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40+ Easy Hungarian Phrases for Beginners

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This time, we have brought you a list of the most common Hungarian phrases for beginners so that you won’t feel left out, even as a new learner of this beautiful language. Here at HungarianPod101.com, we always make sure to provide study materials for language learners at every level, so everyone can find something that meets them where they’re at.

In this article, you’ll find a list of meaningful Hungarian phrases for beginners, divided into different categories. These categories include: 

  • Greetings and self-introductions
  • Courtesy phrases and social expressions
  • Dining and shopping phrases
  • Phrases for getting help

If, at the end of this article, you feel like something is missing or you have a question about something we covered, feel free to let us know in the comments. We’d be glad to help any way we can!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump into our list of basic Hungarian phrases for beginners.

A Guy in a Blue Shirt and a Girl in a Yellow Blouse Drinking Coffee
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Self-introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases and Social Expressions
  3. Dining and Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Reach Your Hungarian Learning Goals

1. Greetings and Self-introductions

Let’s begin with the most commonly used Hungarian greetings and self-introduction phrases. These expressions are the core of everyday communication, and you could hardly spend a minute in Hungary without hearing or needing to use one of them! 

We recommend reading through this section thoroughly to ensure you pick up as many of these phrases as possible. The good thing is that learning them will be no burden to you, as these are considered easy Hungarian phrases for beginners. They contain only a few words, and their pronunciation isn’t very difficult either. 

1 – Greetings

Szia! / Sziasztok!Hi!

Jó napot!Hello.
This simple Hungarian beginner phrase could literally be translated in English as “Good day.” However, unlike its English counterpart, you wouldn’t use this when saying goodbye to someone or exiting a shop; rather, you would use it when greeting someone or entering a shop. 

Also, keep in mind that this phrase is a more formal alternative to the one above. 

Jó reggelt!Good morning. 

Jó estét!Good evening.

Szép napot!Have a good day. 

Szép délutánt!Have a good afternoon. 

2 – Self-introductions

Péter vagyok.I’m Peter.

Péternek hívnak.My name is Peter.

Keep in mind that while both of the phrases above are grammatically correct, we use the first one more often in everyday life. 

Örülök, hogy megismertelek. / Örvendek.Nice to meet you. 

Hogy vagy?How are you? 

Jól vagyok. És te?I’m good. And you? 

Egy kicsit kedvetlen vagyok. És te?I’m feeling a bit blue. And you? 

We hope you’ll end up using the first answer more often, but we wanted to show you another way you might respond to “How are you?” Hungarians are known for often feeling a bit blue, so don’t be afraid to answer honestly. They will sympathize with you.

Hány éves vagy? / Milyen idős vagy?How old are you? 

Huszonegy éves vagyok.I’m 21 years old. 

Hová valósi vagy?Where are you from? 

Kanadából származom.I’m from Canada. 

Mit dolgozol?What do you do? 

Mérnök vagyok.I’m an engineer.

Tanuló vagyok.I’m a student. 

    → If you become closer with the person or need more conversation material, you can find words for describing personality traits here and here.
A Handshake between a Woman and a Man, Only the Hands Are Seen, the Woman Is Handing Her Business Card Over

2. Courtesy Phrases and Social Expressions

Courtesy phrases and social expressions are a crucial part of any culture. Being able to interact with locals the way they “expect” you to can go a long way. Use the following Hungarian phrases for beginners to come across as polite and to make Hungarians swoon at both your knowledge of their language and your social grace. 

Elnézést! / Bocsánat!Pardon.
You could use this basic Hungarian phrase when you bump into someone or want to ask for directions on the street, for example. 

Semmi baj. / Semmiség.That’s okay. 

Nem probléma. / Nem gond.No problem. 

(Nagyon szépen) köszönöm!Thank you (very much). 

(Nagyon) szívesen!You’re (very) welcome. 

(Annyira) sajnálom! / Bocsánat!I’m (so) sorry. 

Megkérdezhetem, hogy…?May I ask…?

Majd találkozunk! / Szia!See you. 

Vigyázz magadra!Take care. 
While the English translation of this phrase tends to be used more casually as a form of “goodbye,” the Hungarian version carries more meaning. Using it implies that you care deeply for the other person and worry over their wellbeing. We use it most often when parting ways with someone for a longer period of time, such as when they’re leaving for a vacation. 

