them. 

Sokat segített / segítettél. Köszönöm!
“You’ve helped a lot. Thank you.”

Akkor szombat nyolckor találkozunk.
“See you at eight o’clock on Saturday, then.”

Legyen szép napja / napod!
“Have a nice day.”

9. Sample Phone Conversations

Now that you have some useful phrases up your sleeve, it’s time to see how a typical phone call in Hungary might sound. Below, you’ll find two sample phone conversations: one casual and one formal. 

Informal conversation

This informal Hungarian phone call is a casual conversation between two friends who are setting up a time to meet for brunch on a weekend.

A:
Haló?
“Hello?”

B:
Szia, Kata! Áron vagyok. Hogy vagy?
“Hi, Kate. This is Aron. How are you?”

A:
Jól vagyok, köszi. És te? Olyan jó hallani felőled!
“I’m good, thanks. And you? It’s so good to hear from you.”

B:
Én is jól vagyok. Arra gondoltam, elmehetnénk villásreggelizni valamikor. Mit gondolsz?
“I’m good, too. I was thinking we could have brunch some day. What do you think?”

A:
Királyul hangzik! Mondjuk a Best Bistroba?
“That sounds awesome. How about Best Bistro?”

B:
Persze. Ráérsz most szombaton, mondjuk délelőtt tizenegykor?
“Sure. Are you free this Saturday, let’s say at eleven a.m?”

A:
Igen, menjünk!
“Yes, let’s go.”

B:
Remek! Foglalok asztalt. Akkor majd találkozunk!
“Great. I’ll make the reservation. See you then.”

A:
Tökéletes! Rendben, majd találkozunk!
“Perfect. Alright, see you.”


A Man Is Sitting on the Couch Making a Phone Call

Formal conversation

After they’ve set the time and place, one of the friends calls the restaurant to reserve a table.

A:
Jónapot! Best Bistro étterem. Miben segíthetek?
“Hello, this is the Best Bistro restaurant. How may I help you?”

B:
Jónapot! Két főre szeretnék asztalt foglalni, Kovács Áron névre.
“Hello, I’d like to make a table reservation for two under the name of Aron Smith.”

A:
Természetesen. Mikor számíthatunk Önökre?
“Of course, sir. When can we expect you?”

B:
Most szombaton, délelőtt 11 órakor, ha lehetséges.
“This Saturday, at eleven a.m. if it’s possible.”

A:
Persze, vannak szabad asztalaink arra az időpontra. Szeretné, ha billiárdasztalt is foglalnék Önöknek?
“Sure, we have free tables at that time. Would you like me to reserve one of our pool tables for you, too?”

B:
Nem, köszönöm!
“No, thank you.”

A:
Rendben. Segíthetek még valamiben?
“Alright. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

B:
Nem, köszönöm, ez minden!
“No, thank you, that’d be all.”

A:
Rendben. Szép napot, uram!
“Alright. Have a nice day, sir.”

B:
Köszönöm, Önnek is!
“Thank you, you too.”


A Couple Having a Date in a Fancy Restaurant with Palm Trees in the Background

10. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Reach Your Hungarian Learning Goals

So, do phone calls in Hungarian still seem scary? Or do you feel more confident and prepared now?

We hope this article will help you in the long run and that you’ll be able to handle any future phone calls with ease. You now know the most practical phrases for answering the phone, stating your purpose for calling, getting to the right person, leaving a message, and ending the phone call. You’ve also seen how these phrases might sound in the context of real-life phone calls. 

If you still feel a bit shy about making phone calls in Hungarian, remember that practice makes perfect. There’s no shame in going over the conversation in your head before making the call. Plus, if you need any help with grammar, expressions, or anything else, the HungarianPod101 team will always be there for you. Never forget that.

Before you go: What are the different ways to introduce yourself when answering the phone in Hungarian? Write at least one way below in the comments.

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