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The Definitive Guide to Telling the Time in Hungarian

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Looking for new ways to develop your Hungarian language knowledge? We at the HungarianPod101.com family believe that one of the best ways is to master the art of telling the time in Hungarian.

Knowing how to tell the time is essential if you want to succeed in speaking a foreign language, and telling the time in Hungarian is no exception. Whether you’re on the street, with a friend, in a business meeting, or at the airport, it’s vital for you to know how to tell the time in Hungarian.
That’s exactly why we’ve decided to put together a sweet guide which teaches you everything you’ll need on this topic. Read our article and learn everyday expressions, such as “a.m.” and “p.m.” in Hungarian, “o’clock” in Hungarian, and how to ask “What time is it?”

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Asking for the Time in Hungarian
  2. Hours in Hungarian
  3. Minutes in Hungarian
  4. Partial Hours in Hungarian
  5. General Time Reference of the Day in Hungarian
  6. Time Adverbs in Hungarian
  7. Bonus: Time Proverbs and Sayings in Hungarian
  8. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Hungarian

1. Asking for the Time in Hungarian

The standard Hungarian time zone is called CET (Central European Time). However, the country uses two different time zones during the year: CET in the winter, and CEST (Central European Summer Time) during the summer. The second time zone is the so-called “daylight saving time,” which in Hungarian is referred to as nyári időszámítás.

Hungarian time expressions are easy to master. After reading this article, you’ll soon find how easy it is to ask “What time is it?” in Hungarian. Let’s start with the most common time-related expressions:

  • “What time is it?” (Mennyi az idő?)
  • “Can I ask you what time it is?” (Megkérdezhetem, hogy mennyi az idő?)
Someone Asking for the Time

Generally, there are a lot of expressions to ask for the time in Hungarian. The following example is also very common:

  • “Could you tell the time, please?” (Meg tudná mondani az időt kérem?)

To specifically ask what time an upcoming event takes place, consider using the following sentence pattern:

  • “What time is the meeting?” (Mikor kezdődik a meeting?)
  • “What time is the party?” (Mikor kezdődik a buli?)

In these sentences, mikor kezdődik stands for “what time is” (literally meaning, “what time ___ starts”), whereas a meeting and a buli translate to “the meeting” and “the party” respectively. Basically, to ask for a starting time in Hungary, just begin the sentence with mikor kezdődik and put the name of the event at the end of the sentence.

Fancy learning more? Check out our list of the top fifteen questions you’ll need for Hungarian conversations.

2. Hours in Hungarian

Telling the time in Hungarian is much easier than in other languages, as Hungarians don’t use a.m. or p.m. Hungarians use the so-called twenty-four-hour military time, in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into twenty-four hours. In this case, instead of saying “three p.m.,” users of the twenty-four-hour clock say “15:00.” But don’t worry, Hungarians make it even easier than this!

In everyday conversations, Hungarian people don’t really care about these clock-related rules. They generally tend to say “It’s three o’clock” instead of using 03:00 or 15:00. The general suggestion is that in everyday conversations, everyone’s aware of which part of the day it is, so they can just make the whole time-topic a lot easier because of this.

So let’s see how to tell time in Hungarian using only the hours.

“Hour” – óra

‘I’m coming in just an hour.’ – Egy órán belül jövök.

In this sentence, ‘jövök’ means ‘I’m coming’, whereas ‘egy órán belül’ stands for ‘in just an hour’.

Now, let’s see a few examples of telling the time in Hungarian.

8 o’clock

“O’clock” (óra)

“It’s three o’clock.”

Három óra van.

“One o’clock” (1 óra)

“It’s one o’clock.”

Egy óra van.

“Two o’clock” (2 óra)

“It starts at two o’clock.”

Kettő órakor kezdődik.

“Three o’clock” (3 óra)

“She comes at three o’clock.”

Három órára jön.

“Four o’clock” (4 óra)

“I woke up at 4 o’clock.”

Négykor ébredtem fel.

In the Hungarian language, you can either say négy órakor ébredtem fel, or make it shorter by saying négykor ébredtem fel.

“Five o’clock” (5 óra)

“The class starts at five o’clock.”

Öt órakor kezdődik a tanóra.

“Six o’clock” (6 óra)

“I’m having dinner at six o’clock.”

Hat órakor vacsorázom.

“Seven o’clock” (7 óra)

“He called me at seven o’clock.”

Hét órakor hívott fel.

“Eight o’clock” (8 óra)

“I’m tired at eight o’clock.”

8 órakor fáradt vagyok.

“Nine o’clock” (9 óra)

“Nine o’clock is too late.”

