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80 Hungarian Animal Words and a Few Fun Idioms

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Do you know which two animals ancient Hungarians most revered? The deer and the wolf! The former for its grace and gentle nature, and the latter for its strength and tendency toward predation. 

While we no longer regard animals with quite the same level of esteem, they still play a large role in our daily lives. As a Hungarian learner, you’ll greatly benefit from learning the names of common animals in Hungarian. Doing so will allow you to better understand native Hungarian speakers and strike up conversations with just about anyone—because who doesn’t like talking about their pets or their favorite wild creatures? 

In this article, you’ll learn the names of the most common Hungarian animals as well as those abroad. We’ll cover everything from pets to a variety of wildlife: mammals, reptiles, sea creatures, birds, and the list goes on. And the cherry on top? Toward the end of the article, we’ve also included the names of animal body parts and a handful of fun Hungarian idioms that mention animals. 

For maximum clarity, we’ve listed each animal with its name in both English and Hungarian. But if you still have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to us in the comments—we’d be glad to help! 

Ready to jump in?

A Group of Animals [Two Dogs, Parrot, Cat, Snake, Mouse] in Front of a White Background
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. At Home (Hungarian Pets / Magyar kiskedvencek)
  2. On the Farm (Hungarian Farm Animals / Magyar háziállatok)
  3. In the Wild / Forest / Safari (Hungarian Land Animals / Magyar szárazföldi állatok)
  4. In the Ocean (Hungarian Aquatic Animals / Magyar vízi állatok)
  5. Hungarian Bugs and Insects / Magyar bogarak és rovarok
  6. Hungarian Birds and Reptiles / Magyar madarak és hüllők
  7. Animal Body Parts
  8. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions in Hungarian
  9. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Get the Most out of Language Learning

1. At Home (Hungarian Pets / Magyar kiskedvencek)

This first category is probably everyone’s favorite, because who doesn’t like pets? Plus, the first Hungarian animal words you should learn are those you’re most likely to hear during a conversation. Pets are like this. Learning these words will allow you to talk about your own pets with a native Hungarian speaker, or even inquire about their favorite animals. Also, talking about your fur babies is a great ice-breaker when meeting new people.

  • “Dog” – Kutya
  • “Cat” – Macska
  • “Hamster” – Hörcsög
  • “Guinea pig” – Tengerimalac
  • “Parrot” – Papagáj
  • “Goldfish” – Aranyhal
  • “Rabbit” – Nyúl

We call baby rabbits “bunnies” in English, right? Well, there are special names for baby animals in Hungarian, too. You can learn what some of them are and hear their correct pronunciation in our lesson Baby Animals

  • Pond slider” – Ékszerteknős
  • “Chinchilla” – Csincsilla
  • “Mouse” – Egér

While mice are not usually considered pets, nothing is impossible! Nowadays, some people do own mice as pets—not to mention other strange animals, like snakes and tarantulas!

    → Would you like to hear the pronunciation of the most popular pets in Hungarian? Then visit our absolute beginner lesson Pets!

A Little Girl Smiling while Hugging Her Dog

2. On the Farm (Hungarian Farm Animals / Magyar háziállatok)

The next category we’ll cover is farm animals (háziállatok). Before we look at this list of animals in Hungarian, let’s break down the word for farm animals: 

Háziállatok is the plural form of háziállat, which refers to a single domestic animal. The word háziállat is composed of two separate words, which are házi (“related to the house”) and állat (“animal”). 

  • “Horse” –
  • “Cow” – Tehén
  • “Calf” – Borjú
  • “Duck” – Kacsa
  • “Donkey” – Szamár
  • “Goose” – Lúd
  • “Sheep” – Birka
  • “Cattle” – Szarvasmarha
  • “Chicken” – Csirke
  • “Turkey” – Pulyka
  • “Rooster” – Kakas
  • “Frog” – Béka
  • “Pig” – Sertés / Disznó / Malac
  • “Goat” – Kecske
  • “Yak” – Jak
  • “Fox” – Róka

While the fox is obviously not a domesticated animal, you can often find them lurking around roosts on farms in search of a nice meal.


Two Donkeys - a White One and a Brown One - Looking into the Camera

3. In the Wild / Forest / Safari (Hungarian Land Animals / Magyar szárazföldi állatok)

Now we’re getting to the interesting part. Wild animals are definitely some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. And even though the “classic” wild or safari animals—which make up the majority of the following list—cannot be found in Hungary outside a zoo, Hungarian forests have their own captivating fauna. Wild animals in Hungary include bears, deer, and even wolves—but you definitely wouldn’t spot a lion outside a cage! 

In Hungarian, we call wild animals vadállatok. Make sure to watch the plural suffix (-k) and the linking vowel (o). The names of some wild animals in Hungarian, as you can see below, are similar to their English counterparts. 

  • “Deer” – Szarvas
  • “Bear” – Medve
  • “Wolf” – Farkas
  • “Lion” – Oroszlán
  • “Elephant” – Elefánt
  • “Cheetah” – Párduc
  • “Rhinoceros” – Rinocérosz
  • “Ostrich” – Strucc

Did you know that the strucc is the largest bird in the world? Learn more fun facts about animals on our website.

  • “Zebra” – Zebra
  • “Giraffe” – Zsiráf
  • “Hippopotamus” – Víziló
  • “Tiger” – Tigris
  • “Gazelle” – Gazella
  • “Chimpanzee” – Csimpánz
  • “Meerkat” – Szurikáta
  • “Jaguar” – Jaguár
  • “Otter” – Vidra

Two Zebras in Their Natural Habitat, One Big and One Small

4. In the Ocean (Hungarian Aquatic Animals / Magyar vízi állatok)

The closest thing to an ocean you’ll find in Hungary is a big lake called Balaton, so you won’t be finding any octopus or jellyfish in Hungarian waters! Nonetheless, aquatic animals make for an interesting conversation topic, so it’s definitely worth learning their names in Hungarian.

  • “Dolphin” – Delfin
  • “Fish” – Hal
  • “Shark” – Cápa
  • “Whale” – Bálna
  • “Octopus” – Polip
  • “Jellyfish” – Medúza
  • “Lobster” – Homár
  • “Squid” – Tintahal
  • “Turtle” – Teknősbéka
  • “Eel” – Angolna
  • “Salmon” – Lazac
  • “Crab” – Rák
  • “Clownfish” – Bohóchal

Did someone say “Nemo”? In Hungarian, we translate the name of this fish quite literally: bohóc (“clown”) and hal (“fish”).

  • “Walrus” – Rozmár
  • “Seahorse” – Tengericsikó

This one is funny, as it also translates quite literally. Csikó means “foal” in English, while tengeri means
“marine.”

  • “Starfish” – Csillaghal

Many Fish and Sea Animals in the Ocean

5. Hungarian Bugs and Insects / Magyar bogarak és rovarok

Even though many people find bugs and insects unpleasant, they’re actually an important part of the ecosystem. It may be hard to believe, but there are many bug species in Hungary that are currently endangered. Considering their importance, it would be good for you to learn at least a few bugs by their Hungarian names! 

  • “Spider” – Pók
  • “Butterfly” – Pillangó
  • “Bee” – Méh
  • “Ant” – Hangya
  • “Fly” – Légy
  • “Caterpillar” – Hernyó
  • “Stag beetle” – Szarvasbogár
  • “Dragonfly” – Szitakötő
  • “Ladybug” – Katicabogár
  • “Cricket” – Tücsök
  • “Wasp” – Darázs
  • “Praying mantis” – Imádkozósáska
  • “Flea” – Bolha
  • “Earwig” – Fülbemászó
  • “Grasshopper” – Szöcske
  • Stink bug” – Poloska

Hungary has been battling with stink bugs for many years, as they tend to form giant swarms during the fall. And the most annoying thing—as you might have guessed from their name—is that if you kill one, it’ll be super stinky afterward.

6. Hungarian Birds and Reptiles / Magyar madarak és hüllők

We couldn’t leave birds and reptiles out of our list of basic animals in Hungarian, right? They’re a crucial part of the planet’s fauna, and there are some really interesting species in Hungary. So, make sure to keep an eye out for them during your stay in Hungary—you’ll be able to encounter most of them in cities, as well as in forests and in the country. 

  • “Snake” – Kígyó
  • “Aesculapian snake” – Sikló

Aesculapian snakes are very common in hilly settings.

  • “Crocodile” – Krokodil

There are two zoos in Hungary that have crocodiles: one in Budapest and one in Debrecen. 

The pond turtle is one of the endangered animals in Hungary, so you’d better watch out for them. If you harm one, you could be fined 50,000 HUF (which is approximately 135 EUR or 168 USD).

  • “Adder” – Vipera
  • “Eagle” – Sas
  • “Swan” – Hattyú
  • “White stork” – Fehér gólya
  • “Blackbird” – Fekete rigó
  • “Crow” – Varjú
  • “Swallow” – Fecske
  • “Tit” – Cinege
  • “Pigeon” – Galamb

Pigeons are common in cities, especially in the most famous squares. This is because some people like to feed them, which draws them in like a moth to a flame. 

And last but not least, let’s cross the border between natural and supernatural for a moment:

Even though this is a mythical bird of prey, we wanted to include it on our list of Hungarian animal words, as the turul is the national animal of Hungary.

A Large Group of Pigeons, Some of Which Are Out of Focus

7. Animal Body Parts

A word list of the most common animal words in the Hungarian language would not be complete without the names of animal body parts. Here are the most important ones: 

  • “Tail” – Farok
  • “Paw” – Mancs
  • “Hoof” – Pata
  • “Tentacle” – Csáp
  • “Beak” – Csőr
  • “Snout” – Ormány
  • “Udder” – Tőgy
  • “Crest” – Sörény
  • “Claw” – Karom
  • “Whisker” – Macskabajusz

Literally, the Hungarian word for “whisker” means “cat mustache.” Clever, eh? 

8. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions in Hungarian

Finally, let’s see some Hungarian idioms and slang expressions that mention some of the animals from our list. Some of these are pretty funny, so you might want your notebook handy to take some notes. 😉 

#1 “To kill two flies with one hit” – Két legyet üt egy csapásra

Original idiom: “To kill two birds with one stone”

#2 “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” – Ajándék lónak ne nézd a fogát!

#3 “The smart one lets go; the donkey suffers.” – Okos enged, szamár szenved.

This idiom means that if you’re wise, you won’t get into a fight with someone (even if they’re wrong!). Otherwise, you’ll needlessly tire yourself out and lose the fight. 

#4 “Owl tells to the sparrow that it has a big head.” – Bagoly mondja verébnek, hogy nagyfejű.

Original idiom: “The pot calls the kettle black.”

#5 “Lots of geese defeat the pig.” – Sok lúd disznót győz.

This idiom means that the weak can defeat the strong if there’s enough of them.

Which of these animal-related idioms is your favorite?

A Group of Animals in Front of a White Background

9. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Get the Most out of Language Learning

How many Hungarian animal names do you still remember? Hopefully, you’ve gotten at least one or two safely tucked away already, but don’t forget to read through this article again and write down any words you’re struggling to remember. This will help store all of this new vocabulary in your long-term memory! 

Today, we introduced you to the Hungarian names of several different animals: 

  • Pets
  • Farm animals
  • Wild animals
  • Aquatic creatures
  • Bugs and insects
  • Birds and reptiles

We also provided a short list of animal body parts in Hungarian and introduced a few fun animal-related idioms. 

Did you enjoy studying about the animals native to Hungary and learning what to call the animals in your country? 

Before you go, let us know in the comments what your favorite animal is! Do you know its name in Hungarian?

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30+ Phrases to Express Your Love in Hungarian

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We’ve all been in love, right? 

In relationships, it’s crucial to express your emotions and to let the other party know how you feel about them. 

But what if that other party happens to be a fine Hungarian man or woman? The last thing you want to do is let that gorgeous human you just spotted at a party get away. 

Saying the right words at the right time is key, but this can be difficult enough in your native language—let alone a foreign one like Hungarian! 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to various Hungarian phrases about love. You’ll learn how to flirt and express your initial affection, the best ways to say “I love you,” in Hungarian, and several handy Hungarian dating phrases. We’ll even get you ready to ask that fine snack to marry you! As a bonus, you’ll find several meaningful love quotes in Hungarian at the end of this article. 

By the time you finish reading, you’ll be able to flirt with any Hungarian coming your way. What’s more, you’ll be able to make them swoon! 

Ready to learn the best Hungarian love phrases? Love waits for no one, so let’s get started.

A Happy Couple Is Seen Laughing; The Man Is in a Blue Shirt, the Woman Is Wearing a Cardigan and Holding a Purse
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Confess Your Affection: Pick-up Lines & More
  2. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” & More
  3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” & More
  4. Endearment Terms
  5. Bonus: Must-know Love Quotes
  6. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Reach Your Learning Goals

1. Confess Your Affection: Pick-up Lines & More

There are several stages of love, right? One does not ask a person to marry them after like two hours of having known each other (okay, maybe in extreme cases, but that is not the norm…). First, you express your affection to the other party, then you might flirt a little, and you might eventually go on dates with this person. And only after that does a relationship start to become more serious. 

In this section, we’re going to introduce you to the most common Hungarian flirting phrases so that you can be prepared for courting. We’ll also show you some useful phrases you can try on your first date! 


A- Compliments

#1 “You are beautiful.” / Gyönyörű vagy.

  • “beautiful” – gyönyörű 

#2 “I love your smile.” / Imádom a mosolyod.

  • “to love” – imádni, szeretni
  • “smile” – mosoly

#3 “You are pretty.” / Csinos vagy.

  • “pretty” – csinos

#4 “You are handsome.” / Helyes vagy.

  • “handsome” – helyes, jóképű 

#5 “I like you a lot.” / Nagyon tetszel.

  • “to like” – kedvelni, tetszeni 

B- Asking Him / Her Out

#6 “Would you go out with me?” / Eljönnél velem randizni?

  • “to go out” – randizni 

#7 “Can I buy you a drink?” / Meghívhatlak egy italra?