Vigyázz!Watch out. 

A Man in a Suit Holding the Car Door Open for a Woman in a White Dress

3. Dining and Shopping Phrases

There is some overlap between the Hungarian courtesy phrases we saw in the previous section and the most common phrases used for dining and shopping. In addition, you’ll find that some of these expressions could be used in other everyday conversations as well (such as: Elnézést kérek! – “Excuse me.”).


Elnézést kérek!Excuse me. 
This is definitely one of the essential Hungarian survival phrases for beginners, because you’ll be hearing and saying it a lot! You might say this to someone if you’d like a little more space on the bus, need assistance while at the grocery store, or would like the waiter at a restaurant to bring you the bill. 

Kaphatnék…?Can I get…?

Árulnak…?Do you sell…?

Kérem! / Kérlek!Please.
The first version (kérem) is formal, so you would use it with people you don’t know or those who are older than you. The second version (kérlek) is informal, so you would use it with family and friends. 

Mennyibe kerül a(z)…?How much is the…?

Tudok kártyával fizetni?Can I pay by card?

Elfogadnak készpénzt?Do you take cash? 

Elkérhetnénk az étlapot?Can we have the menu? 

Hol tudom lemérni?Where can I weigh it?
In many shops in Hungary, you have to weigh the vegetables or fruits you’d like to purchase yourself. There are scales placed around the fresh food area for this purpose. You could use this simple Hungarian beginner phrase to find them more easily. 

A Shopping Cart Full of Groceries Left Unattended in the Middle of an Aisle

4. Asking for Help

In this section, we’ll introduce you to the most crucial Hungarian survival phrases for beginners: those used to ask for help! If you get lost, need to overcome a language barrier, or fall ill, knowing these phrases and sentence patterns will help you out in a pinch. We recommend memorizing these simple Hungarian beginner phrases before arriving in Hungary. 

Hol van…?Where is…?

Hogy jutok el…?How can I get to…?

Beszél angolul? / Beszélsz angolul?Do you speak English?
The first version (with beszél) is a bit more formal, so you might want to use it with people who are much older than you. But the second version (with beszélsz) is more casual, and you can use it when approaching people closer to your age. 

Csak kicsit beszélek magyarul.I speak only a little bit of Hungarian. 

Hogy mondod, hogy … magyarul?How do you say … in Hungarian?
This Hungarian phrase can be used as an icebreaker when meeting new people or during small talk. It’s always a fun activity to try teaching a foreigner your mother tongue.

Meg tudnád ismételni?Could you repeat it?
Such an important Hungarian phrase that every beginner must know! When you’ve just started learning a language, it can be challenging to understand what locals are saying at native speed. You might need to ask them once or twice to repeat what they’ve just said so that you can fully understand what they’re saying. There is no shame in that! Hungarians will appreciate the effort you’re making to learn their language.

Nem hallottam rendesen.I couldn’t hear it properly. 

Nem értem.I don’t understand. 

Orvosra van szükségem.I need a doctor. 
We hope you won’t need to use this phrase, but it’s one of the most important ones for beginners to learn. In the same vein, we also recommend checking out our vocabulary lists of phrases for talking about injuries and speaking with a doctor

A Young Guy in a Grayish T-shirt Frowning and Scratching His Head

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

If you’ve made it this far, congrats! Now you know the most common Hungarian words and phrases for beginners. We did our best to include everything you would need for everyday life in Hungary: greetings and introductions, courtesy phrases, expressions for shopping and dining, and even phrases for use in emergencies. But please let us know if we forgot any essential beginner phrases, and we’ll be sure to provide them for you. 

Don’t forget that practice makes perfect, so even though we’ve tried to keep it basic and easy, you need to make these Hungarian expressions stick. You could try writing them down on flashcards and occasionally reviewing them to see how much you remember. 

In addition, we recommend joining the HungarianPod101 family. This way, you’ll always be able to turn to fellow language learners (or our team of Hungarian teachers) for help and motivation. We provide our students with a variety of lessons and study materials, each one designed to make the learning process both fun and effective. We encourage you to never stop broadening your knowledge! 

Before you go: Which Hungarian phrase for beginners was the easiest for you?

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