Kilenc óra túl késő.

“Ten o’clock” (10 óra)

“Don’t talk to me after ten o’clock.”

Ne beszélj hozzám 10 óra után.

In this sentence, ne beszélj hozzám means “don’t talk to me,” whereas 10 óra után stands for “after ten o’clock.”

“Eleven o’clock” (11 óra)

“I’ll come at eleven o’clock.”

11 órára fogok jönni.

“Twelve o’clock” (12 óra / dél / éjfél)

“I’m already sleeping at twelve o’clock.”

12 órakor már alszom.

For more Hungarian numbers, visit our vocabulary list.

3. Minutes in Hungarian

How do you say “minute” in Hungarian? Or “second?” Continue reading to find out!

“Minute” (perc)

“It only takes a minute.” 

Csak egy percbe telik.

In this sentence, csak egy percbe means “only (in) a minute,” whereas telik stands for “takes.”

“3:18” (3 óra 18 perc)

“It starts at 3:18.” 

3 óra 18 perckor kezdődik.

“Second” (másodperc)

“You have five seconds.”

5 másodperced van.

4. Partial Hours in Hungarian

To master the topic of numbers and time, it’s essential to know how to say partial hours in Hungarian. For example, how do you say “half past eight?” 

Fancy mastering how to tell time in the Hungarian language? If your answer is yes, you really don’t want to miss this section.

Hours and Minutes on Clocks

“Half” (fél)

“It’s half past seven.” 

Fél 8 van.

This is a bit tricky, as in Hungarian, “half” (fél) refers to the hour ahead and not the current hour. You can check out this page if you ever get confused.

“Quarter past” (negyed)

“It’s a quarter past three.” 

Negyed 4 van.

Again, you might be wondering: “What?” Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! 

Please remember that when talking about partial hours, Hungarians always refer to the next hour

So if they want to say “3:15,” they say negyed 4, which translates to “quarter past three.” Half past seven is fél 8, as 8 is the next hour; “a quarter to nine” is háromnegyed 9, just as in the following example.

“Quarter to” (háromnegyed)

“The show starts at a quarter to nine.” 

Az előadás háromnegyed 9-kor kezdődik.

Too complicated? It’s okay. If you think this system is just too complicated to learn, you can always say “3:15” or “3:30” instead of using these Hungarian words for partial hours.

5. General Time Reference of the Day in Hungarian

Time

As you saw in the previous examples, telling the time in Hungarian is pretty easy. The Hungarian time format is tied to the twenty-four-hour clock. So if you want to note which part of the day you’re talking about, just use “in the morning” or “in the afternoon.”

“A.M.” (délelőtt)

“It’s nine a.m.” 

Délelőtt 9 óra van.

“P.M.” (délután)

“Let’s meet at five p.m.!” 

Találkozzunk délután 5-kor!

“Early morning” (kora reggel)

“I wake up early in the morning.” 

Kora reggel kelek fel.

“Sunrise” (napfelkelte)

“Let’s watch the sunrise!” 

Nézzük meg a napfelkeltét!

In this sentence, nézzük meg means “let’s watch,” and a napfelkeltét translates to “the sunrise.”

“Noon” (dél)

“I’m coming at noon.” 

Délre jövök.

“Early afternoon” (kora délelőtt)

“Let’s meet in the early afternoon!” 

Találkozzunk kora délelőtt!

“Evening” (este)

“Let’s meet at seven in the evening.” 

Találkozzunk este 7-kor.

Lovely Sunset

“Sunset” (naplemente)

“I want to watch the sunset.” 

Meg szeretném nézni a naplementét.

“Night” (éjszaka)

“I suddenly woke up at night.” 

Éjszaka hirtelen felébredtem.

6. Time Adverbs in Hungarian

Improve Listening

There are also some time-related adverbs you have to learn to fully master telling time in Hungarian.

“Right now” (most)

“It starts right now.” 

Most kezdődik.

“Currently” (jelenleg)

“I’m single currently.” 

Jelenleg egyedülálló vagyok.

In this sentence, egyedülálló vagyok means “I’m single.” To learn more about marital status and family in Hungarian, check out this resource.

“Meanwhile” (közben)

“I had meanwhile found another pen.” 

Közben találtam egy másik tollat.

“Before” (előtt)

“Let’s meet before nine.” 

Találkozzunk 9 óra előtt.

“After” (után)

“Let’s do the homework after school.” 

Végezzük el a házi feladatot az iskola után.

“Soon” (hamarosan)

“See you soon!” 

Hamarosan találkozunk!

“Almost” (majdnem)

“I almost got hit by the car.” 