  • “to buy” – venni (literal meaning)
  • “to invite/offer” – meghívni 
  • “drink” – ital

C- Cheesy Pick-up Lines

#8 “Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?” / Fájt, amikor leestél a Mennyből?

  • “to hurt” – fájni
  • “to fall” – esni
  • “Heaven” – Menny 

#9 “Hey, kitty. Do you have an owner?” / Szia, cica! Van gazdád?

  • “kitty” – cica
  • “owner” – gazda

#10 “I lost my number. Will you give me yours?” / Elhagytam a telefonszámomat. Megadod a tiédet?

  • “(phone) number” – (telefon)szám 
  • “yours” – tiéd 

Would you like some additional phrases for expressing your interest or making plans for a date? HungarianPod101 has you covered!

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

2. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” & More

One of the first words people learn in any language is the word for “love.” In Hungarian, there are two different words you can use: 

  • Szerelem refers to the connection between two people. 
  • Szerelmem translates to “my love” in Hungarian, and it refers to the person whom you love.

So, how do you say “I love you,” in Hungarian and further express your adoration? 

There are several Hungarian love phrases you can begin using once your relationship becomes more intimate. If you’re ready to go all-in and say those three big words (or, in Hungarian, that one big word—you’ll see what we mean), you can use any of the following love phrases in Hungarian to make your move. 

Note: Read through these carefully. We have a question for you at the end of this section! 

#11 “I’m crazy about you.” / Megőrülök érted.

  • “crazy” – őrült 

#12 “I miss you.” / Hiányzol.

  • “to miss” – hiányolni

#13 “I’m only thinking about you.” / Csak rád gondolok.

  • “to think” – gondol(kod)ni

#14 “I want you here and now.” / Itt és most akarlak.

  • “to want” – akarni
  • “here” – itt
  • “now” – most

#15 “I love you.” / Szeretlek.

See? What takes English three words to say takes Hungarian only one. This is due to the use of suffixes and conjugation in Hungarian, which lets us express the person and number with no additional words.

#16 “I love you very much.” / Nagyon szeretlek.

  • “very” – nagyon 

#17 “I love you too.” / Én is szeretlek.

#18 “I’m in love with you.” / Szerelmes vagyok beléd.

#19 “I can’t imagine my life without you.” / Nem tudom nélküled elképzelni az életemet.

  • “to imagine” – elképzelni 
  • “life” – élet 
  • “without” – nélkül

#20 “I want to grow old with you.” / Veled akarok megöregedni.

  • “to want” – akarni 
  • “to get old” – megöregedni 
  • “old” – öreg

Like English, Hungarian distinguishes between feeling “love” and being “in love.” 

Now, here’s our question for you: 

How do you say “love” in Hungarian? 

Give us the answer for the connection and for the person whom you love. Good luck!

A Couple is Playing Video Games; The Girl Has Won, the Guy Is Grumpy

3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” & More

Nope, we haven’t forgotten about the “upper levels” that come afterwards. We’ve got you covered for all scenarios featuring you and your significant other. Just watch.

Now that you’ve been hitting your partner with the coolest Hungarian love phrases and have started building a stronger connection, they’ve officially fallen for you. It might be time to kick things up a notch.

You might consider moving in together, going on your first trip, or even getting married. Lucky you! To give you a hand, we’ve compiled the perfect love phrases for him/her in Hungarian.

#21 “I’d like you to meet my friends.” / Szeretném, ha megismernéd a barátaimat.

  • “to meet” – találkozni
  • “friend” – barát

#22 “Are you ready to meet my parents?” / Kész vagy találkozni a szüleimmel?

  • “to be ready” – kész lenni, készen állni
  • “parent” – szülő

#23 “Let’s go on a holiday together.” / Menjünk el nyaralni együtt!

  • “holiday” – nyaralás
  • “together” – együtt
  • “Let’s go!” – Menjünk!

#24 “Do you want to move in together with me?” / Szeretnél velem összeköltözni?

  • “to want” – akarni, szeretni
  • “to move” – költözni
  • “to move in together” – összeköltözni

#25 “Will you marry me?” / Hozzám jössz feleségül?

  • “to marry someone” – hozzámenni valakihez
  • “wife” – feleség

#26 “Let’s throw an engagement party.” / Dobjunk egy eljegyzési bulit!

  • “to throw (a party)” – dobni, tartani
  • “engagement” – eljegyzés
  • “party” – buli, parti

#27 “Let’s get married.” / Házasodjunk össze!

#28 “We should buy a house together.” / Vennünk kellene közösen egy házat.

  • “house” – ház

#29 “I’d like to have a baby with you.” / Babát szeretnék veled.

  • “baby” – baba

#30 “I think I’m pregnant.” / Azt hiszem, terhes vagyok.

  • /”pregnant” – terhes
  • “to think” – gondolni, hinni

#31 “I’m so happy that we’re going to be parents.” / Olyan boldog vagyok, hogy szülők leszünk!

  • “happy” – boldog

A Newlywed Couple on the Beach

4. Endearment Terms

Now that we’ve covered the major stages of a romantic relationship, it’s time to go over some Hungarian terms of endearment. For most people, endearing nicknames are crucial in a relationship, and Hungarians are no exception. 

Below, you’ll find several cute nicknames you can use with your new Hungarian boyfriend or girlfriend. Note that English has many endearment terms with a counterpart in Hungarian, which should make choosing your favorite one a bit easier! 

  • honey / sweetieédesem
    • Since there is no specific Hungarian word for “sweetheart,” you could use édesem for that too.
  • baby / babebaba, bébi
  • my loveszerelmem
    • For example: “Goodnight, my love,” in Hungarian would look like this: Jó éjt/éjszakát, szerelmem!
  • my heartszívem
  • my precious drágám
  • my treasurekincsem
  • my shortiekicsim
  • my kittycicám
  • my bugbogaram
  • bunny nyuszi
  • “hubby” – férjecském

An Old Couple Dancing; The Woman Is in a Red Dress, the Man Is Wearing a Suit and a Tie

5. Bonus: Must-know Love Quotes

In this section, we’ve collected a few Hungarian love quotes from famous Hungarian people, such as poets and writers. And we’re not going to lie, they had some very interesting insights about love and what it can “do” to people. Let’s see what thoughts and ideas they shared about love.

“What is real love?
When words between two people have the same meaning.”
– Sándor Kopátsy

Mi az igazi szerelem?
Mikor a szavak két ember között azonos értelmet nyernek.
Kopátsy Sándor

“Even the silliness of love is wiser than the knowledge of philosophers.”
– Mór Jókai

A szerelemnek még bolondsága is nagyobb bölcsesség, mint a filozófusok minden tudománya.
Jókai Mór

“It’s not true that love is blind. On the contrary, a lover sees such things in their beloved that others don’t notice.”
– László Feleki

Nem igaz, hogy a szerelem vak. Ellenkezőleg, a szerelmes olyasmiket lát imádottján, amiket más nem vesz észre.
Feleki László

“I don’t know what it is, but it’s really good.
Its hurting is sweet, I let it hurt.
If it’s silly or a mistake, so be it.
If it’s love, please forgive me.”
– Gyula Juhász

Én nem tudom, mi ez, de jó nagyon.
Fájása édes, hadd fájjon, hagyom.
Ha balgaság, ha tévedés, legyen.
Ha szerelem, bocsásd ezt meg nekem!
Juhász Gyula

“I don’t know what I’ve been so far,
Nor – do I know – what I’m going to be;
It depends on you if I’ll be a dark shadow
Or a bright beam.”
Sándor Petőfi

Nem tudom, mi voltam eddig,
Ámde azt sem, mi leszek;
Tőled függ, hogy sötét árnyék
Vagy fényes sugár legyek.
Petőfi Sándor

Make sure to visit our website for even more Hungarian quotes about love

6. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Reach Your Learning Goals

You’ve reached the end of this article, which means you should now know the most common love phrases in Hungarian. We’ve covered everything from how to flirt to making your marriage proposal, and we’ve also introduced you to cute pet names and sweet love quotes. 

But don’t forget that practice makes perfect. If you want to make that Hungarian boy or girl swoon, you must practice saying these love sentences in Hungarian out loud; you should also practice writing them down in case you feel like writing a love letter to your chosen one.

While studying these Hungarian flirting phrases, keep in mind that HungarianPod101 will always be there for you! We believe that with a supportive group behind you—such as our team and your fellow language learners—there’s nothing you can’t do.

Before you go: How do you say “I love you,” in Hungarian? Let us know below.

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Why learn Hungarian? Here are 10 compelling reasons.

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When there are so many popular languages you could study, why learn Hungarian? 

That’s a fair question, and one to which we have some answers! 

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should learn Hungarian and what benefits you can expect to gain from studying this beautiful language. And trust us, there are a lot—from improved mental health to increased business opportunities! 

Another question many aspiring learners ask is: “Why is Hungarian so difficult to learn?”

Keep in mind that with the right mindset, tools, and learning techniques, studying Hungarian is going to be like a promenade along the Seine…or should we say, along the Danube? To help you find the best way to learn Hungarian—as you should find what works for you—we’ve also included a few tips for learning Hungarian at the end of this article.

Girl in Blue T-shirt Thinking, Bubble Above Her Head
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Background of the Hungarian Language
  2. Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Hungarian
  3. Is Hungarian Easy to Learn?
  4. Tips for Learning Hungarian
  5. Conclusion

1. Background of the Hungarian Language

Before we get into the benefits of learning Hungarian, how about some background information on the language and the people who speak it natively?

Hungarian came to the Carpathian Basin over twelve centuries ago and is now spoken mainly in Hungary as well as its neighboring countries, including: 

  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Austria

Approximately 14 million people speak Hungarian natively, with around 10 million of these people living in Hungary. The other 4 million or so speakers can be found in a few other countries around the world—including Israel and the United States—due to emigration.

Hungarian is an independent language within the Uralic language family. Even though this language family has very few members in Europe, the most populous groups live here. These are: Hungarian, Finnish, and Estonian.

Hungarian people used the ancient Hungarian script (also called the runic script) before 1000 A.D., and adopted the Latin alphabet in the tenth century. The oldest surviving Hungarian text (which happens to be the oldest of the whole language family) is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer from the 1190s.

Throughout the centuries, Hungarian has been influenced by Turkish, Latin, Slavic languages, German, and also English.

Are you now beginning to understand the importance of learning Hungarian? Good. Let’s jump to the convincing part now.

2. Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Hungarian

Considering the relatively small number of native Hungarian speakers, you may be wondering why to learn Hungarian when there are other languages in much higher demand. 

In this section, we’ll outline a few defining features of Hungarian that make it a winning choice for the adventurous and passionate language learner. Let’s go! 

Reason #1: The Hungarian language is beautiful.

Most people say that the sound of Italian, French, or Spanish is like music to their ears, even if they don’t actually know what’s being said. But have you ever heard a Hungarian speak? The Hungarian language is melodious as well, and very smooth and tender to the ears. It also has a broad vocabulary, so it allows one to sound very sophisticated and find lots of beautiful words to describe simple things. For example:

  • “beautiful” – gyönyörű
  • “melodious” – dallamos
  • “gracious” – kecses

For a bigger sample of what we’re talking about, see our vocabulary list of the 50 most common Hungarian adjectives.

Reason #2: Hungarian is logical.

Every language has its own logical system which, once you understand it, helps you pick up the language using largely your own intuition. 

Although the grammar of Hungarian is very different from that of English, it’s still logical and easy to understand. In Hungarian, everything from conjugation to word formation has its own logic. Once you fully understand the concept, it’ll be so much easier to apply that knowledge to every new word or sentence pattern you learn.

Reason #3: Hungarian is a very diverse and colorful language.

We touched on this a little bit in our first point, but let’s elaborate. In Hungarian, there’s a word for everything! This means that there are several ways you can express yourself in a given situation. 

For instance, there are many different ways you could say “to walk” or “to go” in Hungarian:

  • Sétálni
  • Járni
  • Lépdelni
  • Kóborolni
  • Csavarogni
  • Bóklászni
  • Andalogni

They all differ a bit in meaning yet retain the same basic concept, which is the beauty of Hungarian.

Reason #4: You’ll get a better understanding of the Hungarian culture.

The Pannonhalma Archabbey in Hungary

If you speak a given nation’s language, you’ll also understand its people’s way of thinking better. This is because culture and language go hand-in-hand and influence each other—in fact, let’s look at an example. 

Imagine that you’re telling someone about a broken vase. In English, there are two ways you could relay this information: 

1) I broke the vase. [The agent is clearly stated here.]
2) The vase is broken. [Only the state of the vase is stated here; the person who broke it is not mentioned.]

But in Hungarian, the second version of this sentence would not work. In Hungarian, sentences must include the person or thing doing the action (the agent). Even if no pronouns are present in the sentence, the suffixes give away who did what.

Learning a foreign language also exposes you to idioms, proverbs, and common sayings that will give you a deeper understanding of the culture and its people. 

Vocab:

  • “vase” – váza
  • “broken” – törött
  • “I broke the vase.” – Eltörtem a vázát.

Reason #5: You’ll be favored by local Hungarians.

Hungarians are kind of cautious when it comes to foreigners. The primary reason is that not many of them speak a second language after their mother tongue, Hungarian. 

A great way to win the favor of Hungarians during your visit is to learn at least a few words and phrases beforehand. They’ll greatly appreciate that you took the effort to get closer to them in spirit! 

  • “mother tongue” – anyanyelv

If you’re planning for a trip soon, make sure to include some of these tourist destinations on your itinerary!

Two Girls Are Chatting and Smiling

Reason #6: Bargaining at markets will be much easier. 

Since most people selling at markets are elderly, most of them do not speak any foreign language. So, if you want to get a good bargain before you fly back home—which you can do because Hungarians are big bargainers—it’s a good idea to learn a few basic Hungarian expressions.

Vocab:

  • “market” – piac
  • “bargain” – alku
  • “How much does this cost?” – Ez mennyibe kerül?
  • “Can you give it to me at a cheaper price?” – Ide tudja adni olcsóbban?
  • “I’ll give you 500 HUF for it.” – Adok érte ötszáz (500) forintot.

