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Archive for the 'Hungarian Culture' Category

The Hungarian National Anthem

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In this article, we are going to introduce you to the Hungarian national anthem, the song that is the heart of any nation. This one, however, is known for its melancholy and dour tone. Despite all this, it is important to know as part of the Hungarian culture, to truly understand this complex nation.

For this reason, we are going to show you the full Hungarian anthem lyrics in English, so you’ll be able to understand the whole song. It must be noted, however, that due to the old age of the piece, some of the words in the text are no longer grammatically correct! Will you spot which ones?

Now, we are going to cover not only the lyrics but also the history of the piece and nation, as well as occasions when you might hear the Hungarian national anthem playing.

If you are ready to dive deeper into Hungarian culture and understand their past, let’s go

Kids Singing with Their Hands on Their Heart

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Lyrics
  2. History
  3. Occasions
  4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Goals in Learning Hungarian

1. Lyrics

In this section, we are going to show you the full Hungarian anthem lyrics in English so that you can understand it all – more or less, as the text is old Hungarian and, thus, has some old English. For this reason, bear in mind that some words are either not used anymore in today’s Hungarian language or are spelled differently.

As you will notice, the Hungarian anthem is rather sad, so prepare yourself to be moved. We highlighted the first verse for you, as only this one is usually sung, for example, at sports events, since the song is rather slow to match the melancholy of the text.

Isten, áldd meg a magyart
Jó kedvvel, bőséggel,
Nyújts feléje védő kart,
Ha küzd ellenséggel;
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbünhödte már e nép
A multat s jövendőt!

“God, bless the Hungarian
With joy and abundance.
Reach out to him with a protective arm
When he fights with foes;
Doom is whom he long has been fighting
Give him a merry year,
This nation has been twisting slowly in the wind
Because of the past and the future!”

“Abundance” – Bőség
“To twist slowly in the wind” – Megbűnhődni

Hungarian Flag

Őseinket felhozád
Kárpát szent bércére,
Általad nyert szép hazát
Bendegúznak vére.
S merre zúgnak habjai
Tiszának, Dunának,
Árpád hős magzatjai
Felvirágozának.

“You bring up our ancestors
To the sacred shores of Carpathia,
A beautiful homeland won by you
By the blood of Bendegúz.
And where the foams roar
Of the Tisza and the Danube,
The heroic fetus of Árpád
Shall blossom.”

“Homeland” – Haza
“To blossom” – Felvirágozni

Értünk Kunság mezein
Ért kalászt lengettél,
Tokaj szőlővesszein
Nektárt csepegtettél.
Zászlónk gyakran plántálád
Vad török sáncára,
S nyögte Mátyás bús hadát 
Bécsnek büszke vára.

“For us in the fields of Kunság
Thou wavedst a calyx for us,
On the vineyards of Tokaj
You have dripped nectar.
Our banner you often planted
On the wild Turkish battlements,
And Mátyás moaned his sad war
The proud castle of Vienna.”

Hajh, de bűneink miatt
Gyúlt harag kebledben,
S elsújtád villámidat
Dörgő fellegedben,
Most rabló mongol nyilát
Zúgattad felettünk,
Majd töröktől rabigát
Vállainkra vettünk.

“O, but for our sins
Wrath was kindled in thy bosom,
And thou hast fired thy thunderbolts
In thy thundering clouds,
Now the Mongol arrow of a robber
Thou hast wrought upon us,
And from the Turks, a yoke
We have taken on our shoulders.”

“Yoke” – Rabiga

Hányszor zengett ajkain
Ozman vad népének
Vert hadunk csonthalmain
Győzedelmi ének!
Hányszor támadt tenfiad
Szép hazám kebledre,
S lettél magzatod miatt
Magzatod hamvvedre!

“How often did his lips chant
Of the wild people of Ozman
On the heaps of bones of our war
A song of triumph!
How often did thy son rise
Upon the bosom of you, my fair country,
And for thy fetus’ sake
Thy fetus to thy ashes!”