Majdnem elütött az autó.

In this sentence, majdnem means “almost,” whereas elütött translates to “got hit.”

“Anytime” (bármikor)

“I can help you anytime.” 

Bármikor tudok segíteni.

“As soon as possible” (amint csak lehet)

“I’m coming as soon as possible.” 

Jövök, amint csak lehet.

Interestingly, there’s no short form of “as soon as possible” in the Hungarian language, and thus no Hungarian counterpart of ASAP.

7. Bonus: Time Proverbs and Sayings in Hungarian

Now that we’ve gone through all the essential phrases and expressions, there’s only one thing left: to learn some time proverbs and sayings in Hungarian. Hungarian time expressions aren’t too commonly used in everyday conversations; however, in some situations, they might come in handy. 

Wallet on Clock
  • “Time is money.” (Az idő pénz.)
  • “Time flies.” (Repül az idő.)
  • “Time heals all wounds.” (Az idő minden sebet meggyógyít.)
  • “Daylight saving time” (nyári időszámítás)
  • “Wintertime” (téli időszámítás)

Of course, there are a number of other Hungarian phrases, so if you’re interested in learning more, you should definitely check out this list. Fancy learning how to say hello in Hungarian? Check out our vocabulary list or read our blog post about how to confidently introduce yourself in Hungarian!

8. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Hungarian

Basic Questions

Now you can see that telling the time in Hungarian isn’t as complicated as you might have thought.

With the help of this guide, you’ve learned the most common Hungarian time expressions, how to talk about hours and minutes in Hungarian, and how to tell the time in Hungarian. 

Learning new words, expressions, and sentences in Hungarian is always fun. If you think you need help, don’t hesitate to join the HungarianPod101 family—we’ll support your language learning journey with useful resources.
So, how do you say “What time is it?” in Hungarian? Let us know in the comments!

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The Hungarian Calendar: Talking About Dates in Hungarian

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Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know – a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun – the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through HungarianPod101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Hungarian, as well as the months in Hungarian to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also – always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Hungarian?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can HungarianPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Hungarian

1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Hungarian?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Hungarian. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “péntek” (Friday) with “szombat” (Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “július” (July), but you booked a flight for “június” (June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Hungarian calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.

2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Hungary, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. Mit csinálsz a hétvégén?

“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Hungarian or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. Ezen a hétvégén utazom.

“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Hungary, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. Azt tervezem, hogy otthon maradok.

“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said – depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. Ezen a héten elfoglalt vagyok.

“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. Holnap szabad vagyok.

“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. Átütemezhetnénk ezt?

“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. Hónap végén lesz elég időm.

“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) – anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. Mi a legjobb időpont neked?

“When is the best time that suits you?”

Remember phrase #5? That was a possible reply to this question. Asked by your crush, very possibly! Or, it could be asked by any other person for any other reason, doesn’t matter.

If this is addressed to you, it usually means that the person respects your time and schedule, which is a good thing. It probably also means that their own schedule is flexible, another good thing.

This is also a polite question to ask when a manager or senior colleague wants to meet with you. Let them decide on the time, and be as accommodating as possible. This attitude shows respect for seniority – good for career building. (Within reason, of course. You don’t need to postpone your wedding or your paid-up holiday to Australia because your manager wants to see you.)

Screen Tablet Hotel

9. Ez az időpont jó neked?

“Is this date OK with you?”

But – if the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, and casual acquaintances and colleagues.

10. Azon a napon szabad vagy?

“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response – nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

11. Meg tudjuk csinálni a lehető leghamarabb?

“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good – yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

12. Minden este elérhető vagyok.

“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

– If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to – great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

– If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out – good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

– If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date – stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they – or anyone else – invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

13. Ezt jó előre meg kell terveznem.

“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply – if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

14. Keresnünk kell egy másik dátumot.

“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies – think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly – we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

15. Nem tudom megcsinálni azon a napon.

“I cannot do it on that day.”

This is the low-key-but-still-firm cousin of the previous phrase. You’re stating a personal fact, and depending on your tone, this can be as non-negotiable as you prefer.

Again, only use this when you really mean it, if you’re visiting Hungary or any other foreign country.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

3. Can HungarianPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Numbers

Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Hungarian. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

HungarianPod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Hungarian speakers in cool slide-shows – the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Hungarian online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Hungarian host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Hungarian easily yet correctly, HungarianPod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Hungarian need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!