Reason #7: You’ll be considered different and unique.

We won’t lie to you: Hungarian is not the most spoken language in the world, nor is it the easiest. But that’s exactly what makes it one hell of a language. 

Remember those good ol’ school days when you had to start every class by telling your classmates a “fun fact” about yourself? Well, those days are over, but “learning Hungarian” can be your new fun fact. People will be impressed when they find out you’re learning such a unique and challenging language.

  • “fun fact” – érdekesség
  • “unique” – különleges / egyedi
  • “to impress” – lenyűgözni

Reason #8: You will have yet another soul.

Do you know the sayings: 

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” 
“Those who speak many languages live as many lives as the languages they know.” 

Well, would you like a Hungarian soul? You could enclose the smell of gulyás in your soul, as well as the taste of chicken paprikás.

  • “soul” – lélek
  • “to possess” – birtokolni

Reason #9: Hungarian is not expensive to study.

Since Hungarian is not a very popular language, the demand for it is not that great. But that’s only another “pro” as to why you should start learning Hungarian. The low demand for studying Hungarian means cheaper rates for language books, lessons, and overall studying process. Moreover, if you choose HungarianPod101, it becomes even more affordable! 

Reason #10: There are lots of great resources for learning.

Hungarian might not be the most popular or widely spoken language, but you can still find plenty of quality resources to help you study. Textbooks and classes are great, but have you considered exploring online courses and materials as well? The internet has certainly made language learning in general much easier and more convenient than it was in times past! 

Wondering where to learn Hungarian online? 

HungarianPod101 is a great choice! We believe in providing quality education, especially for today’s globalized world where language learning is more important than ever. We offer our students the best of the best, covering the most relevant topics on the Hungarian language and culture in a way that’s both fun and engaging. 

Lots of Books

3. Is Hungarian Easy to Learn?

Now that we’ve given you a few reasons why you should learn Hungarian, here’s one more for you: 

Hungarian really isn’t that difficult to learn! 

Hungarian might not be easy by default, but many learners find the language relatively simple to pick up. 

But as we said earlier, every language has its own system. Studying and trying to understand the basics of this system early on will make the learning process much, much smoother! In addition, your attitude will play a huge role in your Hungarian learning process—if you believe you can do it, believe us, you will. 

Here are a few things that students find very easy and refreshing about Hungarian:

Reading and pronunciation

In Hungarian, every letter is linked to one sound and vice-versa. There are only two exceptions: j and ly, which have the same [j] sound. This means that when you see a Hungarian word written down, you’ll know exactly how it should be pronounced—unlike languages like English or French where letters and letter combinations can have multiple sounds, or where vowels are written but not pronounced. You won’t have to worry about that craziness when studying Hungarian! 

Verb conjugation

Although there are a few irregular verbs that you’ll have to just memorize, Hungarian conjugation (in any tense) is very easy. Regular verbs all follow a specific pattern; once you learn this pattern, you’ll be able to conjugate almost any verb you come across.

Verb tenses

Hungarian only has three tenses (two if we don’t count the future tense, which is formed from the present tense). Each one is pretty straightforward and the rules of formation are easy to memorize.

No grammatical gender

Hungarian nouns do not have grammatical gender, so you only have to focus on learning the actual word.

Politeness is straightforward

In terms of politeness, Hungarian is more like French than English. That is to say, while English speakers do not conjugate verbs differently depending on who they’re talking to (a friend vs. a stranger), the French do the so-called “vouvoyer” to distinguish politeness levels. Hungarian distinguishes between politeness levels in a similar fashion, but the formation is very simple. 


4. Tips for Learning Hungarian

Now that we’ve shown you why Hungarian is a great language and how easy it is, you might be ready to jump right in and start learning Hungarian right this moment. However, no matter how easy a language is to learn, it’s important to know the best strategies for studying it! 

Here are a few tips that might help you learn Hungarian faster:

  1. Study prefixes and suffixes right from the start.
  2. Start building a basic vocabulary (common, everyday words) early on.
  3. Watch and listen to Hungarian TV shows, movies, YouTubers, podcasts, etc.
  4. Write down what poses a challenge for you.
  5. Practice every day.

If you’ve already mastered these effective learning methods but are still struggling to memorize words, read our article Top 15 Tips to Remember Words When Learning Hungarian for some more ideas!

Hungarian National Flag

5. Conclusion

In this article, we discussed…

  • …why you should learn Hungarian.
  • …things about the language that are actually pretty easy. 
  • …some different methods you can implement in your Hungarian studies.

We hope we’ve inspired and motivated you to start (or continue!) learning Hungarian, and that you’ll embark on this exciting journey soon. Nothing is standing in your way, so go ahead: be unique and earn yourself a “fun fact” to tell others. 😉

During the studying process, always keep in mind that you can count on us to be there for you. We believe that with the help of a supportive group—such as the HungarianPod101 team and your fellow language learners—there are no studying barriers you cannot overcome.

What are some tried-and-true learning methods that worked for you, or other tips you would like to share with others?

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The Top 30 Most Common Hungarian Proverbs and Idioms

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the perfect proverb could have hit hard like a meteor and left everybody speechless? We’ve all been there. But at HungarianPod101.com, we know that the words don’t always roll off the tongue so easily—especially when you’re trying to speak a foreign language!

In this article, we’re going to cover thirty of the most common Hungarian proverbs and idioms. We’ve divided them into three categories, so you’ll find proverbs and idioms on life, love, and even money. These are phrases you’ll hear often while in Hungary, so memorizing them and learning how to use them will really help your language skills shine in any situation.

And remember: As you learn these Hungarian sayings, you’re never alone! You can always reach out to us or your fellow Hungarian language learners for help or motivation. We’re all in this together. 

Now, let’s get started.

A Group of Friends, Two Girls and Two Guys, Are Chatting and Laughing Around a Table
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Hungarian Proverbs About Life
  2. Hungarian Proverbs About Love
  3. Hungarian Proverbs About Money
  4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Achieve Your Language Goals

1. Hungarian Proverbs About Life

A Woman Whose Nose Has Grown Longer After Telling a Lie

Hungarian proverbs about life convey wisdom about how to live well. Learning these proverbs can help you gain a better understanding of how Hungarians view life in general, and provide you with more insight into the Hungarian culture.  

Below, you’ll find ten Hungarian proverbs about life. For each one, we’ve included an English translation and information about what it means and how to use it. 

1. A nagy hal megeszi a kishalat.

  • Literal Translation: Big fish eat the small fish. 
  • English Equivalent: Men are like fish; great ones devour the small. 

Meaning:
Small organizations and insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater and more powerful.

Usage:
This proverb would be perfect if you wanted to warn someone that, if they’re not strong enough (figuratively speaking), they’ll be trodden over by others. You know… “Eat or be eaten.”

2. A hazug embert hamarabb utolérik, mint a sánta kutyát.

  • Literal Translation: They catch the man who lies sooner than the limping dog. 
  • English Equivalent: A lie has short legs. 

Meaning:
Your lies will come to light sooner than you think.

Usage:
You might use this proverb, for example, in a shady situation where you suspect that the other party is lying. It would put a bit of pressure on them.


3. Az idő minden sebet begyógyít.

  • Literal Translation: Time heals all wounds.

Meaning:
You just have to be patient, and all sorrow and sadness will go away in time.

Usage:
You could use this sentence, for instance, if one of your friends was trying to get over a breakup.

4. Ki mint vet, úgy arat.

  • Literal Translation: He who sows reaps.
  • English Equivalent: As you sow, so shall you reap. 

Meaning:
The way you behave in life will determine the treatment you receive from others.

Usage:
Imagine one of your friends did somebody wrong, and then something bad happened to them as well. You could then mention this proverb to them as a sort of life lesson. Because as we all know…what goes around, comes around.

5. Aki mer, az nyer.

  • Literal Translation: He who dares, wins. 

Meaning:
If you do not try—or dare—you’ll never succeed, because you did not give yourself the chance to do so in the first place.

Usage:
You could use this proverb to encourage somebody who needs that little extra push to take a leap that might result in something great.

6. Aki nem dolgozik, ne is egyék!

  • Literal Translation: Those who do not work should not eat. 
  • English Equivalent: He who does not work, shall not eat either. 

Meaning:
You have to work for the prize. If you didn’t do anything to earn it, you don’t deserve it.

Usage:
This one is very simple. It’s quite popular among Hungarian mothers, who say this to their children when they haven’t done their chores—or anything at all, to be fair—but still come down to have lunch as though they “deserve it.” But it’s only said as a joke, of course.

7. Ha nincs ló, jó a szamár is.

  • Literal Translation: If there is no horse, a donkey will do as well. 

Meaning:
This proverb refers to a situation where you know that something better exists, but you decide to settle for what you have even if it’s not as good. 

Usage:
This might be a good Hungarian proverb to insert in a light, teasing friend-to-friend conversation when your pal goes to prom with someone they don’t fancy that much because their real crush did not invite them. 

8. Ki tudja, mit hoz a holnap.

  • Literal Translation: Who knows what tomorrow will bring? 

Meaning:
You never know what opportunities you’ll have in the future, so you must always keep hoping for a better day. You cannot give up.

Usage:
Here’s another encouraging Hungarian proverb. You could use this phrase to give somebody a pinch of hope when they’re ready to give up on something, just because things haven’t worked out so far. 

9. A cél szentesíti az eszközt.

  • Literal Translation: The purpose consecrates the means. 
  • English Equivalent: The ends justify the means. 

Meaning:
If your purpose is something noble or important, you’re allowed to reach it in any way, using any means.

Usage:
Imagine you’re about to do something morally questionable, like telling your sibling that the new ice-cream doesn’t taste that good, just so you have more left for you. Repeating this Hungarian proverb in your head like a mantra might give you a little bit more courage…and ice-cream. It would be a way of telling yourself that ice-cream is very important, so telling lies is “okay” in that situation. 

10. Ne igyál előre a medve bőrére!

  • Literal Translation: Don’t drink on the bear’s skin in advance. 
  • English Equivalent: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. 

Meaning:
Don’t celebrate something good too soon, because it might not turn out the way you think it will. 

Usage:
The night before your state exam, you meet up with your friends and they raise their glasses to you, the “newly-grad genius.” You must tell them not to drink on the bear’s skin in advance, because you haven’t graduated yet and nothing is for sure.

A Woman is Thinking and There Are Bubbles Above Her Head

2. Hungarian Proverbs About Love

Hungarian proverbs about love are just as abundant and necessary as those about life. Using the right proverb at the right time can get you some bonus points in your relationship or help you better express your love. Below are the most common proverbs in Hungarian about love, each one relatable and full of wisdom. 

Remember that you can find even more love-related words and phrases on our list of Hungarian Quotes About Love and in our lesson on Three Ways to Say “I Love You” in Hungarian

11. A szerelem vak.

  • Literal Translation: Love is blind. 

Meaning:
You cannot think clearly and rationally when you’re in love.

Usage:
This is a great phrase you can use to console a friend while they’re going through a hard time in their relationship. 

12. Az ellentétek vonzzák egymást.

  • Literal Translation: Opposites attract each other. 

Meaning:
This one is straightforward. People who are utterly different in character often complete each other, like Yin and Yang. Differences give a relationship extra life and spice. If you always agree on everything, chances are you’ll become bored with the relationship over time.

Usage:
You may hear this proverb used when someone is trying to understand how two completely different people could be in a relationship with each other. 

13. Soha szerelem sóhajtás nélkül édes nem lehet.

  • Literal Translation: Love without sighs can never be sweet. 

Meaning:
Love that is without hardships cannot last, as it would be rather boring that way. Also, going through hardships together is the test of true love; if you can weather the storms, your love is likely to last. 

Usage:
If your friend is having their usual rant about their significant other, you can comfort them with this easy Hungarian proverb. Help them remember that a little rain is needed to see the rainbow.

14. A szerelemben több a keserű, mint az édes.

  • Literal Translation: In love, there’s more bitterness than sweetness. 

Meaning:
This one basically means that you have to work for someone’s love to make a relationship last. It doesn’t come easy, and it’s not always pleasant. 

Usage:
Searching for the perfect Hungarian proverb to cheer up a friend who’s just had an argument with their love? This is the one. Just tell them it’s normal and that it will get better.

15. Hideg kéz, meleg szív.

  • Literal Translation: Cold hand, warm heart. 

Meaning:
If someone is strict with you, it usually means they just want the best for you.

Usage:
The funny thing is, this proverb is mostly used in a way unrelated to its real meaning. Hungarians say this when a person’s hand is literally, physically cold. So, if you touch someone’s hand and it’s like an icicle, saying this phrase is a nice way to warm their heart.

16. Nincsen rózsa tövis nélkül.

  • Literal Translation: There is no rose without thorns. 

Meaning:
Nothing and nobody is perfect.

Usage:
If you’re having a tough conversation with a friend or significant other, just recall this Hungarian proverb.

17. A szerelem a bölcset is vakká teszi.

  • Literal Translation: Love makes even the wise blind. 

Meaning:
Love can fool anyone (even the smartest of people), making them irrational.

Usage:
You can use this proverb if one of your friends—who you thought was the wisest and smartest person you knew—fell in love hard and blind.

18. Kenyér és bor nélkül meghűl a szerelem.

  • Literal Translation: Without bread and wine, love gets cold. 

Meaning:
Love needs to be cherished and the fire kept alive, otherwise two people will fall out of love.

Usage:
If you know a couple that’s been together for a looong time, this might be a great, eye-opening piece of advice for them.


19. A harag és a szerelem a legrosszabb tanácsadók.

  • Literal Translation: Anger and love are the worst advisors.

Meaning:
When you’re angry or in love, you cannot think straight. It’s better to act only once you’ve calmed yourself down and cleared your thoughts.

Usage:
If a friend is trying to make a major decision while they’re either angry or blindly in love, you may want to use this Hungarian proverb to open their eyes and encourage caution. 