Bújt az üldözött s felé
Kard nyúl barlangjában,
Szerte nézett s nem lelé
Honját a hazában,
Bércre hág és völgybe száll,
Bú s kétség mellette,
Vérözön lábainál,
S lángtenger fölette.

“The hunted one cowered
In the hollow of his sword,
He looked around and found no
Home in the homeland,
He rides to the valley of the valley,
And he’s in despair,
At his feet blood flow,
And a sea of flame above him.”

“Blood flow” – Vérözön
“Sea of flame” – Lángtenger

Vár állott, most kőhalom,
Kedv s öröm röpkedtek,
Halálhörgés, siralom
Zajlik már helyettek.
S ah, szabadság nem virúl
A holtnak véréből,
Kínzó rabság könnye hull
Árvánk hő szeméből!

“A castle stood, now a heap of stones,
Delight and joy used to fly around,
Death’s thunder, death’s wail
Replaced them now.
And, ah, liberty is no more
From the blood of the dead,
The tears of tortured bondage
From the warm eyes of our orphan!”

Szánd meg Isten a magyart
Kit vészek hányának,
Nyújts feléje védő kart
Tengerén kínjának.
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbünhödte már e nép
A multat s jövendőt!

“God have mercy on the Hungarian
Whose being struck by disasters,
Reach out to him with a protective arm
Doom is whom he long has been fighting,
Give him a merry year,
This nation has been twisting slowly in the wind
Because of the past and the future!”

“Doom” – Bal sors

Which words do you think are spelled differently nowadays? Let us know in the comments and write their up-to-date form as well!

Hunyad Castle

2. History

The Hungarian national anthem (called “Himnusz”) was first a poem written by Ferenc Kölcsey on 22 January 1823. Its subtitle was “A magyar nép zivataros századaiból”. Later, after February 1844, Ferenc Erkel wrote a song for the text, and there the Hungarian national anthem was born.

However, the song debuted only a few months later, on 2 July 1844, in the National Theater in Budapest, and became the “official anthem” of the mutilated but independent country around 1918-1919, following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

The Hungarian national anthem has numerous references to the unfortunate history of the Hungarians. The narrative begins with conquering the country. “Bendegúz,” the father of the Hun prince Attila, is a reference to the idea that the Hungarian people returned to the Carpathian Basin as the descendants of the Huns, i.e., they took possession of the territory as their rightful inheritance. The reference to the “Árpád hős magzatjai” (The heroic fetus of Árpád) evokes the image of the past of the nobility, the members of which defend their homeland with arms are the descendants and heirs of the conquerors.

The successful historical period ended with the reign of Mátyás who conquered Vienna in 1485, and most of the Austrian provinces also submitted to him. The period of punishment for discord is not sharply separated from the period of prosperity since the “Most rabló mongol nyilát” (Now the Mongol arrow of a robber) refers to the Tatar invasion of 1242-1243, while the “Majd töröktől rabigát” (And from the Turks, a yoke) refers to the period of conquest in the 16-17th centuries. The end of the 5th stanza and stanzas 6-7 generally refer to events of the 16-17th centuries – partisanship, fratricidal warfare, civil war.

The lyrics move on to depicting, generally again, the Habsburg rule, when the Hungarian became a persecuted alien in his own country, saying “Szerte nézett s nem lelé Honját a hazában,” (He looked around and found no Home in the homeland). Some have suggested that the line “Vár állott, most kőhalom’ (A castle stood, now a heap of stones) refers to the order by Lipót I in 1702 to blow up the castles in Hungary. The ‘old glory’ was lost, the ancestors died in vain for the country, and the Hungarian became a ‘poor waif’ in his homeland.

Hungarian National Pin with Imitating the Flag

3. Occasions

The Hungarian national anthem is played mostly in schools, before sporting events, and TV. It is linked to important national holidays and celebrations such as:

    20 August, commemorates the foundation of the state, but the truth is that the state was not founded on 20 August. On this day in 1083, King Stephen, the founder of Hungary was canonized. So, the Hungarian state, the kingdom, had already existed for 83 years when the coronation of Stephen took place in 1000. 