HungarianPod101’s Essential Hungarian Travel Phrase Guide

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Traveling to foreign countries is nearly always an exciting, enriching, and beneficial experience. Yet, some things can be real downers, such as boredom on a lengthy flight to Hungary. Really, binge-watching onboard movies can only be interesting for so long! And jet lag – another huge downer. Did you know that jet lag is more severe when you travel from the West to the East?

Well, we won’t know how to beat that, but there are fortunately plenty of remedies around to investigate.

To beat flight boredom, though, we may have the answer for you at HungarianPod101! Why don’t you take the time to study Hungarian travel phrases? We make this super easy and fun, with great downloadables, like our PDF Cheat Sheets. Quickly memorize these, and impress your Hungarian friends or travel guide with your flawless Hungarian!

Table of Contents

  1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases
  2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words
  3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases
  4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country
  5. HungarianPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

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1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases

Impressing Hungarian people or your travel partners will be the least of the benefits you reap from learning these helpful phrases. These are greater ones:

1) Eliminate Travel Frustration: First of all, you’ll be able to cut out a good chunk of travel frustration and inconvenience due to language barriers.

Know how to pronounce and use at least the basic Hungarian phrases, and then just look foreign. This should go a long way to help you get by and win you friends, because locals would be more inclined to help someone who took the trouble to learn a smidgen of their language.

Injured Woman In An Ambulance

2) Emergency Readiness: In case of an emergency, you will be able to get help a lot quicker if you know how to ask for what in Hungarian. Imagine miming to a doctor or nurse that you have a sore ear but that you’re allergic to penicillin. Not so easy, right?

Rather, you should know basic emergency travel phrases, especially if you suffer from a serious condition. Also, information about life-threatening allergies you have should always be on your person in the language of the country you’re visiting.

3) Sight-Seeing Readiness: Hopefully, you also travel to learn more about a country’s culture. Visiting the main tourist sites in Hungary will be more interesting if you know how to ask pertinent questions in Hungarian.

In this blog, we’ll also be giving you important travel phrases to consider – from the 13 essential must-have phrases to ones that are just generally useful and good to know.

Let’s get cracking!

2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words

Preparing to Travel

Seasoned explorers of multiple countries will tell you that certain words and phrases are absolute must-knows in anyone’s travel vocabulary. Learning from them, we collated some of the most essential ones here for you.

If you know these travel phrases and words by heart in Hungarian, you will be much better equipped for your visit than most of your movie-binging travel mates.

1) Köszönöm (Thank you)

As a tourist, you will be relying on the kindness of strangers to get by. Repay them with a small acknowledgment of their friendly generosity – know how to say “thank you” in Hungarian.

2) Beszél angolul? (Do you speak English?)

While it may be a bit of a cop-out, sometimes you just can’t figure out how to communicate. Maybe you’re blanking on one specific word you need, maybe they’re speaking with a heavy accent, or maybe it’s just really late and you really want to get to the hotel. In that case, try asking if they speak English, and hopefully you can make things a little bit simpler for yourself.

Don’t abuse this phrase, though! If you just try to get by without learning any of the local language, not only will you not learn anything – you’ll be out of luck if they can’t speak English!

Man Greeting Someone

3) Van busz a reptérről a városba? (Is there a bus from the airport to the city?)

Public transit is usually cheaper, if slower, than taking a taxi or rideshare. Use this phrase to see if you can get where you’re going when you’re strapped for cash, or just when you’d like to take the scenic route into town!

4) Ez lenne a repülőtérre menő busz? (Is this the right bus for the airport?)

Likewise, if you’re the kind of person who can get themselves moving early (or maybe you just have a late flight), maybe you want to take the bus to the airport rather than taking a cab. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure you’re actually heading the right way! You wouldn’t want to end up at a lookout point half an hour away, watching your flight take off in the distance, would you?

5) Elnézést, mennyibe kerül a jegy? (Excuse me, what’s the fare?)

If you are paying for a cab, you’ll want to know how much. Most legal taxis will have meters, but when dealing with a currency you’re not familiar with, it can be worth asking just to double check that you’re paying the right amount – especially if the currency has cents.

6) Szobát foglaltam önöknél (I have a reservation)

This one you can expect to use at least a few times throughout your trip, unless you’re the kind of person who travels by the seat of their pants and just goes to whatever hotel, motel, or hostel has rooms available.

7) Van üres szobájuk ma estére? (Do you have any vacancies tonight?)

If that’s the case, you’ll definitely be using this phrase instead. Quite possibly a lot, depending on how lucky you are!

Couple with a Map

8 ) Merre van a vasútállomás? (Where is the train station?)

If you’re in a country with an expansive commuter rail system (or maybe just a fan of other types of locomotives), you may want to know where the closest station is. Just don’t go looking for pennies on the rails!