20. Álomban és szerelemben nincs lehetetlenség.

  • Literal Translation: In a dream and love, nothing is impossible. 

Meaning:
Love can defeat anything and makes everything possible.

Usage:
You can encourage anybody with this saying. If they have a big dream they want to make reality or have a relationship issue that needs to be resolved, you can empower them by emphasizing that nothing is impossible if they set their mind to it.

A Couple Is Seen, Leaning on a Wooden Wall and Holding Hands

3. Hungarian Proverbs About Money

Because Hungarians value and cherish their money quite a lot, there are plenty of Hungarian proverbs about money for you to learn. Below, we’ve listed the ten most common ones.  


21. Sok kicsi sokra megy.

  • Literal Translation: Lots of ‘small’ adds up to one ‘big.’ 

Meaning:
Here’s a prime example of that money-cherishing trait we mentioned. This proverb teaches that we should not be greedy; if we’re patient, great things will come to us eventually. It’s just a matter of enough small things accumulating to become something better. 

Usage:
Imagine your child or nephew/niece finds a few coins inside the couch. You could help them value that little bit of money by saying this proverb to them, convincing them that if they cherish the small amount they gained it will be rewarding in the future. 

22. Az idő pénz.

  • Literal Translation: Time is money. 

Meaning:
Time is the only thing that we cannot get more of; it only lessens, so we must not waste it.

Usage:
If somebody is wasting your time, this proverb is a great (though maybe a bit harsh) way to let them know.

23. Pénz beszél, kutya ugat.

  • Literal Translation: Money talks, dog barks. 

Meaning:
With money, everything is possible.

Usage:
We hope you’ll never use this Hungarian proverb in such a context, but it’s a perfect way to introduce a bribe and let someone know you’re about to pay them off.

24. Ki korán kel, aranyat lel.

  • Literal Translation: The early bird catches the worm. 

Meaning:
Those who are vigilant and ready to jump at opportunities are the ones who succeed.

Usage:
If you struggle to wake up early in the morning, going to bed with this thought in mind might help you wake up easier the next morning.

25. Nem mind arany, ami fénylik.

  • Literal Translation: Not all that glitters is gold. 

Meaning:
You shouldn’t be fooled by superficial things, because they might not be as good as they appear to be.

Usage:
If someone you know is about to jump at an opportunity that seems too good to be true, you can offer them friendly advice using this proverb. It will encourage them to think twice before taking that thing at face value. 

26. Ismerik, mint a rossz pénzt.

  • Literal Translation: He is well-known like bad money. 

Meaning:
This phrase is used to describe someone who is so infamous that their true character is common knowledge. 

Usage:
If someone close to you is starting to become associated with someone you know is not a good person, you can use this phrase to let them know. 

27. A pénz nem a fán nő.

  • Literal Translation: Money doesn’t grow on trees. 

Meaning:
You shouldn’t spend your money recklessly. 

Usage:
Hungarian children often hear this phrase after begging their parents for something at the toy store! 

28. Az becsüli a pénzt, kinek körme kopik utána.

  • Literal Translation: Those who appreciate money broke their nails for it. 

Meaning:
You can only truly appreciate money if you worked hard for every penny.

Usage:
Next time you encounter an arrogant person who won’t get off their high horse because of their easily-come money, you could use this Hungarian proverb to put them back in their place. 

29. Annyi pénze van, mint békán a szőr.

  • Literal Translation: He has as much money as a frog has hair. 

Meaning:
Somebody is broke.

Usage:
If you want to joke about your financial state (because what’s healthier than a little self-deprecation?), you could say this Hungarian proverb to describe your situation to your friends. 

30. Kinek nincsen pénze, ne menjen piacra!

  • Literal Translation: He who hasn’t money, shouldn’t go to the market.

Meaning:
Those who are not qualified to do something, shouldn’t do it.

Usage:
In addition to its obvious correlation with actual money and markets, this proverb can also refer to any situation where someone is unqualified to do something. For example, you could use this phrase at work when somebody tries to perform a task they weren’t trained for and messed it up.

A Blond Woman in a White Shirt Is Laughing, with Money Falling from the Sky

4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Achieve Your Language Goals

Now that you know quite a few old Hungarian proverbs and idioms, you’re well-equipped to handle a variety of situations—and impress native speakers at the same time! Which of these Hungarian sayings is your favorite, and why? 

We hope you enjoyed this article, and that you’ll continue to explore the HungarianPod101.com website for more great content. Here, you’ll find so many fun and effective learning materials to help you reach your goals. To give you just a sample: 

You can also visit the HungarianPod101 YouTube channel to watch educational videos by our fun and energetic hosts. We regularly post new videos, so there’s always something to watch! 

Know that you’re never alone on your language learning journey. You can always reach out to us or your fellow language learners for assistance or encouragement.

Happy learning!

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Budapest Travel Guide: Top 10 Places to Visit in Budapest

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When preparing ourselves to go on a trip, we want to know everything about our destination, right? Right. 

Knowing what a country or city has to offer before arriving helps us plan ahead and pack accordingly, allowing us to make the best of our vacation time! 

One thing we recommend if you’re planning a trip to Budapest is to do your research on the best places to visit. Creating a list of the attractions you most want to see will ensure you don’t waste a precious minute of your stay in this intriguing city. 

In this Budapest travel guide, we’ll make the research part easier for you. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten places to visit in Budapest, in addition to some useful pre-trip information and a list of common Hungarian phrases you should know for the best experience. 

Are you ready? Let’s get your adventure started on the right foot.

Someone Holding a Passport and Travel Documents

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Before You Go
  2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip
  3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  4. Hungarian Survival Phrases for Travelers
  5. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Get the Most Out of Language Learning

Before You Go

As we said earlier, most people want to learn as much as they can about their destination before traveling there. Even if you’re more of the spontaneous type, we think you’ll gain some valuable insight from the information provided in this section. 

Quick Facts

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. It’s also the ninth most populous city in the European Union, with 1.7 million residents living within its 525 km2 of land. 

Hungarians arrived here in the late ninth century, when the area was still ruled by the Mongols. Buda, the west side of the city (split by the Danube), became one of the centers of Renaissance humanist culture by the fifteenth century.

Weather

One of the reasons to visit Budapest is its great weather. Given its humid continental climate, the weather here is pretty mild, with cold winters and warm summers. 

The weather in Budapest from mid-March until early May is usually agreeable. Summer kicks in early around the end of May and normally lasts until mid-September. Proper fall weather—meaning rainy and a bit chilly—occurs in October and November. Winter usually arrives in late November and stays until February (but lately, winters have not been as cold as they were five to ten years ago).

Bottom line: For a spring or summer trip, bring flowy, breezy clothes and maybe a couple of light jackets. If you plan to visit Budapest in winter or fall, you might want to pack two or three warm pullovers and a puffy jacket to keep you warm while wandering the streets.

A Pink Suitcase on a Bed, Packed with Clothes, Bathing Suit, Sunglasses, etc.

Travel Tips

The best time to visit Budapest depends on your needs and preferences. 

If you don’t mind heaps of other tourists tagging along at famous sights, then summer is the way to go. The city is beautiful in summer, and you’ll get to enjoy the terraces of bars and restaurants, as well as the Budapest nightlife with outdoor concerts and fairy lights at night.

However, the city is just as beautiful in winter. Although we don’t recommend sitting down on the bank of the Danube for a romantic picnic during this time, there are many winter activities you could do. A great example is ice-skating in the City Park near Vajdahunyad Castle.

Whenever you go, you must bear in mind that if you don’t speak Hungarian (or English), your visit is going to be quite an adventure. Hungarian people are not well-known for their language expertise. Few people here speak a second language, and those who do typically opt for English or sometimes German. While it is possible to find an Italian- or Spanish-speaking Hungarian, you would have to be very lucky to come across them! 


Packing Reminders

Before your Budapest trip, make sure you have your visa and other travel documents. If you’re from the Schengen area, you probably don’t need one (although it’s always best to check on reputable websites).

Another important thing is to change out your money to the local currency (HUF, or Hungarian Forint). There are some places where you can pay with Euros, but the Euro is not as widespread in Hungary as it is in some other EU member states that haven’t yet adopted the common currency. Other currencies are completely off the table.

Colorful Suitcases of Different Sizes, with a Plane Taking Off in the Background at Sunset

Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip

Do you have only a few days to visit Budapest? No problem. 

While we do recommend staying longer if you have the time and means, you can still see plenty of popular attractions in one to three days. The key here is to choose locations that are relatively close to one another, so you don’t have to waste much time traveling. 

Here are five incredible places to visit in Budapest when you’re short on time! 

#1: Buda Castle (Budavári Palota)

If you have only one or two days to visit the city, exploring the Buda side is probably the best thing to do. 

First off, the Buda Castle (located atop Castle Hill) is definitely a priority! The castle was originally built in the mid-thirteenth century and served as home to numerous Hungarian kings. Inside, you’ll find the Budapest History Museum where you can learn more about the city’s history. In 1987, this location was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

#2: Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)

You can get an amazing view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion, located in the Buda Castle area. While at Castle Hill, you might also want to check out the famous labyrinth underneath it; it’s an enormous network of caves and tunnels underneath the historical Budapest.

#3: Citadella (Citadella)

Still on the Buda side but no longer on Castle Hill, there is Citadella, the fortress of Budapest upon Gellért Hill. Here, you’ll find the famous Liberty Statue which was erected in remembrance of the Soviet liberation after WWll. You can reach the Citadella by bus, but if you want to be more adventurous, you can walk up to the top from the foot of the hill.

#4: Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom)

Also known as the Coronation Church of Buda, this Roman Catholic church was built in 1015 and is where Franz Joseph I and Charles IV were crowned. It’s located in the Holy Trinity Square in the Buda Castle District, and it’s an essential location to visit if you enjoy architecture. The building features a Romanesque styling you’re sure to fall in love with! 

#5: Gellért Thermal Bath (Gellért Fürdő)

Hungary is known for its different kinds of mineral-laden thermal water, and Budapest tourism heavily relies on it. If you have a bit more time, definitely visit the Gellért Thermal Bath. You could easily spend a full day here, on the border of Buda and Pest, just relaxing and soaking in the water.

A Female Asian Tourist Holding a Map with a Camera Hanging Around Her Neck

Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

If you have a bit more time to visit Budapest (a week or so), there are several places on the Pest side you should definitely add to your itinerary. 

#6: Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere)

Heroes’ Square is a major landmark in Budapest. It commemorates the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important leaders. Near Heroes’ Square, there is City Park which is a great place to have picnics or a good run. In City Park stands Vajdahunyad Castle; this is one of the best places to visit in Budapest in January, because you can go ice-skating inside.

#7: Margaret Island (Margit-sziget)

Margaret Island is one of the two islands in Budapest (the city, not the county). It has a great running track, fitness park, pool, hotel, and lots of other facilities. However, it’s mostly visited for friendly get-togethers and picnics—not to mention the musical fountain that ‘dances’ to songs every hour from four p.m. in summer.

#8: Parliament of Budapest (Országház/Parlament)

The Hungarian Parliament Building, located on Kossuth Square, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary. It’s visited not only by tourists, but also by school groups. If you plan to visit the Budapest Parliament, it’s best to get a tour guide so you can get to know every little detail about this beautiful building, designed by Imre Steindl in the Neo-Gothic style.

#9: Saint Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)

This Roman Catholic basilica of Neoclassical architecture is named after the first king of Hungary. Besides being a tourist attraction, the basilica is often used to host musical events. St. Stephen’s Basilica is close to Deák Ferenc Square and the heart of Budapest nightlife; many of the must-visit restaurants in Budapest are located in the area, as well. 

#10: Dohány Street Synagogue (Dohány utcai zsinagóga)

This Jewish synagogue, situated between Deák Ferenc Square and Astoria, was built between 1854-59 in Moorish Revival style. Its decoration has a strong Islamic influence. This is the largest working synagogue in Europe—and one of the largest in the world—with nearly 3,000 seats.

Inside of the Dohány Street Synagogue

Hungarian Survival Phrases for Travelers

Our guide would be incomplete without a set of Hungarian survival phrases. Because most Hungarians speak only Hungarian, it’s essential that you learn at least the very basics for day-to-day interactions. 

The words and phrases listed below should be adequate, but you can also study our lesson on Hungarian Words Related to Travel, our list of Essential Hungarian Vocabulary About Traveling, and our list of 30 Hungarian Travel Phrases You Should Know. That should keep you busy for a while. 😉 

  • Szia. / Hello. (singular)
  • Sziasztok. / Hello. (plural)
  • Köszönöm. / Thank you. (singular)
  • Köszönjük. / Thank you. (plural)
  • Viszlát. / Goodbye. (short, polite version)
  • Viszont látásra. / Goodbye. (longer version)
  • Szia. / Goodbye. (singular, informal)
  • Szasztok. / Goodbye. (plural, informal) 
  • Bocsánat. / Sorry. (longer, polite version)
  • Bocsi. / Sorry. (shorter, less polite version)

Curious to discover more common greetings? Then see our lesson Greetings Among Young People

  • Nagyon jó! / Very good. 
  • Nem értem (Önt). / I don’t understand (you). 
  • Nem beszélek magyarul. / I don’t speak Hungarian. 
  • Merre találom a mosdót? / Where is the restroom? 
  • Mennyibe kerül? / How much is it? 
  • Ezt szeretném megvenni. / I’d like to buy this. (at a store)
  • Ezt szeretném kérni. / I want this. [Literally: I’d like to ask for this.] (at a restaurant
  • Segítség! / Help! (for emergencies)

The Chain Bridge and the Parliament at Sunset/Evening in Budapest

How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Get the Most Out of Language Learning

In this article, we covered the top ten places to visit in Budapest and gave you some handy travel tips. We hope we’ve inspired you to take the plunge and travel to this majestic European city! Which of these locations do you most want to see, and why? 

Although our Budapest visit guide covered most of the places you should visit in Budapest, don’t forget that there’s always more to every location and culture. Dig deeper, do your research, and boost your Hungarian knowledge in the meantime. (We can help with that.)