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Top 5 Important Dates During the Hungarian Calendar Year.

The Hungarian national anthem is always played before team sports events as well, like football (soccer), but also after individual sports events when the athlete won the competition. We can also hear the anthem on the TV, for example, after the countdown to New Year’s.

See our vocabulary list of National Unity.

Athletes on a Podium

4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Goals in Learning Hungarian

We hope you enjoyed this little insight into Hungarian culture through the Hungarian national anthem. If you still have any questions or you did not understand some of the lyrics because of the old language, let us know.

It must be emphasized that an anthem is the core of every nation, so if you have serious plans in Hungary, it is good to know at least its content, i.e., what it is about. Of course, it is even better to be able to sing it, at least the first verse, but that is just a big cherry on top of your learning journey.

You can find more studying materials like this article on the HungarianPod101 website, but besides blog articles, you will find free vocabulary lists or videos and audio to ease language learning. Not to mention the supportive community that would be behind you, helping you all the way.

Join our community and be a HungarianPod101 member today!

Which Hungarian word spelling from the anthem is outdated nowadays, and how is it written now? Let us know below.

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30+ Hungarian Classroom Words and Phrases

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We brought you 30+ Hungarian classroom words and phrases as these are very important for Hungarian language learning. These are especially useful if you are taking a Hungarian class in Hungary, as they will help you understand basic conversation in a classroom setting as well as be understood by others around you. However, you will also find some sentences that can be used in everyday life, not just in class. Even more so, chances are you will hear many of them every day when visiting the country.

In this article, we will cover classroom greetings first, then learn to understand instructions from a teacher, especially if they are a Hungarian native speaker, and ask for clarifications from them as well as your study peers. Afterward, we will move to explanations of absence or being late, talking about your favorite subject, and checking for school supplies. All of these are useful Hungarian classroom phrases, so read them carefully.

Check out our basic Hungarian classroom phrases vocabulary list.

Once you have read this article a few times and memorized the key expressions we will list below, you will be able to understand basic dialogues and instructions in a Hungarian school setting. Is that not exciting?

Whenever you are ready, we can start. Let’s learn some basic classroom phrases in Hungarian.

Top 5 Hungarian classroom phrases.

3 Students Taking a Test Behind Each Other

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Use Classroom Greetings
  2. Understand Instructions from Teachers
  3. Ask for Clarifications from Teachers and Classmates
  4. Explain Absence and Tardiness
  5. Talk about Favorite Subjects
  6. Check for School Supplies
  7. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Goals in Learning Hungarian Language

1. Use Classroom Greetings

One of the most common phrases that students use in the classroom is greetings. In fact, Hungarian classroom greetings are the first phrases you would hear or say when entering the classroom. So, we wanted to teach you a few of these first. To help you better understand each of these common classroom phrases in Hungarian, we made them into small conversations that are likely to happen in real life.

Here is how to introduce yourself to a new class.

“Good morning, teacher (woman).” – Jó reggelt, tanárnő!

“Hello, Patrick. How are you?” – Szervusz, Patrik! Hogy vagy?

“Good morning, teacher (man).” – Jó reggelt, tanár úr!

“Hi, Sylvie! How was your weekend?” – Szia, Szilvi! Hogy telt a hétvégéd?

You have to address teachers formally. Here are some other Hungarian formal greetings.

“Hi (more people).” – Sziasztok!

“Hi! Do you want to sit next to me?” – Szia! Akarsz ma mellém ülni?

“See you tomorrow, [classmate name].” – Holnap találkozunk, [osztálytárs neve].

“Yes. But don’t forget your book tomorrow.” – Igen. De holnap ne felejtsd el a könyvedet!

“Good-bye, teacher (woman).” – Viszont látásra, tanárnő!

“Bye (more people). I wish everyone a nice afternoon.” – Sziasztok! Mindenkinek kellemes délutánt kívánok!

“Good-bye, teacher (man).” – Viszont látásra, tanár úr!