9) Allergiás vagyok a mogyoróra (I am allergic to peanuts)

Replace “peanuts” with whatever the word for your allergen may be. If your allergy is serious, you probably already know the importance of stating this very clearly in Hungarian.

If the condition is life-threatening, be sure to have a letter or prescription from a medical professional in Hungarian on your person at all times. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet specially made in Hungarian if your stay will be longer than a month or so.

Person Declining Meat

10) Kínálnak vegetáriánus ételeket? (Do you have any vegetarian dishes?)

If you dislike eating certain things, or you have certain dietary restrictions, it would be best if you knew how to convey this clearly in Hungarian.

Remember, though, that saying “I’m vegan” or “I’m diabetic” may not be enough to get you what you want. The rules for veganism and vegetarianism are not standard everywhere in the world. Also, your patron might not understand what “diabetic” means. If you have a medical condition, it would be best to research some in-depth vocabulary beforehand.

11) Kaphatnék egy térképet? (Could I get a map?)

Planning on exploring your destination? Hopelessly lost? Maybe just an amateur cartographer? No matter the reason, this phrase is sure to come in handy. That said, you’re more likely to get use out of it at some sort of tourist or travel center than you are asking a random passerby on the street.

12) Ez mennyibe kerül? (How much is this?)

Even if you’re not a big shopper, you’re probably going to need this phrase at some point. Knowing how to count in Hungarian will, of course, help a lot with purchases too.

13) Fizethetek hitelkártyával? (Do you take credit card?)

This is another travel phrase that will smooth your monetary transactions considerably.

Man Giving Credit Card to a Clerk

3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases

Travel Verbs

Unlike the previous phrases, these are not really essential so much as they are useful. Yet, knowing these will still smooth over some bumps on your journey, more than just knowing the crucial phrases would.

1) Ingyenes a Wi-Fi? (Is the Wi-Fi free?)

If you’re abroad, your normal cellular plans probably won’t have any service, and you’ll be totally reliant on publically available Wi-Fi while you’re out and about. Just ask a server, clerk, or attendant, and they’ll be happy to let you know. Just make sure you’re paying attention when they tell you the password!

2) Megtenné, hogy csinál rólam egy képet? (Could you take a picture of me please?)

What would a trip be with no photos to commemorate the event? Just be sure to ask this of someone who actually looks like they’d be willing to, unless you’re willing to risk being given the cold shoulder or worse. If you’re at a tourist attraction, you’ll find that most people are more than happy to take one for you, so long as you take one of them as well!

3) Mit ajánl? (Do you have any recommendations?)

Eating alone in a restaurant? Or going out with new Hungarian friends or business colleagues? Let them help you decide what to have.

4) Nem dohányzó helyet, legyen szíves (I’d like to have a non-smoking seat, please)

Though smoking has gone out of fashion in some places, it’s still popular in others. In the event you’re at a restaurant where smoking is allowed on premises, you can always ask this question to the staff and be seated elsewhere.

5) Vizet kérek (Water, please)

If you’ve emptied your glass, or are cutting yourself off after a few drinks, you can always ask for some water. It can be especially useful if the restaurant is busy to the point you need to call out to someone to get service.

6) Kérhetném a számlát? (Could I have the check?)

To finish off the restaurant related phrases, if you’re eating with friends or really want to impress your colleagues, taking the bill can be a nice treat for them. Of course, this phrase could come in handy as well if you’re eating alone and you’re just impatient to leave.

7) Mit ajánlana emlékbe? (What do you recommend for a souvenir?)

Now that your trip is over, what better way to cap it all off than a memento, or maybe a gift for friends and family at home? It’ll be nicer to have something recommended by the locals than a cheap bauble from the airport store, so go ahead and ask someone you’ve met what they think.

4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country

Survival Phrases

When traveling, it’s possible to keep communication smooth when you don’t share a language.

Do so by keeping these five tips in mind. They are aimed to help you communicate with those who cannot speak English very well, and also to keep your traveling experience pleasant!

1. Keep your English simple and easy to understand.
If the person you are talking to speaks very little English, use basic verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and keep sentences short.

However, don’t patronize them by talking in pidgin or like you would address a child. Keep your speech simple but natural, and use the correct grammar.

For instance, don’t say: “You come when?”. If you say: “When will you come?”, you will very likely be understood, and may even help someone who wants to improve their English.

2. Ask someone to write information down.
Apply Rule 1 first at your hotel, where the staff is very likely to be able to speak some English. Get them to write down, in their native language, things like: “I would like to go to the airport, please,” “Please take me to the beach,” or “Where is the closest bathroom?”