One of the reasons traveling to a foreign land is an awesome experience is because it gives you the chance to practice the local language with natives. If you’re a Hungarian learner, traveling to Budapest is a great idea because the residents are very talkative here—you just have to give off that good first impression. A good way to do this is by displaying your knowledge of Hungarian!

Join the HungarianPod101 family, and we can help you prepare for your upcoming Budapest trip. We have a great number of vocabulary lists, as well as video and audio materials for learners at every level. With our help, there will be nothing standing between you and Budapest.

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Hunglish: English Words in the Hungarian Language

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Over the years, globalization has made it more feasible than ever for countries all over the world to connect with each other. This interconnection allows different cultures and languages to influence each other, and major languages (such as English) have left an impression on countless other world languages. Nowadays, it’s increasingly common for languages to adopt entire English words and phrases.

There are quite a few English words in the Hungarian language, classified as either loanwords or Hunglish. 

  • Loanwords are words that have been integrated into the language with their original English meaning intact.
  • Hunglish refers to English words that have entered the Hungarian language with different meanings or nuances.

And it’s not a one-way road! English has also taken foreign words from other languages, and you can find a few Hungarian words in English, too.

In this article, we’re going to show you how Hunglish works, as well as which words English and Hungarian have exchanged among themselves over the years.

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Hunglish
  2. Hunglish Examples
  3. English Words in Hungarian
  4. How to Say These Names in Hungarian
  5. English Words Derived From Hungarian
  6. English Words Derived From Other Languages
  7. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Hungarian

Introduction to Hunglish

As the name suggests, ‘Hunglish’ refers to the mixing of Hungarian and English by native Hungarian speakers. While Hunglish normally has to do with incorporating English words or phrases into the language, it can also refer to the use of grammatically incorrect Hungarian sentences due to English influence. This phenomenon has been around for quite some time, but has been most prominent in the past five to ten years. 

There are two types of Hunglish: 

1. English words and phrases officially implemented into Hungarian vocabulary. 

2. English words and phrases unofficially implemented into Hungarian vocabulary. 

A good example of the latter is when Hungarians insert English expressions or words into the middle of a Hungarian sentence. 

Though more and more Hungarians—especially the younger generations—speak English to some extent, the language is not extremely popular in Hungary. Because so few people speak English here, most Hungarians do not have much exposure to the language and tend to make grammatical mistakes when they do use it. Whenever they’re unsure about English grammar, they’re prone to rely on the grammar of their mother tongue.

You can see some examples of this in the next section.

The Hungarian Flag Waving

Hunglish Examples

Hunglish can refer to any type of linguistic interference that occurs between Hungarian and English. While this is most commonly seen in vocabulary exchanges (loanwords), the two languages also influence each other’s grammar. 

Earlier, we mentioned that many Hungarians make grammar-related mistakes when speaking English. Here are a few examples of what we mean: 

English SentenceHungarian VersionHungarian TranslationExplanation
His house is near the church.His house is near to the church.A háza közel van a templomhoz.In Hungarian, something is close to something. Since “close” and “near” have the same meaning, Hungarians tend to use the expressions “to be close to something” and “to be near something” interchangeably. For this reason, they often apply the word “to” after “near.”
I feel good.I feel myself good.Jól érzem magam.Hungarians use reflexive pronouns when speaking about how they are feeling. Without magam, the Hungarian sentence would mean something like: “I feel that something is good.” (Jót érzek.)
My name is Peter.My name Peter.A nevem Péter.Hungarian does not use auxiliary verbs, such as “to be.” For this reason, Hungarians tend to leave them out of English sentences, too.
I was eating when the bell rang.I ate when the bell rang.Éppen ettem, amikor megszólalt a csengő.English verb tenses pose quite a challenge for Hungarians, as Hungarian only has three verb tenses (easily memorized and formed), opposed to the twelve tenses English has (most of which seem very similar to each other to the average Hungarian).
Respect needs to be earned.The respect needs to be earned.A tiszteletet ki kell érdemelni.Hungarians tend to overuse the definite article, using it even when it’s not necessary. Again, this is based on their own grammar. As you can see here, the Hungarian sentence starts with a definite article, so they assume it is needed in the English sentence too.

Somebody Writing in Their Journal with a Blue Pen that Has a Red Cap

English Words in Hungarian

Because English loanwords in Hungarian are borrowed, they do not undergo any significant changes in spelling, pronunciation, or meaning. They are more or less written and pronounced—with a slight Hungarian accent, perhaps—like they are in English.

Let’s see some popular English words in Hungarian, shall we?

Borrowed English WordHunglish VersionOriginal Hungarian Word
mobile (phone)mobil(telefon)rádiótelefon
telephonetelefon
computerkomputerszámítógép
(computer) monitormonitorképernyő
internetinternetvilágháló
TV (as tee-vee)tévételevízió
imageimidzsarculat
hellohelószia/sziasztok
teenagertinédzserserdülő, kamasz
trendytrendidivatos

It’s important to add that there are also plenty of so-called “false friends.” These are Hungarian words that are spelled very similarly to an English word but mean something completely different.

Hungarian WordIts Hungarian MeaningIts English False Friend
akcióon saleaction
farmerjeansfarmer
novellashort storynovel
masszívtough; durablemassive
prémiumwork bonuspremium
gimnáziumhigh schoolgymnasium
receptrecipereceipt
szmokingtuxedosmoking
konkrétfactualconcrete
szolidlow-keysolid

A mMan with a Gray Cardigan,  a Beanie, and Glasses Reading in a Coffee Shop

How to Say These Names in Hungarian

Some of the most famous English words in Hungarian are celebrity and franchise names. The pronunciation for these words doesn’t normally change much, but may be spoken with a Hungarian accent. In some cases, Hungarians have created their own version of the name instead of adopting the English one. 

Let’s see some examples of these common English words in the Hungarian language:

English VersionHungarian Version
McDonald’sMeki
(This is a shortened version; Hungarians say “McDonald’s” too, with a Hungarian accent.)
Star WarsCsillagok háborúja
Catherine, Duchess of CambridgeKatalin cambridge-i hercegné
Prince Harry, Duke of SussexHenrik sussexi herceg
Winnie the PoohMicimackó

The Star Wars Logo with a Black Background

English Words Derived From Hungarian

Hungarian has also had quite an influence on the English language, lending it several words which have become integrated into the language over time. 

The most common Hungarian words in English are:

Original Hungarian WordEnglish VersionMeaning of the Word
gulyásgoulashtraditional Hungarian soup with lots of vegetables
halászléFisherman’s Souptraditional Hungarian Christmas soup
huszárhussarlight cavalry soldier
csárdásczardasHungarian folk dance
Dobos tortaDobos torte or DoboshHungarian cake named after József Dobos
icipiciitsy-bitsyteeny-tiny
csákótsakopeaked cap
kocsicoachhorse-drawn wagon
tokajitokayfamous Hungarian white wine, tokaji aszú
vizslavizlaHungarian hunting-dog breed

Knowing these basic Hungarian words in English, could you order your dinner in a Hungarian restaurant?

A Big Pot of Colorful Goulash

English Words Derived From Other Languages

You’ve learned a lot so far: what Hunglish looks like, how English has influenced Hungarian, and the most common Hungarian words in the English language. Now it’s time for a little fun before we wrap up!  

Here are some English words that derive from other languages. How many of these did you know already? 

English WordLanguage Origin
entrepreneur, utensilFrench
delicatessen, wanderlustGerman
guerilla, cigarSpanish
tofu, ketchupChinese
paparazzi, cartoonItalian

How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Hungarian

We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and that you now feel more confident about continuing your Hungarian studies. While Hungarian is not the easiest language to learn, its growing number of English loanwords and other English influences can help it seem less daunting. Plus, as globalization continues, the list of English words in Hungarian will surely grow with time. 

How many of these words were you surprised to find on our list? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to reach out with any questions! 

Are you interested in learning more about the Hungarian language in an easily accessible manner? Then join the HungarianPod101 family. With us, you’ll get unlimited access to many articles, vocabulary lists, and video and audio lessons that will make studying way easier.

Another benefit of becoming a member is the strong sense of community we have to offer. Next time you encounter a bump in your language learning, there will always be someone there to help—whether it’s one of our native Hungarian teachers or a fellow language learner. With us, you’ll never be alone on your exciting Hungarian learning journey.

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A Brief Overview of Hungarian Culture

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If you want to visit a country, be it for a short-term summer vacation or a long-term business stay, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with its culture and society. Hungary is no exception.

In fact, understanding Hungarian culture is just as crucial as knowing the key words and phrases. 

It will help you better integrate into the society and make your interactions with locals much smoother and more authentic. In addition, showing Hungarians that you’re curious about the culture of Hungary can go a long way toward helping you form relationships.

On this page, you’re going to learn about Hungarian cultural norms, some of the country’s history, and more Hungarian culture facts you should know. If you pay close attention, you can avoid a lot of culture shock during your visit and adapt more easily.

Now, let’s dive in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Values and Beliefs
  2. Religion
  3. Family
  4. Work
  5. Art
  6. Food
  7. Traditional Holidays
  8. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Hungarian

1. Values and Beliefs

A Man Seen from the Back Is at the Airport, Holding His Blue Suitcase

Each culture has certain ideals or concepts that serve as the core of its society. The first step in understanding Hungarian culture and customs is to learn about the values and beliefs of its people.

The most important thing you have to know about Hungarian culture is that people value family very much. Family is the cornerstone of Hungarian society.

Hungarians also tend to value relationships in general. They are very sociable people who enjoy interacting with each other as often as possible. Be it a family member’s graduation ceremony or a friendly barbeque, a Hungarian will be there.

Because Hungarians value strong and long-term relationships, and are thus rather emotion-driven, they like sharing. They don’t mind telling people intimate details about their lives, even to a neighbor or a friendly stranger on the bus. Hungarians trust each other and want to bond.

All in all, Hungarians believe in transparency and honesty, so they’re very open with each other about their lives—but not so much about their thoughts! Hungarians tend to dislike confrontation so they usually act nice and polite in all situations, even if they don’t agree with something. This is because they don’t want to hurt or argue with others.

If you find yourself around locals for a longer period of time, you’ll start to notice these elements of Hungarian culture and etiquette yourself.

The Hungarian Flag against a White Background

2. Religion

Religion plays a rather large role in Hungarian culture and traditions. Hungary is a very religious nation, with nearly 70% of the population identifying as Roman Catholic.

This bond with Catholicism not only influences many Hungarian holidays, but is also reflected in the fact that many Hungarians are regular church-goers. However, more and more locals are ceasing to practice their religion and remain only informally tied to the Church through baptisms, funerals, or weddings.

You can find other indicators of Hungary’s religiousness in its cities. For example, in cities such as Eger, Esztergom, and Sopron, there are many beautiful, well-maintained, and regularly visited cathedrals. However, we should not forget the beautiful Saint Stephen’s Basilica or the Jewish synagogue on Dohány Street (the largest synagogue in all Europe!), both in the country’s capital city and real cultural center, Budapest.


The Bible, Holy Necklace with Christ Crucified Is Seen

3. Family

As we said earlier, Hungarian culture is very much centered around the family. Back in the day, Hungarian families were huge, consisting of several members. Nowadays, the average Hungarian family consists of the parents and one to three kids.

However, Hungarian family culture extends far beyond the nuclear family. Grandparents, cousins, and other relatives are just as valued—in fact, many grandparents share a household with their children and grandchildren, usually in their own separate little room. Consequently, it’s quite rare in Hungary to send older family members to nursing homes when they’re no longer able to live by themselves.

    → You can learn the Hungarian names of different family members on our Family vocabulary list!

A Family of Four Is Seen Smiling, Eating Ice-cream

4. Work

Hungarian business culture is rather strict. Everybody ‘knows their place’ and knows how to behave around certain people. The business etiquette and culture in Hungary are very much built on hierarchy. This is unlike the business cultures of some other countries, like Denmark for example, where everybody is equal and free to share their ideas about everything. While you can still share ideas in a Hungarian business meeting, you must do so within the framework of the hierarchy. 

Besides respecting hierarchy in the workplace, Hungarians are rather detail-oriented. They usually play by the rules and they like to stay in the know about everything that’s going on. For instance, business meetings and appointments should be scheduled way ahead of time—at least two weeks in advance—and the exact time, place, and duration of the meeting should be communicated to them as well. 

Punctuality is another top priority in Hungarian work culture. If you have to cancel a meeting, let your Hungarian partners know as soon as possible. If you forget to warn them far enough in advance, they may have a hard time forgiving you, resulting in workplace tension. 


5. Art

Hungarian music is probably the most famous art form in the country, with Hungarian folk and classical music being crucial parts of Hungarian history and culture. Hungarian folk music includes both traditional music and the genre that evolved from it during the twentieth century folk revival.

Regarding classical music, some of the most admired Hungarian composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries include Ferenc Liszt, Béla Bartók, and Zoltán Kodály. Many skilled Hungarian painters lived during this same period. They include:

  • Pál Szinyei Merse (Lady in a Purple Dress; The Balloon)
  • Mihály Munkácsy (The Settlement of the Magyars in Hungary; Woman Carrying Firewood)
  • Bertalan Székely (Leda With Swan)

You can find many of their works in the Hungarian National Gallery.

If you’re thirsty for architecture, Hungary has plenty of buildings that will satisfy you. Just explore historical cities such as Eger, Sopron, Veszprém, and Szentendre. Even Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, bears the traces of Hungarian history and culture.

The Hands of a Pianist Is Seen Playing on a Piano

6. Food

Hungarian food and culture go hand in hand. But before you try any yourself, we must warn you that it’s pretty rich. However, this only means their cuisine will feed your soul just as much as your stomach, so don’t worry about putting on a few pounds during your stay.

You must know that Hungarians love their belly, so their meals are rich in fat, spices, meat, and bread. Also, they like their food spicy and full of Hungarian red paprika, which is the core of most Hungarian dishes. Other ingredients that Hungarians use often include dairy products—like tejföl, túró, and cheese—meat (mostly pork and chicken), and all kinds of seasonal vegetables grown in Hungary.