“Bye (more people). You all did well today.” – Sziasztok! Ma mindannyiótok nagyon jól teljesített!

2. Understand Instructions from Teachers

When you are taking a class, it is crucial that you know Hungarian classroom command phrases because it is important to be able to follow the teacher’s instructions whenever a new task comes up. However, it can very easily be a case that basic classroom phrases in Hungarian are needed, which are not necessarily related to a task but are just general instructions to you as a student. Here we collected the most frequently occurring phrases that teachers use in the classroom.

“Please, open your books on page [ordinal number].” – Kérlek, nyissátok ki a könyveiteket a [sorszám] oldalon.

“What page number? I didn’t hear properly.” – Hányadik oldalon? Nem hallottam rendesen.

“Listen carefully.” – Hallgassatok figyelemmel!

“I can’t. People are loud in the hallway.” – Nem tudok. Hangosak az emberek a folyosón.

“Be quiet.” – Légy csendben!

“But I have a cold. I sneeze occasionally.” – De meg vagyok fázva. Néha tüsszentek.

“Is there any question?” – Van kérdés?

“No, everything was clear to me.” – Nem, minden érthető volt számomra.

“Read this sentence out loud.” – Olvasd fel hangosan ezt a mondatot!

“Do I have to? I’m insecure.” – Muszáj? Szégyenlős vagyok.

“Speak up.” – Beszélj hangosabban!

“I can’t really. I have a sore throat.” – Nem igazán tudok. Fáj a torkom.

“Sit down (whole classroom).” – Üljetek le!

But we just stood up.” – De csak most álltunk fel.

Teacher Smiling at Her Students

3. Ask for Clarifications from Teachers and Classmates

Our classroom Hungarian vocabulary list cannot miss clarification phrases. The ones listed below will be your best friend, especially when starting out, i.e. when you’re new in the class. This is because new students usually need a bit more time to be accustomed to the new setting and teacher, and to be able to pick up the pace. Therefore, Hungarian school phrases asking for clarification could not be missed from this HungarianPod101 article. Let’s see them!

How to ask questions in class?

“I don’t understand.” – Nem értem.

“Where did you fall behind?” – Hol maradtál le?

“Could you repeat it, please?” – Meg tudná ismételni, kérem?

“Of course, but pay more attention next time.” – Természetesen, de legközelebb figyelj jobban!

“I have a question.” – Van egy kérdésem.

“Can it wait a bit?” – Tudsz várni egy kicsit?

“What did the teacher say?” – Mit mondott a tanár?

“I didn’t hear it either.” – Én sem hallottam.

“What is the homework?” – Mi a házi feladat?

“We have to write an essay about our morning routine.” – Esszét kell írnunk a reggeli rutinunkról.

“Did I understand it well that…?” – Jól értettem, hogy…?

“I think yes. I understood the same.” – Szerintem igen. Én is így értelmeztem.

4. Explain Absence and Tardiness

It can happen to all of us that we are late for something or someone has to wait for us. However, in a classroom setting, with the obligations of a student, it is trickier to overlook absence and tardiness. But with the right Hungarian classroom words and phrases, you can politely explain the reason behind them and save yourself some trouble. Here is how to do it:

“I’m not feeling well. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend school today.” – Nem érzem jól magam. Ma nem fogok tudni iskolába menni.

“Alright but ask for the homework for someone.” – Rendben, de kérd el a házi feladatot valakitől!

“I have a doctor’s appointment next week, so I’ll be late from class next week.” – Orvoshoz van időpontom, ezért késni fogok óráról a jövő héten.

“Sure, no problem but bring a doctor’s note for next class.” – Rendben, nem gond, de hozz magaddal orvosi igazolást a következő órára!

Here is how to make an appointment with a Hungarian dentist.

“Sorry I’m late. I had to put gas in my bike.” – Elnézést a késésért. Meg kellett tankolnom a biciklimet.

“Very funny. You’ll have to work extra hard today.” – Nagyon vicces. Ma extra keményen kell majd dolgoznod.