These written questions are something you can then give to taxi drivers or any other people who are willing and able to help you. This simple step could make your life a lot easier when you travel to a foreign country!

3. Avoid asking leading questions!
If you want the correct information from a non-native English speaker, that is.

When you need directions, for instance, don’t ask: “To get to the bus stop, do I need to turn left here?” If the person didn’t really understand you, you will probably just get a smile and a “Yes,” which could possibly make you miss your bus.

Rather, you should ask: “Where is the bus stop?” If they understand you, you will get the correct directions.

4. Pick the right person to ask for help.
Time to look at people and think a bit about their appearance! A younger person who looks like they might be a student is more likely to have English skills than the friendly but ancient lady smiling at you from a fruit stall.

If you don’t see anyone like that, head into town to the nearest bank, hospital, pharmacy, or hotel. The staff at those places usually speak a bit of English.

5. Know when to quit.
If you stuck to the above rules, but the person you are talking to only stares at you blankly, say thank you and leave. Hanging around hoping someone will suddenly understand and respond is just wasting your time, and may irritate them as well. Go find someone else.

5. HungarianPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

So, reader, have you found this article helpful?

Do you feel comfortable enough to use some essential travel phrases in Hungarian? We’d also love to hear if you think we left out important travel phrases. Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments!

HungarianPod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Hungarian reading and speaking easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

– An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
– A new Hungarian word to learn every day
– Quick access to the Hungarian Key Phrase List
– A free Hungarian online dictionary
– The excellent 100 Core Hungarian Word List
– An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

You will also have access to topic-specific recordings like our Before You Travel: Survival Phrases lesson.

Learn even more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, after taking an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training.

Getting a tutor is also a good option if you meet challenges in your learning, or need to fast-track correct pronunciation and diction. Your very own friendly, Hungarian-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime – an excellent option for business persons!

Using a guided learning system that was developed by experts in language and online education, you’ll receive personal feedback and constant support to improve in no time. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking to hone your Hungarian speaking skills.

Imagine how impressed your Hungarian friends or colleagues will be when you display your excellent conversational skills! With HungarianPod101, getting there will be easy and fun.

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How to Say Happy New Year in Hungarian & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Hungarian New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join HungarianPod101 for a special Hungarian New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Hungarian

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March – December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Hungarian? Let a native teach you! At HungarianPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Hungarian New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Hungary
  2. Must-Know Hungarian Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Hungarian
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How HungarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Hungarian

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Hungarian New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Hungary

Let’s discuss a few examples of Hungarian traditions and rituals related to New Year’s Eve, called the Day of Sylvester or szilveszter. This is a time of relaxation after the intimate Christmas holiday, which is usually celebrated within the family. Do you have the chilled bubbly in the fridge? Is the traditional lentil soup ready? Ok, then let’s get on with it!

While we’re on the topic of lentils, do you know the answer to this question?

What is the secret behind the tradition of eating lentils – lencse on New Year’s Day?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

December 31 is the last day of the year, and in Hungary, it is the name-day of people called Sylvester. People start preparations during the afternoon of the 31st for the New Year’s Eve celebrations that are held that night. Trumpets, horns, confetti and fireworks vendors all line the streets, making it quite the festive atmosphere. Most people go to house parties, but lots of restaurants also offer New Year’s parties as well. When the clock strikes 12, everybody remains quiet and stands at attention while listening to the Hungarian National Anthem, in Hungarian Magyar Himnusz.

Moving on from the modern New Year’s parties of the cities, let’s take a look at what goes on in the countryside to learn something about traditional customs aimed at bringing good health, wealth, happiness and good luck to the next year. On New Year’s Day in Hungary, one is not allowed to eat poultry and fish. This is because of the local belief that chickens bury our good luck and fish will swim away with it. In contrast, pigs dig the luck out, so eating pork on New Year’s is thought to bring you good luck for the rest of the year. Taking out or throwing anything from the house away is also thought to bring bad luck, because wealth and good luck are believed to leave the house along with it. Even throwing out trash is forbidden! Strudel or rétes is typically baked as well, because the dish is associated with a life as long as the stretched sheets of strudel dough.

When it comes to good luck and happiness for the new year, Hungarians do not leave anything to chance. Another thing they do for the sake of good luck is give small gifts to each other that are thought to bring good luck to the receiver of the gift. Four-leaf clovers are well-known as charms for good luck, as well as the so called “good-luck piglet.” Chimney-sweepers are also believed to sweep bad luck out of one’s life. If one has done all the above-mentioned tasks, there is nothing left to stop the coming of a perfect New Year! In Hungarian, I wish you Happy New Year is Boldog új évet kívánok! – or as abbreviated in Hungarian, “B.ú.é.k.!”