The signature Hungarian dish—which could even be considered a part of ancient Hungarian culture—is gulyás (“goulash”), which actually means “herdsman.” It is a thick soup that contains beef, pork fat, Hungarian red paprika (of course), onion, red wine, and lots of vegetables.

Another Hungarian specialty is lángos, which is deep-fried dough usually topped with garlic, tejföl (“sour cream”), and cheese.

Hungarians love their stomach, so they definitely like cooking! Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming lesson on Hungarian foods, in which we’ll share a few popular and easy-to-make recipes for you to try at home.

A Big Pot of Gulyás, Red Pot with a Wooden Spoon in It

7. Traditional Holidays

There are several holidays that play a major role in Hungarian culture. Many of them reflect the religious nature of the country, while others have to do with the country’s history. Take a look at five of the most important Hungarian holidays. 

    → If you would like to learn even more about traditional Hungarian holidays, you can visit our Hungarian Holidays Archive to read up on individual holidays.
    → You can also learn what Hungarians call different Life Events in our relevant vocab list.

A- New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve, there are usually lots of house parties, outdoor concerts, and programs that are organized by the government of Hungary. There are special programs on TV as well, usually old recordings from the 1990s called Sas Kabaré.

B- Memorial Day of the Revolution and Independence War in 1848

The Revolution of 1848 on March 15 is one of the most important events in Hungarian history and culture. During the Revolution, Hungarians fought for independence from the Habsburg Monarchy.

C- Easter

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and the upcoming spring. On this day, boys would traditionally ‘water’ girls with buckets of cold water! Nowadays, this tradition is still honored, mostly in the countryside. However, most Hungarians use perfume instead.

D- Saint Stephen’s Day

Saint Stephen’s Day is the National Foundation Day of Hungary on August 20. St. Stephen was the first Hungarian king and he brought Christianity to the Hungarian people.

E- Christmas

Christmas is the biggest holiday in Hungary. Families get together and celebrate not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but also family and love. They sit around a big table full of traditional Hungarian Christmas dishes such as stuffed cabbage, fisherman’s soup, and bejgli, and reminisce about the year that’s about to pass.

Budapest at Night, Fireworks Are Seen in Front of the Chain Bridge

8. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Hungarian

Now that you know the Hungarian culture a bit better, you can go to Hungary and experience it first-hand. However, if you would like to dive into the topic a bit more, we have several articles, vocabulary lists, and lessons that would be perfect for you. We linked to them throughout the page, but you can also explore our website and see what else you find there. 

At HungarianPod101.com, we deliver the best possible content for you so that you can maximize your learning potential while having fun.

If you would like to get more out of HungarianPod101, sign up now and study with us. When you join our tight-knit language learning family, you’ll be able to access tons of audio and video lessons, amongst many other exclusive features. 

If you still have any questions about Hungarian culture, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments section. We’re always glad to help you out! 

Which aspect of Hungarian culture was the most interesting to you?

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The Ultimate Guide to Traditional Hungarian Food

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Have you ever been on vacation in a foreign country and wanted to try out the local food? If so, you know how hard it is to know exactly what to order. But you can rest assured that you won’t face this problem in Hungary after reading our Hungarian food guide!

In this article, we’ll introduce you to a variety of Hungarian cuisine staples so you can get an idea of what to expect. We’ll also provide you with some easy Hungarian recipes that you can try to make at home. All you need is an open heart, the desire to discover, and a piece of paper to take notes and write down the names of the Hungarian food dishes that make you drool.

But before we begin…

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. What is Hungarian Food?
  2. Must-Try Dishes in Hungarian Restaurants
  3. Authentic Hungarian Food vs. Overseas Hungarian Food
  4. Unique Hungarian Foods and Drinks
  5. Food-Related Vocabulary
  6. Bonus: Simple Recipes to Make Authentic Hungarian Food at Home
  7. How HungarianPod101.com Makes Studying Fun

1. What is Hungarian Food? 

Hungarian food refers to the traditional dishes that Hungarian people eat. 

Hungarians love their stomach and that’s why our dishes are rich in fat, meat, and bread. (Hungarians could even eat bread with pasta!) 

We also like our food spicy, and paprika is the heart of Hungarian cuisine. Other ingredients that often star in our meals include:

  • dairy products, such as tejföl (“sour cream”), túró (“cottage cheese”), and other cheeses
  • meat (mostly pork and chicken)
  • all kinds of seasonal vegetables that can be grown in Hungary

Before continuing, you may find it useful to go over our food-themed vocabulary lists:

Now, are you ready for this greasy, juicy culinary experience? Let’s go then.

Food Is Visible on a Table, Eggs, Meat, Nuts, Salmon, Etc.

2. Must-Try Dishes in Hungarian Restaurants

In this section, we’ll introduce you to the five most popular Hungarian foods. First, it’s important to note that the majority of traditional dishes in Hungary are actually Hungarian peasant food.

Now, let’s see what they are.

Gulyás(leves)

Main ingredients:

  • beef
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • pork fat
  • Hungarian red paprika & green paprika
  • red wine
  • tomato, potato, carrot, root and leaf parsley, celeriac

This one is the traditional Hungarian food, without a doubt. If you were to ask someone to name a Hungarian specialty, gulyás (goulash) would certainly be their first answer. Here’s a fun fact for you: gulyás actually means “herdsman.”

To make this famous dish like a true Hungarian would, cook it over an open fire. And if you want to eat it like Hungarians do, don’t forget the bread!

(Csirke)pörkölt

Main ingredients:

  • chicken thighs
  • yellow onion
  • pork fat
  • Hungarian red paprika (ground)
  • tomato
  • water

This traditional Hungarian food is similar to a stew. While chicken is a popular meat option in this meal, people can also make pörkölt with other types of meat such as pork. The important thing here is the Hungarian powdered red paprika. 

Another traditional food called nokedli (a Hungarian noodle) is typically served with this meal. 

Halászlé

Main ingredients:

  • common carp, catfish
  • yellow onion
  • Hungarian red paprika (ground)
  • water

Halászlé (“fisherman’s soup”) is a traditional Hungarian Christmas food, so it’s the perfect choice if you want to spice up your Christmas family dinner at home. The broth has a powdered paprika base, and the soup is made with thick chunks of fish. Hungarians usually eat this dish with bread.

If you feel courageous, you can find full Hungarian Christmas food recipes online to make. Don’t forget to let us know how they turned out.

Hortobágyi palacsinta

Main ingredients:

  • pork thighs
  • yellow onion 
  • Hungarian red paprika (ground), green paprika
  • tomato
  • parsley
  • flour
  • eggs
  • cow’s milk
  • tejföl

Hortobágyi palacsinta is a kind of salty pancake that got its name from the Hungarian region (and village) of Hortobágy. The pancake (which resembles the French type more than the American type) is filled with ground meat and a creamy (due to the tejföl) paprika sauce.

Rántott sajt

Main ingredients:

  • Trappista cheese
  • eggs
  • flour
  • bread crumbs
  • oil

Last but not least, another typical and famous Hungarian food is breaded cheese. Hungarians like to, can, and will bread and then fry everything, including cheese. They usually put french fries or rice on the plate as a side dish, and they like to dip the cheese into tartar sauce (or cranberry sauce, if it’s Camembert cheese).

A Big Red-pot of Fisherman’s Soup Is Visible

3. Authentic Hungarian Food vs. Overseas Hungarian Food

As Hungarian food casts its spell on the world, it’s becoming increasingly common to find Hungarian restaurants and food shops outside the borders of Hungary. However, overseas Hungarian food may not always offer the same level of flavor and authenticity as that made in-country. 

As we stated earlier, one of the key ingredients of Hungarian cuisine is the seasonal vegetables grown in Hungary. Sometimes, Hungarian food store or restaurant owners don’t bother to (or simply can’t afford to) export vegetables from Hungary. Not to mention that shipping the products over long distances isn’t very environmentally friendly.  

When in search of authentic Hungarian food, you must take into consideration who the owner of the restaurant or shop is. Some entrepreneurs see the potential of Hungarian food to reach across borders and cultures, and decide to open a restaurant or shop without deep knowledge of how the food is actually made. While they might find recipes online, they may still miss the essentials that only a true Hungarian could implement. This is why native Hungarians are most capable of running successful Hungarian restaurants and crafting high-quality Hungarian meals. 

For example, there are overseas Hungarian food shops and restaurants in Austria, New York, Sydney, and London. However, the menu is often altered to appeal more to foreigners so that Hungarian food would seem more familiar to them. An example of this is lángos, a Hungarian dish of deep-fried dough topped with garlic, tejföl, and cheese. In Sydney, it’s sold as ‘garlic bread.’ But lángos is actually lightyears away from that!

We advise you to check the history and the owner of any overseas Hungarian food store or restaurant you’re visiting to decide whether the place is trustworthy. However, if you have the chance, you should definitely try authentic Hungarian food in its own kingdom.

Meals Are Visible from the Top, Meatballs, Lemonade, Corn, Shashlik, Etc.

4. Unique Hungarian Foods and Drinks

Hungarian food often leaves foreigners thinking “Whaaat?” But you have only seen the tip of the iceberg. 

Now we’re going to show you five truly unique Hungarian foods and drinks that you can only find in Hungary. Since we’ve been talking about main dishes so far, it’s time to introduce you to some Hungarian desserts and beverages.

    → If you want to dive further into this topic, make sure you look at our Culture Class lesson on Sweets and Desserts!

Somlói galuska

Ah… Somlói galuska, a dish that is dear to all Hungarians. And no wonder! It’s a delicious sponge cake with layers of chocolate cream and walnut kernel, spiced with rum and crowned with whipped cream. This Hungarian dessert usually has raisins in it, too.

Mákos guba

Many Hungarians associate mákos guba with their childhood. It’s kifli (a type of Hungarian bread) that’s soaked in a mixture of warm milk, vanilla, sugar, and poppy seeds. Note that poppy seeds are very common in Hungarian desserts.

Bejgli

Here is yet another Hungarian Christmas food. Bejgli is a pastry roll traditionally filled with poppy seeds or walnuts. Nowadays, you can find versions that are filled with chestnuts, sour cherries, or dried plums.

Pálinka

Pálinka is a traditional fruit brandy that all Hungarians are proud of. It can be fermented from almost any kind of fruit, but the most common ones are plum and apricot. It’s usually 37.5% – 86% ABV. Pretty strong, to say the least.

Tokaji aszú

Tokaji aszú is the most famous wine of Hungary. Aszú is a type of Tokaji wine that comes from Tokaj, Hungary. The berries of this sweet wine are picked individually. The final beverage is kept in wooden casks.

A Wine Cellar Is Seen, Wooden Casks In a Row

5. Food-Related Vocabulary

By now, we’re sure you’re excited to try some famous Hungarian cuisine yourself! Following is a list of words and phrases that might come in handy while you’re visiting a restaurant in Hungary.

If you want even more practical phrases, see our vocabulary lists of Useful Phrases for Ordering Food and Vocabulary and Phrases at the Restaurant

Szeretnék egy üveg bort.

In English: I would like a bottle of wine.

  • “I would like” – Szeretnék 
  • “a bottle of” – egy üveg 
  • “wine” – bor

Van tejtermék ebben az ételben?

In English: Is there any dairy (products) in this dish?

  • “dairy product” – tejtermék
  • “dish” – étel

Mi a mai ajánlat?

In English: What are today’s specials?

  • “today’s special” – mai ajánlat

Please note that in Hungarian, you would ask this question in singular form rather than plural.

Beszélhetek a szakáccsal? Nagyon meg vagyok elégedve az étellel.

In English: Can I speak to the chef? I’m very satisfied with the food.

  • “to speak” – beszélni
  • “chef” – szakács
  • “satisfied” – elégedett
  • “food” – étel

Szeretnék fizetni a vacsoráért.

In English: I’d like to pay for the dinner.

  • “to pay” – fizetni
  • “dinner” – vacsora

A Group of Friends Is Having Dinner, Three Women and Two Guys Are Seen Around a Table, They Are All Laughing

6. Bonus: Simple Recipes to Make Authentic Hungarian Food at Home

Now that you’re familiar with some of the most popular Hungarian foods, we’ll teach you how to make Hungarian food at home. We’ve included three simple recipes that anyone can make, so be courageous in the kitchen and get ready for a delicious culinary journey.

Recipe #1: Mákos guba

Ingredients:

  • 8 ps. kifli
  • 1 l. cow’s milk
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar
  • 15 dkg poppy seed, ground
  • 15 dkg powdered sugar

Method:

  1. Cut the kiflis into 1 cm-wide circles. Pour the mixture of warmed-up milk and vanilla sugar on them in a pot.
  2. Once the kifli circles soak up the milk, sprinkle them with the poppy seed and sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe #2: Babfőzelék

We haven’t yet discussed this type of Hungarian food, though it’s an important one. Főzelék can be described as a very, very thick soup—and Hungarians love it! They can turn almost any vegetable into one.

Ingredients:

  • 30 dkg dry beans, soaked the night before
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp powdered Hungarian red paprika
  • 2 dl tejföl
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar, 10%
  • salt
  • pepper (ground)

Method:

  1. Cook beans over medium heat, for approx. 10-15 minutes, then drain. In the meantime, in another pot, boil water and pour it over the beans until they are just covered. This prevents it from puffing. Put the bay leaves and salt in it, and cook until tender.
  2. While the beans are cooking (over low heat), whisk together oil and flour, then add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until glassy. Remove from fire and add paprika, tejföl, and 1 dl of cold water. Whisk until combined and without lumps. Add the mixture to the beans and bring to a boil while constantly stirring. When boiling, reduce the heat and leave it like that. If the főzelék seems to be too thick, add more water. In the meantime, add sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar to suit your taste.