Running late again in Hungary? Check this out.

“I don’t have my homework with me. My dog ate it.” – Nincs nálam a házi feladatom. A kutyám megette.

“Oh, really? What a pity. Then, you will get double homework today to make sure lest it happens again.” – Ó, tényleg? De kár! Akkor ma dupla házi feladatot kapsz, nehogy megint megtörténjen.

Click for some believable excuses for being late.

“I didn’t study for the test because I had to work late yesterday.” – Nem tanultam a dolgozatra, mert késő estig kellett dolgoznom tegnap.

“Alright, understandable. You can retake it tomorrow.” – Rendben, érthető. Holnap újraírhatod.

Click for test preparation tips.

Empty Classroom with Chairs

5. Talk about Favorite Subjects

We all have our favorite subjects that we like better than others. And we often love to talk about them because they are our passion or simply because we are good at them. In this section, with the right phrases that students use in the classroom to talk about their favorite subjects, you can also do the same. All you have to do is read them a couple of times, take notes, and practice pronouncing them. So, are you ready to learn classroom phrases in the Hungarian language with which you can describe and talk about your favorite subject in school? Let’s go then!

“My favorite subject is history.” – A kedvenc tárgyam a történelem.

“No way! Seriously? Mine too.” – Ne! Komolyan? Az enyém is!

“What is your favorite subject?” – Neked mi a kedvenc tantárgyad?

“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it.” – Nem tudom. Nem igazán gondoltam bele.

“Do you like math too?” – Te is szereted a matekot?

“Oh, no! I hate it. I’m too bad at it.” – Ó, nem! Én utálom. Túl rossz vagyok benne.

“I hate chemistry, it’s boring.” – Utálom a kémiát, unalmas.

“Are you kidding me? It’s the most interesting thing I have ever learnt about.” – Viccelsz velem? A legérdekesebb dolog, amiről valaha tanultam.

“I’m not good at literature.” – Nem vagyok jó irodalomból.

Really? Do you want me to help you?” – Tényleg? Szeretnéd, hogy segítsek?

3 Books with an Apple on Top

6. Check for School Supplies

School supplies are essential in every classroom, but usually, students have to provide them for themselves. So, if you forget something, you can ask a classmate or the teacher to borrow something. But it’s only possible to do if you know the right Hungarian classroom words and phrases. In this section, we will introduce those supplies that are most likely to be needed.

Our word of the day: “calculator” – számológép 

See some must-have school supplies in a language-learning classroom.

“Can I borrow your pen?” – Kölcsön kérhetem a tolladat?

“Sure. I have to others.” – Persze. Nekem van még két másik.

“I lost my calculator.” – Elhagytam a számológépemet.

“How will you write the text?” – Hogy fogod megírni a dolgozatot?

“Do you have a sharpener?” – Van hegyeződ?

“No. I lost it a few days ago.” – Nem, elvesztettem egy pár napja.

“Did you bring your textbook?” – Elhoztad a tankönyvedet?

“Of course, as always.” – Természetesen, mint mindig.

“I have a new eraser.” – Új radírom van.

“Wow, great. Me too. It smells like strawberry.” – Wow, nagyszerű! Nekem is. Eper illata van.

Plain Notebook with Blue Background

7. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Goals in Learning Hungarian Language

We hope you enjoyed these common Hungarian classroom phrases and that you will be able to use them with ease with a native Hungarian speaker when the time comes. Do not forget, however, that practice makes perfect, so even though you took the first step towards learning the Hungarian language, reading this blog article just once will not do the trick. Give it another 2-3 reads, make notes and create your own Hungarian vocabulary list with unfamiliar words or phrases and recall them every now and then.

Let’s recap what we have learned now and what Hungarian school phrases you can widen your vocabulary with:

–       Hungarian classroom greetings

–       Instructions from teachers

–       Asking for clarifications

–       Explaining absence or being late

–       Talking about your favorite subject

–       Checking for school supplies

If you feel like there is any gap left in your knowledge, either let us know or ask away in the comments or check out our blog for other extensive Hungarian vocabulary articles.