But beware! In Hungary, use of fireworks, or tűzijátékok, and fire crackers, or petárdák, is only permitted during New Year’s Eve; using such devices at any other time is illegal, and heavy penalties may apply!

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is the secret behind the tradition of eating lentils on New Year’s Day?

The shape of the lentil – in accordance with traditional beliefs – is also the symbol of money. It is thought that the more lentils you eat on New Year’s Day, the richer you will become in the coming year.

Happy New Year!
Boldog új évet!

2. Must-Know Hungarian Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Hungarian Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

év

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Hungary could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

éjfél

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

újév

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

buli

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

táncolás

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

pezsgő

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

tűzijáték

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown

visszaszámlálás

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts – a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Újévi ünnep

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday – to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

konfetti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Szilveszter

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

pohárköszöntő

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

fogadalom

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

felvonulás

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At HungarianPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Hungarian New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Hungarian word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at HungarianPod101 – what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Hungarian friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Többet olvas.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Hungarian in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Hungarian language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Több időt tölt a családdal.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Lefogy.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Pénzt megtakarít.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to HungarianPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year – it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Abbahagyja a dohányzást.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Valamit újat tanul.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess – no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Kevesebbet iszik.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Rendszeresen mozog.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Egészségesen étkezik.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Hungarian with HungarianPod101

Magyarul tanulni a HungarianPod101.com oldalával

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Hungarian, especially with us! Learning how to speak Hungarian can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. HungarianPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Hungarian new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Hungarian, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Hungarian incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with HungarianPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Hungarian could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Hungarian – it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Hungarian – learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with HungarianPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Hungarian! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that HungarianPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Hungarian at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Hungarian that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Hungarian with HungarianPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Hungarian

How to Say Merry Christmas in Hungarian

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Hungarian? HungarianPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Hungarian Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Hungarian speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, HungarianPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Hungarian!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Hungary
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How HungarianPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Hungary

Christmas Words in Hungarian

There is no doubt about it, the most significant holiday in Hungary is Christmas, or in Hungarian, karácsony. The holiday is awaited in anticipation by adults and children alike. Some get excited about the gift-giving, and others simply look forward to getting some rest after the intense holiday shopping. Let’s take a look at how Christmas is celebrated in Hungary.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

What is the reason behind the Hungarian custom of eating fish at Christmas, instead of poultry?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Unlike several other countries, in Hungary gifts are said to be brought not by Santa Claus, but by the baby Jesus, or Jézuska. December 24 is an official holiday, and on this day everybody is busy preparing for Christmas Eve. Many people rush to buy last-minute gifts, and every member of the family is engaged in preparing the Christmas dinner and the Christmas tree, in Hungarian called karácsonyfa.

After all the preparations are complete, families gather around the dinner table to start the formal Christmas dinner. Fish soup, called halászlé in Hungarian, fried fish, stuffed cabbage and bejgli, a rolled, glazed cake with poppy seed or chestnut filling, are some of the most common dishes. The highlight of the evening is the lighting of the Christmas tree, which announces the arrival of baby Jesus. Depending on the year, the following two days (December 25 and 26) can be official holidays, but even on years when they are not, most people take them off anyway. On Christmas Day, festivities are continued with enormous lunches and dinners, and on December 26th–also known as Boxing Day–people visit members of the family who live further away.

In the countryside, the old Christmas customs of putting on plays representing “Bethlehem”, or betlehemezés, and regölés, which means “to sing folk songs”, are kept alive. During Bethlehem plays, people dressed in appropriate costumes walk from home to home re-enacting the biblical story of the birth of baby Jesus with funny dialogue. In return, members of the visited household give gifts and entertain the actors. The custom of regölésis comprised of men, generally in groups of four, walking through the streets of the village making lots of noise by shaking sticks with chains and blowing bagpipes and recorders. They wish for an abundant harvest and good luck to the farmers, who, in return, offer these men a glass of their best wine and best cake, made by the women of the household.

There is a small Hungarian village named Nagykarácsony, which literally means Large Christmas. This is the home of the Hungarian Santa Claus, called Mikulás. During Christmas this is probably the busiest post office in the country, because postcards posted here are stamped with a special Christmas stamp.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is the reason behind the Hungarian custom of eating fish at Christmas, instead of poultry?