Recipe #3: Meggyleves

Ingredients:

  • 50 dkg sour cherry
  • 8 dl water
  • sugar
  • 5 ps. dried clove
  • 1 p. cinnamon stick (2 cm)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon and zest
  • 5-6 lemongrass leaves
  • 2 pack vanilla sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pack vanilla pudding powder
  • 2 dl sour cream

Method:

  1. Put the pitted sour cherries in a pot and pour water on them. Sweeten with sugar and vanilla sugar to your liking. Zest a lemon into it, and put it in the pot with the lemongrass leaves and the rest of the spices. Bring to a boil and then cook for approx. 10 minutes on low heat.
  2. When it’s cooked, mush the sour cherries with a mixer. If you want, you can half-mush them so there are a few chunks still left. Then, put it back on the stove and bring to a boil again.
  3. Whisk the sour cream together with the vanilla pudding powder and, while constantly stirring, pour it into the soup.
  4. Cook for a few more minutes, until the soup is thick enough.
  5. This soup is usually served cold, so you might want to wait until it cools down or put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Enjoy.
Lots of Food on a Table in Aluminium Pots, Rice, Chicken Wings, Etc.

7. How HungarianPod101.com Makes Studying Fun

Today, you explored the most important traditional Hungarian foods, and you even learned how to make some of them at home! 

We hope we brought you—or at least your stomach—closer to the Hungarian culture. It’s truly amazing to get to know a culture through its foods; cuisine plays just as large a role in a nation’s culture as things like habits and architecture do!

We recommend that you continue exploring this topic first-hand. Whether you visit Hungary to try some authentic dishes, dine at a nearby Hungarian restaurant, or try your hand at Hungarian cuisine in the kitchen, making this country’s cuisine a part of your life will greatly improve your language learning!

If you would like to learn more about the Hungarian language and culture in a fun and exciting way, join the HungarianPod101 family. Our lessons are designed to keep you engaged and entertained, while providing practical information and learning materials.

Before you go: Which of these Hungarian foods do you most want to try? How many of these dishes have you had already? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Change in Hungary: 1848 Revolution Memorial Day

1848 was a time of forradalom (revolution), upheaval, and general discontent throughout Europe. Several different nations vied to achieve their unique political and social goals, and the Hungarian revolts of 1848 were particularly significant. 

In this article, you’ll learn about the 1848 Revolution of Hungary and how it’s commemorated today. Let’s get started!

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1. What is 1848 Revolution Memorial Day? 

A Cockade with Hungarian Flag Colors

The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 began on March 15, 1848, as Hungary followed the lead of many other European nations. Much of Europe was caught in a great upheaval during this time, with different nations trying to achieve varying—though similar—goals regarding the political and societal status of their people. Of all the 1848 revolutions in Europe, the one in Hungary lasted the longest and was arguably one of the most successful; the Hungarian uprising didn’t end until August 1849, when Austria employed the help of Russia.

For Hungary, the revolutions of 1848 largely focused on gaining autonomy from the Habsburg Monarchy and having its 12 Points of Demands met. These 12 Points, co-written by famous poet Petőfi Sándor (Sándor Petőfi), were read out by the nationalists throughout Pest on March 15.

A major leader of the revolution was Lajos Kossuth, often thought of as the face of the revolution. He was a radicalist who sought to have Hungary’s goals met in the fastest way possible, through any means necessary.

Hungary was successful toward the beginning, but the revolution ultimately failed after the Russian army came to Austria’s aid. However, the events of the revolution paved the way for Hungary to reach its goals later on. 


2. Celebrations and Key Events

The Hungarian Parliament Building

There are a few different celebrations and observances that take place to commemorate the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. If you happen to be walking the streets of Hungary, you’ll have the privilege of admiring the colors of the Hungarian flag all around you—the flag itself waving in front of buildings, people wearing red, white, and green clothing, and a few even donning kokárdák (cockades).

Most of the events for this holiday take place at Castle Hill and the Hungarian Parliament building. People gather at these locations to hear speeches from government leaders and to join in singing the National Song of Hungary. They can also see the raising of the Hungarian flag in Kossuth Square, and enter the Parliament and a variety of museums for free.

There are also plenty of kid- and family-friendly activities: guided horseback riding, folk music and dancing performances, theatrical performances, arts and crafts, fencing demonstrations, and more! If you plan on visiting, keep in mind that there will be plenty of restaurants open on this day, as well as food-tasting events you can experience. Those who get the day off may also enjoy a trip to the nearby Budapest Baths, where they can relax in the thermal baths and get a massage.  

    → Castle Hill and the Parliament Building are only two of the most popular locations in the country. Do you know of any other Tourist Attractions in Hungary?

3. More on Sándor Petőfi

A Man Clip Art

Sándor Petőfi may be best known for his major role in the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, though his poetry was well-loved at the time and the poet was known for his unique writing style. Today, he is the national poet of Hungary. In addition to co-writing the notorious 12 Points and penning the poem Nemzeti Dal, Petőfi crafted the National Song of Hungary and a number of other famous poems (such as John the Valiant). 

As for his personal life, Sándor Petőfi married a woman named Júlia Szendrey (also a poet, as well as a translator), and they had a son named Zoltán. He is thought to have died in one of the final battles of the revolution, though this has never been confirmed because his body was never found. 

4. Vocabulary to Know for 1848 Revolution Memorial Day

Black-and-White Depiction of Someone Standing Beside a Waving Flag

Ready to expand your Hungarian vocabulary? Then let’s review some of the words and phrases from this article, plus a few more! 

  • Szaval (Recite) – verb
  • Az 1848-as forradalom ünnepe (1848 Revolution Day) – proper noun
  • Petőfi Sándor (Sándor Petőfi) – proper noun
  • Forradalom (Revolution) – noun
  • Nemzeti Múzeum (National Museum) – proper noun
  • Kormány (Government) – noun
  • Harc (Combat) – noun
  • Kokárda (Cockade) – noun
  • Csata (Battle) – noun
  • Szabadságharc (War of independence) – noun
  • Nyomda (Press) – noun
  • Hadsereg (Army) – noun

To practice your pronunciation, be sure to visit our 1848 Revolution Day vocabulary list. It features audio recordings that you can listen to and repeat after! 

Final Thoughts

In this article, you learned about the revolutions of 1848, Hungary’s role in them, and more. The 1848 Hungarian Revolution may have been only one of many such revolutions of the time, but it was also one of the most significant. Though the revolutions did not end as hoped, it paved the way for Hungary’s later autonomy and independence. 

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about Hungarian culture and holidays, we think you’ll like the following articles on HungarianPod101.com:

Thinking about learning the Hungarian language, or looking for the best place to continue your studies? We recommend:

It’s our goal to make every aspect of your language learning journey both effective and enjoyable, so we hope to see you around!

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The Top 45 Quotes in Hungarian for Language Learners

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Have you ever been in a situation where everything lined up just right…but the perfect quote was missing? We’ve all been there. That’s why it’s important to become familiar with quotes and quips beforehand, so that when the time comes you know exactly what to say.

Well, this is your lucky day! In this article, we’re going to list 45 quotes in Hungarian with translations so that you can find the perfect one for any occasion. Now you’ll never have to miss out on a quote opportunity.

If some of these quotes seem familiar to you, it’s not just your mind playing tricks on you. We’ve intentionally translated several famous quotes in Hungarian from English so that the text wouldn’t be so alien to you. The rest of the quotes—those that are not cited—are just common phrases used in everyday life.

Ready yet? Then let’s dive in.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Success
  2. Quotes About Life
  3. Quotes About Time
  4. Quotes About Love
  5. Quotes About Family
  6. Quotes About Friendship
  7. Quotes About Food
  8. Quotes About Health
  9. Quotes About Language Learning
  10. How HungarianPod101.com Motivates You to Become Better and Better

Quotes About Success

In this section, you’re going to read a few motivational quotes in Hungarian about success. If you need a little encouragement for your next step toward your goals, put some of these quotes up on your wall or somewhere else you’ll see them often—that will certainly give you the boost of self-esteem you need!


1. “Behind every successful man there’s a lot of unsuccessful years.”

Author: Bob Brown

In Hungarian: Minden sikeres ember mögött rengeteg sikertelen év van.

This quote emphasizes how trial-and-error is necessary for success. It takes time to better yourself and reach your goals.

  • “behind” – mögött
  • “every” – minden
  • “successful” – sikeres
  • “unsuccessful” – sikertelen

2. “Success is not in what you have, but who you are.”

Author: Robert Foster Bennett

In Hungarian: A siker nem arról szól, hogy mid van, hanem hogy ki vagy.

This quote about success says that the only thing that’s important is who you are as a person. The things you’ve gathered, such as money, really hold no weight in how successful you are.  

3. “Don’t wait for an opportunity. Create it.”

In Hungarian: Ne várj lehetőségre! Teremtsd meg!

This is a terrific motivational quote. Those who wait around miss lots of opportunities. Instead of waiting forever, you should act now!

  • “to wait” – vár
  • “opportunity” – lehetőség
  • “to create” – megteremt

4. “Don’t tell people your plans. Show them your results.”

In Hungarian: Ne mondd el másoknak a terveidet! Mutasd meg nekik az eredményt!

Those who tell people what they would do instead of what they did are wasting their time.

  • “to tell” – mond
  • “to show” – mutat
  • “result” – eredmény

5. “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”

Author: Zig Ziglar

In Hungarian: A sikerhez nincs lift. A lépcsőt kell megmásznod.

This quote is similar to the first one in this section. It implies that success takes time—just like taking the stairs—and doesn’t happen as quickly as one would like.

  • “elevator” – lift
  • “success” – siker
  • “stairs” – lépcső
Two People Are Seen on a Sketch, One of Them Is Going Up the Stairs, the Other Is Going Up a Ladder

Quotes About Life

Life can be difficult, positive, and negative all at once, but the important thing is that you always look at the bright side. These life quotes in Hungarian aim to help you see the silver lining.


6. “The best time for new beginnings is now.”

In Hungarian: A legjobb idő az új kezdetekhez most van.

This quote encourages you to take opportunities right away and to begin bettering yourself now. If you hesitate, you won’t see results until much later.

  • “best time” – legjobb idő
  • “new beginning” – új kezdet
  • “now” – most

7. “Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.”

Author: Mario Fernández

In Hungarian: Emelkedj felül a viharon, és megtalálod a napfényt!

This quote means that if you’re able to overcome negativity in your life and see the good in things, you’ll find the silver lining.

  • “to rise” – emelkedik
  • “above” – felül
  • “storm” – vihar
  • “to find” – megtalál
  • “sunshine” – napfény

8. “Life is too short to wake up with regrets.”

In Hungarian: Az élet túl rövid ahhoz, hogy megbánással ébredjünk fel.

According to this saying, you shouldn’t regret anything you’ve done, because life is too short to get caught up in things like that. Live life to the fullest and regret nothing.

  • “life” – élet
  • “too short” – túl rövid
  • “to wake up” – felébred
  • “regret” – megbánás

9. “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”

Author: James Dean

In Hungarian: Álmodj úgy, mintha örökké élnél, élj úgy, mintha ma halnál meg!

This quote focuses on living life to the fullest. It says that you should seize every opportunity because you don’t know if you’ll ever have another chance.

  • “to dream” – álmodik
  • “to live” – él
  • “forever” – örökké
  • “to die” – meghal
  • “today” – ma

10. “In three words I can sum up everything I learnt about life: it goes on.”

Author: Robert Frost

In Hungarian: Két szóban össze tudok foglalni mindent, amit az életről tanultam: megy tovább.

This quote is somewhat consoling. It says that you shouldn’t worry about what’s in the past because life goes on. The past is in the past, and you should focus on the future and the opportunities it offers.

In Hungarian, “life goes on” can be translated in two words. That’s why we wrote két (“two”) instead of három (“three”).

  • “to sum up” – összefoglal
  • “to learn” – tanul
  • “about (the) life” – az életről
  • “to go” – megy
A Man Is Holding Soil and a Plant in His Hands Representing Life

Quotes About Time

We all know that time flies, making it our most precious possession.

The following quotes in Hungarian emphasize the importance of time and encourage you to seize the day. They’re perfect to put up on your wall!


11. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Author: Benjamin Franklin

In Hungarian: A korán fekvés és korán kelés egészségessé, gazdaggá és bölccsé teszi az embert.

This quote says that getting up early is the best way to achieve your goals and live a good life. This is because rising early gives you more time to get things done. In other words: The early bird catches the worm.

  • “early” – korán
  • “bed” – ágy
  • “healthy” – egészséges
  • “wealthy” – gazdag
  • “wise” – bölcs

12. “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Author: Leo Tolstoy

In Hungarian: A két legerősebb harcos a türelem és az idő.

This saying means that the only two things you should be concerned about are patience and the time you have.

  • “most powerful” – legerősebb
  • “warrior” – harcos
  • “patience” – türelem
  • “time” – idő

13. “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

In Hungarian: Ne félj attól, hogy lassan haladsz, félj attól, hogy egy helyben állsz!

This quote means that not making any progress is all you need to worry about. As long as you’re making even a little bit of progress, you’re doing good!

  • “to be afraid” – fél
  • “slowly” – lassan
  • “to stand still” – egy helyben áll

14. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

In Hungarian: Nincs rövidebb út azokhoz a helyekhez, ahová érdemes elmenni.

This quote says that you have to work hard for the greatest things in life. No success comes easily or quickly.

  • “shortcut” – rövidebb út
  • “place” – hely
  • “to be worth something” – érdemes
  • “to go” – elmegy

15. “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” 

Author: Leo Christopher

In Hungarian: Egyetlen dolog van, ami értékesebb az időnknél, mégpedig az, akire szánjuk azt.

According to Leo Christopher, our time is indeed precious because no-one can gain more of it. That makes it important to choose wisely who we spend our limited time with.

  • “thing” – dolog
  • “precious” – értékes
  • “to spend (time)” – szánni
A Girl in a Shirt with Her Hair Up Is Pointing at an Alarm Clock, Grey Background

Quotes About Love

And now, probably the most important section of them all: love quotes. If you want to make your Hungarian partner swoon, all you have to do is present them with one of these romantic quotes in Hungarian. We promise you it will pay off later!