To maximize your Hungarian language learning, we offer you not only blog articles but also free Hungarian vocabulary lists, and if you are a Premium Member, many more! Our features exclusive to members include Hungarian lessons with audio and visual learning materials too.

Be a Premium HungarianPod101 member today!

One final question for those who have finished the article: How would you say “I’m sorry I’m late, I lost my eraser”? Post your answer in the comments section!

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20 Common Hungarian Restaurant Phrases

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If you would like to learn about common Hungarian restaurant phrases, you are at the right place. We know that food is important, and chances are when you are visiting Hungary, you will not always cook your own meal at your place but also discover the culinary secrets of the country. As you should. So, with that in mind, we wrote this article so that you will know useful Hungarian restaurant phrases, such as how to ask for the bill in Hungarian. We will cover dining phrases in Hungarian for before, during, and after dining, so that you have the full picture of how to order food in Hungarian.

Close-up of a Chefs Hand Preparing Food

Excited yet? You should be because after reading this article, you will not have any problems in Hungarian restaurants, and you will hopefully leave with not only a full stomach but a full heart and a great experience too.

So, should we start learning about Hungarian restaurant phrases? If you are ready, let’s go!

Click for a conversation about ordering.

You may also want to go over the names of popular Hungarian foods, common beverages, and dining utensils!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Before Dining
  2. During Dining
  3. After Dining
  4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Goals in Learning Hungarian

1. Before Dining

A Couple Being Shown Their Table in a Nice Restaurant

Dining in a restaurant does not just start there. You have to choose the place of course and then make a reservation, negotiating the date and number of people to be expected. In this section, we will cover the most essential restaurant phrases in Hungarian that you would use before actually arriving and eating in the restaurant of your choice. So, let’s see what they are.

Click for Hungary’s best restaurants of 2021.

“Before I reserve a table, I’d like to know if you offer vegan options.” – Mielőtt asztalt foglalok, szeretném tudni, hogy vegán opciójaik vannak-e.

“Of course. We have a separate menu full of vegan meals.” – Természetesen. Külön menü lapunk van tele vegán ételekkel.

“Great. In this case, when do you have free tables available?” – Nagyszerű! Ez esetben mikorra vannak szabad asztalaik?

“I’d like to reserve a table for two on Saturday, May 7th at 5pm, please?” – Szeretnék asztalt foglalni két főre, május 7., szombatra, délután öt órára.

“Of course. We have two tables available. Would you like to sit by the window or near the kitchen?” – Természetesen. Két szabad asztalunk van. Az ablak mellett vagy a konyha közelében szeretnének ülni?

“By the window is fine.” – Az ablak mellett megfelel.

“Alright, perfect. We’ll be waiting for you.” – Rendben, tökéletes! Várni fogjuk Önöket!

Listen to a conversation of reserving a table in Hungarian.

“A table for 4, please.” – Egy asztalt szeretnék 4 főre, kérem!

“Unfortunately, we only have tables for 2 people on that day.” – Sajnos csak két főre vannak asztalaink aznap.

“I understand. No problem. Maybe next time.” – Értem. Semmi probléma. Talán legközelebb.

Listen to possible solutions when discussing how many people the reservation is for.

“Do you have a free table on the terrace for tonight?” – Van szabad asztaluk a teraszon ma estére?

“Yes. We have one table left there. For 2 people.” – Igen. Egy asztalunk maradt ott. Két főre.

“Wonderful. That’s exactly what I need. Could we come at 7pm?” – Remek! Pont, amire szükségem van! Tudnánk hét órára érkezni?

“Of course. I can reserve the table until 9pm.” – Természetesen. Az asztalt kilenc óráig tudom lefoglalni.

“How long would we have to wait?” – Milyen hosszan kellene várakoznunk?

“Our Saturday nights are usually busy. It’s around 30 minutes until the food is served.” – A szombat estéink általában elég forgalmasak. Körülbelül 30 perc, míg kihozzák az ételt.