In accordance with old traditional folk beliefs, eating poultry at Christmas is not fortuitous because it is said that chickens will bury one’s good luck for the following year, whereas fish and fishing are the traditional Christian symbols of Jesus Christ.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Boldog Karácsonyt!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Hungarian? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Boldog Kwanzát!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Boldog Új Évet!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Boldog Hanukát!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Kellemes téli szünetet!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Jövőre találkozunk!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

Minden jót kívánok!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Hungarian Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Hungarian, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Érezd jól magad az ünnepek alatt!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Hungarian, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

Minden jót kívánok az új évre!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Hungarian! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At HungarianPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

karácsony

This is the Hungarian word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Hungarian will include this word!

2- Snow

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

hópehely

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

hóember

As you guessed – a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

pulyka

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

koszorú

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

rénszarvas

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Mikulás

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

manó

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolf a piros orrú rénszarvas

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

Északi-sark

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

szánkó

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

ajándék

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

csengő

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

kémény

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

kandalló

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Karácsony

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

díszítés

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

harisnya

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

magyal

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

mézeskalács ház

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

nyalóka

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

fagyöngy

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Hungarian, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Hungarian! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. HungarianPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

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We don’t just say this – we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Hungarian for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Hungarian, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, HungarianPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Hungarian. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in HungarianPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian

How to Say Thank You in Hungarian

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power – use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases – Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How HungarianPod101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian? You can learn easily! Below, HungarianPod101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways Hungarian speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian

1- Thank you.

Köszönöm.

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

Ez nagyon kedves tőled.

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

Köszönöm a kedves szavakat!

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

Köszönöm, hogy eljöttek ma.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with Hungarian speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your Hungarian guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

Köszönöm a figyelmet.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

Nagyon köszönöm!

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in Hungarian. Use this in an informal setting with your Hungarian friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

Olyan tanárt, mint te nem könnyű találni.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your HungarianPod101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

Köszönjük az együtt töltött időt.

Any host at a gathering with Hungarian speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your Hungarian language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

Köszönöm, hogy türelmes vagy és segítesz abban, hogy jobb legyek.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal Hungarian teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in Hungary, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee – gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

Te vagy a legeslegjobb tanár!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

Köszönöm az ajándékot.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

Hála neked, rengeteget tanultam.

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

Wherever your destination may be, manners are a must! And in this respect, Hungary is no different.

1- Köszönöm.
In Hungarian, “Thank you.” is Köszönöm.

2- Köszönöm szépen.
You can emphasize köszönöm by adding szépen, which means literally “nicely, well.” You could say Köszönöm szépen, which would be equivalent to “Thanks a lot.” a more polite expression than just köszönöm. In Hungarian, there are other ways to express one’s gratitude, but they are all variations using köszönöm, which is a verb, and the adverb szépen, which can make the construction more formal to mean “thank you very much.”

3- Nagyon szépen köszönöm.
There will be occasions where you will really want to show your appreciation and politeness. During occasions such as these, you can use the adverbs nagyon and szépen. “Thank you very much” in Hungarian is Nagyon szépen köszönöm. The first word nagyon, “very,” is used to make the phrase very formal. This is followed by szépen köszönöm, which literally means something like “thanking you in a nice way.”

Cultural Insights

Quick Tip 1
By far, köszönöm is the most common way to say “Thank you.” Use the most formal version nagyon szépen köszönöm sparingly, only in very formal situations, like when extending your visa or handling some other kind of official problem in a government office. Remember: when in doubt, keeping it simple is always your safest bet. You don’t have to worry about formal or informal situations; köszönöm can be used with just about anyone, anywhere, and anytime. You say köszönöm when the waiter brings your food or drinks; when the clerk in the hotel takes your luggage to your room (of course, throwing in a tip won’t hurt either!); and when somebody welcomes you, or congratulates you. No matter his/her profession or age; köszönöm or köszönöm szépen will always be an appropriate response.

Quick Tip 2
If you are around friends, you might hear shorter versions of köszönöm, like köszi, or even kösz. Both of these mean “thanks” or “cheers”; they are very informal. If you know the people well enough, feel free to throw one of these in—your knowledge of informal Hungarian will surely be appreciated.

On the run to Hungary? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the Hungarian language will only improve their impression of you! HungarianPod101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases – Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in Hungarian

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in Hungarian, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of Hungarian in Hungary!

Click Here to Listen to the Free Audio Lesson!

At HungarianPod101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in Hungary, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in Hungarian’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language – it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would HungarianPod101 be the perfect choice to learn Hungarian?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in Hungarian – why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special Hungarian friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

HungarianPod101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At HungarianPod101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in Hungarian on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now – you will thank us for it.