Ready to make hearts melt? Let’s go.

    → For more sweet quotes to whisper in your partner’s ear, see our vocabulary list of the Top 10 Quotes About Love!
    → We know that things don’t always work out in a relationship… If you’re recovering from a heartache, these Breakup Quotes in Hungarian can help!

16. “Dream without fear, love without limits.”

In Hungarian: Álmodj félelem nélkül, szeress határok nélkül!

Do you want the key to a happy life? Be fearless and love everybody unconditionally. 

  • “fear” – félelem
  • “to love” – szeretni
  • “limit” – határ
  • “…-less” – nélkül

17. “Love is not what you say. Love is what you do.”

In Hungarian: A szeretet nem arról szól, mit mondasz. A szerelem arról szól, mit teszel.

It doesn’t matter if someone says nice things to you if they don’t act accordingly.

  • “love” – szeretet, szerelem
  • “to say” – mond
  • “to do” – csinál, tesz

18. “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

Author: Taylor Hanson

In Hungarian: A világnak lehet, hogy csak egy valaki vagy, de egy valakinek lehet, hogy a világ vagy.

Even if you feel small sometimes in this big world, you must not forget that there’s at least one person that finds you unique and out of this world.

  • “the world” – a világ
  • “one person” – egy valaki

19. “You don’t marry someone you can live with. You marry someone you can’t live without.”

In Hungarian: Nem valaki olyanhoz mész hozzá, akivel tudsz élni. Ahhoz mész hozzá, aki nélkül nem tudsz.

This quote encourages you not to settle for less than what you deserve and truly desire. There are so many mediocre things in life that love should not be one of them.

  • “to marry” – hozzámegy
  • “to live” – él
  • “without” – nélkül

20. “Sometimes I look at you and wonder how I got to be so lucky.” 

In Hungarian: Néha rád nézek, és azon gondolkodom, hogy lehetek ilyen szerencsés.

Surprise your partner with this quote during a romantic date night and make them swoon!

  • “sometimes” – néha
  • “to look” – néz
  • “to wonder” – gondolkodik
  • “lucky” – szerencsés
Two Heart-Shaped Red Balloons Are in the Air, in Front of the Blue Sky and a Few Clouds

Quotes About Family

Your family is just as important as your lover, if not even more important! Here are some inspirational quotes in Hungarian that talk about family.


21. “Family: where life begins and love never ends.”

In Hungarian: Család: ahol az élet kezdődik és ahol a szeretetnek sosincs vége.

You can always count on the love of your family because you’re bound by blood.

  • “family” – család
  • “where” – ahol
  • “to begin” – kezdődik
  • “to end” – végződik

22. “Family is like branches of a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.”

In Hungarian: A család olyan, mint egy fa ágai. Különböző irányba megyünk, a gyökereink mégis ugyanazok maradnak.

This Hungarian quote explains how, even though we might choose different paths, we’ll always remember that we came from the same place.

  • “branch” – ág
  • “tree” – fa
  • “to grow” –
  • “different direction” – különböző irány
  • “root” – gyökér
  • “to remain” – marad

23. “Family is anyone who loves you unconditionally.”

In Hungarian: Családtag bárki, aki feltétel nélkül szeret téged.

According to this quote, family doesn’t always mean being bound by blood. Family is the unconditional love you feel toward another person.

  • “to love” – szeret
  • “unconditionally” – feltétel nélkül

24. “The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, lies in its loyalty to each other.”

Author: Mario Puzo

In Hungarian: A család ereje, csakúgy, mint egy sereg ereje, az egymás iránti hűségből fakad.

It’s crucial that you’re loyal to family members because they are the ones who will be there for you no matter what. And in that loyalty, you can find strength.

  • “strength” – erő
  • “army” – sereg
  • “to lie” – fakad
  • “loyalty” – hűség
  • “each other” – egymás

25. “Family is not about blood. It’s about who is willing to hold your hand when you need it the most.”

In Hungarian: A család nem a vérrokonságról szól, hanem arról, hogy ki hajlandó fogni a kezed, amikor a legnagyobb szükséged van rá.

This is another quote that claims family is not about being bound by blood, but rather about who will stand next to you during the darkest of times.

  • “blood” – vér
  • “to be willing to” – hajlandó
  • “to hold” – fog, tart
  • “to need” – szüksége van
A Family Is Seen: Dad, Mom, a Girl and a Boy, Grocery Shopping, They Stand Around a Shopping Cart

Quotes About Friendship

Who isn’t thankful for their friends being by their side all the time? Why don’t you thank them for being such great friends with these cool and heart-warming quotes? You can create a nice card for them, pop one of these quotes in it, and there you go: a thoughtful just-because gift.


26. “It’s not that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it’s your best friends who are your diamonds.”

Author: Gina Barreca

In Hungarian: Nem arról van szó, hogy egy lány legjobb barátai az ékszerei, hanem hogy a legjobb barátaid az ékszereid.

This quote emphasizes that friendship is more valuable to a person than materialistic things.

  • “diamond” – gyémánt
  • “jewelry” – ékszer
  • “girl” – lány
  • “friend” – barát

27. “Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.”

In Hungarian: Egy jó barátot nehéz találni, még nehezebb elhagyni, és lehetetlen elfelejteni.

This quote about friends describes the defining footprint that good friends leave in a person’s life. 

  • “hard” – nehéz
  • “to find” – találni
  • “to leave” – elhagy
  • “impossible” – lehetetlen
  • “to forget” – elfelejt

28. “There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends who become family.”

In Hungarian: Vannak barátok, vannak családtagok, és vannak barátok, akik családtagokká válnak.

Sometimes, friends can be so supportive and play such a crucial role in your life that it almost feels as if they were family, too.

  • “there are” – vannak
  • “there is” – van

29. “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

Author: Helen Keller

In Hungarian: Egy baráttal sétálni a sötétben jobb, mint egyedül sétálni a fényben.

Helen Keller talks about the importance of friends here. Friends can help us through some very dark times that we wouldn’t be able to get through alone, and that is priceless.

  • “to walk” – sétál
  • “the dark” – a sötétség
  • “better” – jobb
  • “than” – mint
  • “alone” – egyedül
  • “rain” – eső

30. “A good friend knows all your best stories. A best friend has lived them with you.”

In Hungarian: Egy barát ismeri a legjobb sztorijaidat. Egy legjobb barát átélte őket veled.

This quote describes the difference between regular friends and best friends. There’s nothing better than the bond you have with your best friend. Sometimes, it feels like they are your siblings, having been there for you on every step of your journey.

  • “good” –
  • “to know” – ismer, tud
  • “story” – sztori, történet
  • “to live” – átél
  • “with you” – veled
A Group of Friends Is Seen, Three Girls, Two Guys, All Laughing and Kind of on Top of Each Other

Quotes About Food

We really don’t praise food enough. Well, not anymore! We’ve dedicated an entire section to quotes about food, so there you go. Fill your heart (and stomach) up with this handful of quotes. Feast your eyes…

    → Warning: These quotes might make you hungry. If so, why not see our list of Hungarian words for different Foods?

31. “Food is the ingredient that binds us together.”

In Hungarian: Az étel az az összetevő, ami összeköt minket.

Food is an international language that has the power to bring everybody together.

  • “food” – étel
  • “ingredient” – hozzávaló
  • “to bind” – összeköt
  • “together” – együtt

32. “The only time to eat diet food is when you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

Author: Julia Child

In Hungarian: Egyedül akkor szabad diétás ételt enni, amikor várunk, hogy megsüljön a bélszín.

Julia Child supports peace of mind with this quote. She says that food is to be enjoyed and that one shouldn’t suppress the desire for good, nutritious food.

  • “to eat” – eszik
  • “diet food” – diétás étel
  • “steak” – bélszín
  • “to (be) cook(ed)” – megsülni

33. “People who love to eat are the best people.”

Author: Julia Child

In Hungarian: Azok az emberek, akik imádnak enni, a legjobb emberek.

People who make sure that their belly is full and satisfied can only be happy, right? Thus, they are fantastic to be around.

34. “Food tastes better when you eat it with your family.”

In Hungarian: Az ételnek jobb íze van, mikor a családoddal eszed.

Food unifies. So, what could be better than enjoying fine cuisine with those you love? That’s right: probably nothing.

  • “to taste better” – jobb íze van

35. “I followed my heart and it led me to the fridge.”

In Hungarian: Követtem a szívemet, és a hűtőhöz vezetett.

Everybody tells you to follow your heart, and it always takes you to the best of places…

  • “to follow” – követ
  • “heart” – szív
  • “to lead” – vezet
  • “fridge” – hűtő
  • “refrigerator” – hűtőszekrény
Pots of Food Is Seen, Curry, Rice, Meat Etc

Quotes About Health

Health is very important, but sometimes it’s difficult to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Here are some motivational quotes in Hungarian that touch on the topic of health.

36. “It is health that is real wealth and not (pieces of) gold and silver.”

Author: Mahatma Gandhi

In Hungarian: Az egészség az igazi gazdagság, nem pedig az arany és az ezüst.

Gandhi speaks the truth here—the truth that nobody realizes until something grave happens. Take care of yourself and the ones you love.

  • “health” – egészség
  • “real” – igazi
  • “wealth” – gazdagság
  • “gold” – arany
  • “silver” – ezüst

37. “Your body is your most priceless possession. Take care of it.”

In Hungarian: A tested az igazán megfizethetetlen tulajdonod. Vigyázz rá!

Without a healthy body, you can’t really do anything. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and trying to stay healthy, you’re keeping your body in good enough condition to live life to the fullest.

  • “body” – test
  • “priceless” – megfizethetetlen
  • “possession” – tulajdon
  • “to take care” – vigyázni valamire

38. “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

Author: Buddha

In Hungarian: Az a feladatunk, hogy jó egészségben tartsuk a testet, másképp nem fogjuk tudni erősen és tisztán tartani elménket.

Both physical health and mental health are crucial in living a happy life. And guess what? Those two go hand in hand. Take care of your body and your mind will thank you for it.

  • “to keep” – tartani
  • “duty” – feladat
  • “otherwise” – másképp(en)
  • “to be able” – tud
  • “mind” – elme
  • “strong” – erős
  • “clear” – tiszta

By the way, if you want to learn the names of different religions in Hungarian, see our Religions vocabulary list. 

39. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Author: Benjamin Franklin

In Hungarian: Egy uncia megelőzés annyit ér, mint egy font gyógymód.

Prevention should always be a priority. Taking care of yourself from the beginning is a much better tactic than panicking and trying to cure the illness you could have prevented.

  • “ounce” – uncia
  • “prevention” – megelőzés
  • “to be worth” – ér valamennyit
  • “pound” – font
  • “cure” – gyógymód

40. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Author: Jim Rohn

In Hungarian: Vigyázz a testedre! Az az egyetlen hely, ahol muszáj élned.

In most cases, you can leave a place when you feel uncomfortable there—but this is not the case with your body. If you’re uncomfortable in your own skin, that needs to be changed straight away. That’s why you must take care of your body and love yourself. 

  • “the only” – az egyetlen
  • “place” – hely
  • “have to” – muszáj, kell
  • “to live” – élni
A Couple Is Running, the Guy Is in a Blue Shirt, the Girl Is in a Red One

Quotes About Language Learning

Just like sticking to our diet or making other healthy life choices, language learning is a challenge. You can easily become unmotivated or lazy, especially when you’re learning on your own. 

Let’s take a look at some inspirational quotes in Hungarian that will boost your motivation levels every time you look at them. We recommend keeping these written down somewhere near your working or learning space!


41. “To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.” 

Hungarian: Egy nyelv tanulásával újabb ablak nyílik ki, amin keresztül szemlélhetjük a világot.

Learning a language might be challenging at times, but it will allow you to understand the mentality of a whole nation later. Definitely worth it!

  • “to learn” – tanul
  • “language” – nyelv
  • “window” – ablak
  • “to look” – néz
  • “world” – világ

42. “Learning another language is like becoming another person.”

Author: Haruki Murakami

In Hungarian: Egy másik nyelv megtanulása olyan, mint egy másik emberré válni.

Each language has its own grammar rules and sentence structures. That’s why speaking a foreign language allows you to think about things from a very different perspective.

  • “another” – egy másik
  • “to become” – válik valamivé
  • “person” – ember

43. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. In learning languages, nothing feels better than getting it right after getting it wrong.”

Author: Professor Usama Soltan

In Hungarian: Ne félj hibázni! Nyelvtanulás esetén semmi sem jobb annál, mint amikor valamit jól mondasz miután rosszul mondtad.

The biggest (and actually, the only real) mistake you can make when learning languages is being afraid. Loosen up, embrace the mistakes you make, and learn from them.

  • “to make a mistake” – hibázik
  • “nothing” – semmi
  • “right” – jól
  • “wrong” – rosszul

44. “To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

Author: Charlemagne

In Hungarian: Tudni egy másik nyelven olyan, mintha lenne egy másik lelkünk.

Speaking a language distinct from your mother tongue allows you to look at the world in a different way, almost as if you were looking at it with someone else’s eyes.

  • “to possess” – birtokol, van (neki)
  • “second” – második
  • “soul” – lélek

45. “Learn a language and you’ll avoid a war.”

In Hungarian: Tanulj meg egy nyelvet, és kerülj el egy háborút!

Based on what we touched on previously, if everyone would speak more languages, we would be able to understand more nations. And if we could find common ground, we would never have to go to war again.

  • “to avoid” – elkerül
  • “war” – háború
Books on Top of Each Other, Blue Background

How HungarianPod101.com Motivates You to Become Better and Better

You now have 45 quotes in Hungarian up your sleeves to use when the right moment arrives. From motivational quotes about success to romantic love quotes in Hungarian and beyond, you should have no trouble finding the right words once you memorize these phrases.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments. Also, let us know which of these quotes you liked the most!

Become a part of the HungarianPod101 family for more articles like this one, as well as audio lessons, well-structured lesson pathways, and much more. In the meantime, happy language learning!

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