“Alright, that’s not too bad. I’d like to get a table for two.” – Rendben. Az annyira nem vészes. Két főre szeretnék asztalt.

“Is 8pm suitable?” – A nyolc óra megfelel?

“Perfect.” – Tökéletes!

“Is it possible that our table be in the non-smoking area?” – Lehetséges, hogy az asztalunk a nem dohányzó részlegen legyen?

“Absolutely.” – Abszolút.

“Wonderful, thank you.” – Csodálatos, köszönöm!

A conversation about whether you can smoke in a restaurant or not.

A Couple Ordering Food in a Restaurant

2. During Dining

Next up, useful Hungarian restaurant phrases for when already in the restaurant and dining. After you have made reservations, arranged the time and number of people, and got to the restaurant, it is time to sit down and order. In this phase of the eating out process, it is very important to have basic restaurant vocabulary and template sentences. However, it is just as important to study the menu in Hungarian and read everything carefully. Unfortunately, every menu is different, but we can definitely help you with useful Hungarian restaurant phrases you could use when in Hungary.

If you need some inspiration as to what to order, here are the top 50 most popular Hungarian dishes you must try when in the country.

“Could we get the menu please?” – Kérhetnénk a menüt, kérem?

“I’m sorry you haven’t got it. I will bring two in a few seconds.” – Elnézést kérek, hogy még nem kapták meg. Másodperceken belül visszatérek kettővel.

“Thank you, that’s very kind.” – Köszönjük, ez nagyon kedves.

“Here you go, madam. Let me know when you’ve decided on the drinks and I’ll take your order.” – Tessék, hölgyem. Szóljanak, ha már döntöttek az italokról és felveszem a rendelésüket.

“Actually, we already know. I’d like to get a mojito and to my friend, a cosmopolitan, please.” – Igazából már tudjuk is. Én egy mohitot kérnék, a barátomnak pedig egy cosmopolitant, legyen szíves!

“Great! I will be back with your drinks in a few minutes.” – Nagyszerű! Néhány percen belül jövök is az italaikkal.

Listen to a conversation about ordering in Hungarian.

“Could you tell me what’s the chef’s special, please?” – El tudná mondani, mi a séf ajánlata?

“Certainly. It is duck breast with orange sauce. It’s very delicious.” – Persze. Kacsamell narancsszósszal. Nagyon finom.

“Great That’s my favorite. I’d like to order that.” – Nagyszerű! Az a kedvencem. Ezt szeretném rendelni.

“Excellent choice.” – Remek választás.

Click to hear how to order lunch at a Hungarian restaurant.

“Excuse me.” – Elnézést!

“Yes, sir? Can I bring you anything?” – Igen, uram? Hozhatok Önnek valamit?

“Yes, I’d like another bottle of wine, please.” – Igen, szeretnék még egy üveg pezsgőt, kérem!

“Of course. I will be back in a few minutes.” – Természetesen. Pár percen belül érkezem.

“I’m allergic to nuts. Could I get the dish without any?” – Allergiás vagyok a mogyoróra. Lehetne, hogy a nélkül kérjem az ételt?

“Of course. Would you like something else instead?” – Természetesen. Szeretne valami mást helyette?

“No, thank you.” – Nem, köszönöm.

“Could I get some more of this tzatziki sauce? It’s very tasty. – Kérhetnék még a tzatziki szószból? Nagyon ízletes.

“I’m very sorry but we just ran out. Could I bring you some yoghurt or mayonnaise instead?” – Nagyon sajnálom, de épp most fogyott el. Hozhatok esetleg joghurtot vagy majonézt helyette?

“Yes, yoghurt would be great, thank you.” – Igen, a joghurt remek lenne, köszönöm!

“Could I get some more napkins? – Kérhetnék még szalvétát?

“Of course, here you go, madame. If you’d like some more, you can get them at the bar anytime.” – Persze, tessék, hölgyem. Ha szeretne még, a bárból bármikor hozhat még.

“The soup is very salty. Is there something we can do about that?” – A leves nagyon sós. Tudunk valamit tenni az ügy érdekében?

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir. I could bring you another bowl if you’d like.” – Sajnálattal hallom, uram. Hozhatok Önnek egy másik tányérral, ha szeretné.

“I’d thank you, yes.” – Azt megköszönném, igen.

“Alright. I will bring it to you in 10 minutes.” – Rendben. 10 percen belül hozom is Önnek.

“What do you recommend as dessert? – Mit ajánl desszertként?

“Our pistachio ice-cream is very popular.” – A pisztáciafagyink nagyon népszerű.

“Great. I love pistachios. We’ll try that.” – Remek! Imádom a pisztáciát. Megkóstoljuk!

“Where do I find the restrooms? – Merre találom a mosdókat?

“You go down the corridor and then you will find them to the left.” – Végigmegy a folyosón, és bal oldalra találja majd őket.

Waiter Holding Plates of Food

3. After Dining

Lastly, we are going to cover those Hungarian words and phrases in restaurant settings that are common in Hungary. For example, you would want to know how to ask for the bill in Hungarian, right? Well, we are going to learn that together now. With that and others, our list of Hungarian restaurant phrases will be complete, and you will be able to go to a restaurant in Hungary with confidence and order food with ease. Sounds good? Let’s get into the last part of this article then, finishing off this study session.

“Can I pay with euros?” – Tudok euróval fizetni?

“Yes, you can. Let me come back with another bill with the total in euros.” – Igen, tud. Hadd jöjjek vissza egy másik számlával, amin euróban van a végösszeg.

“Perfect. Thank you.” – Tökéletes, köszönöm!

“Is it possible to box my leftovers?” – Volna lehetőség rá, hogy becsomagolják a maradékot?

“For sure. We’ll charge a little extra for the boxes though. Is that okay?” – Persze. De felszámoljuk a doboz árát. Így is megfelel?

“Yes, it’s fine. Thank you.” – Igen, megfelel. Köszönöm!

“Could we talk to the chef? We’d like to congratulate him/her. Our dinner was fantastic.”Beszélhetnénk a séffel? Szeretnénk neki gratulálni. A vacsoránk fantasztikus volt.

Wonderful. She/he will be very happy. Let me call him/her for you.” – Ragyogó! Nagyon boldog lesz. Hadd hívjam ide őt Önökhöz.

“Could I get the bill, please?” – Kérhetném a számlát?

“Of course. Would you like to pay by cash or card?” – Természetesen. Készpénzzel vagy kártyával szeretne fizetni?

“By card.” – Kártyával.

“Alright, I’ll bring the POS terminal.” – Rendben, hozom is a POS terminált.

Listen to how to ask for the bill in Hungarian.

“Can we pay the bill separately?” – Tudjuk külön fizetni a számlát?

“Yes, but unfortunately, only is you pay by cash. Is that a problem?” – Igen, de sajnos, csak ha készpénzzel fizetnek. Ez problémát jelent?

“No, it’s not.” – Nem, nem jelent.

Before we finish off, we must talk about tipping etiquette in Hungary. Sometimes the service fee is included in the bill automatically, sometimes, it is not. If it is the latter, people usually tip between 10-15%. However, the most common tips are between 10-12%.

Check out the Hungarian dining etiquette too.

If you do not feel like going to a restaurant, for whatever reason, check out apps and shops that offer home delivery.

A Couple Having Dinner in a Restaurant

4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Goals in Learning Hungarian

You got to the end of our common Hungarian restaurant phrases article, congrats! Hopefully, you know more about how to reserve tables, how to order food in Hungarian, or how to ask for the bill in Hungarian. We have learned lots of other expressions for before, during, and after dining that hopefully will help you during your time in the country.

However, if you still feel unsure about your knowledge, there are lots of study materials on the HungarianPod101 website, where you can even sign up to be a full-time member of our family, supported by top-notch, additional study materials and strong, helpful community.

Join the HungarianPod101 family today!

Do you know how to ask for the bill in Hungarian? Comment below!

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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.

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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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