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How Long Does it Take to Learn Hungarian?

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What’s one of the first things you consider when determining whether to learn something new? If you’re like most people, you probably look at how long it will take to learn, how difficult it is, and whether it’s worth the investment.  

If you’re reading this, odds are you want to start learning Hungarian but have not yet committed. You might be asking the all-too-common question: How long does it take to learn Hungarian? 

While there’s no solid timeline for how long this process takes, there are estimates for each level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) based on data from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). In this article, we’ll take a look at these rough estimates and give you some useful tips on how to learn Hungarian faster! 

Still, you must remember that there are no super-shortcuts that enable you to learn a whole language in just a few weeks. If you’re determined to learn a language, you must put in the time and effort. If you’re motivated and willing to learn consistently, great results are guaranteed.

If you’re ready to take on the world and study Hungarian, what are you waiting for? The magic recipe for how to learn Hungarian fast is only a few scrolls away.

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Factors That Will Affect Your Learning Progress
  2. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner Level?
  3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Intermediate Level?
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Advanced Level?
  5. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Factors That Will Affect Your Learning Progress 

The FSI groups languages into four categories, based on how difficult they are for a native English speaker to learn. Level I languages are the easiest, while Level IV languages are the most difficult. 

Can you guess which category Hungarian belongs to?

Well, we have to break it to you: Hungarian is considered a Category III language, which makes it a rather difficult one to learn. But this doesn’t make it impossible! It will just take you a bit more time and effort to learn than it would take for you to learn French, for example. 

The actual speed of your Hungarian learning will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • How much time you put into your studies
  • Your study methods 
  • Your environment
  • Your motivation and goals

Now, let’s dive a little deeper!

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner Level?

The average English speaker would need to spend 1 hour studying each day for approximately 12 weeks in order to reach the beginner level. 

However, we must emphasize that this number—and the others mentioned in this article—is merely an approximate to give you a basic idea of what to expect. 

With that in mind, how much time do you think it would take you to achieve the beginner level of Hungarian?

If your answer is “longer than I would like,” remember that HungarianPod101.com has plenty of fun and practical resources for learning Hungarian. Check out the following pages to speed up your progress and stay motivated: 

And here are some additional steps you can take to make the most of your study time

  • Prepare flashcards to make those words stick and carry them with you everywhere.
  • Learn the basic Hungarian sentence structure (hint: it’s usually S-V-O).
  • Watch short videos at a slow speed.

Finally, here are some skills and knowledge you’ll have by the time you reach this level: 

  • You’ll have memorized the Hungarian alphabet. 
  • You’ll know the pronunciation of each letter. 
  • You’ll know some key vocabulary and phrases for everyday interactions.
A Man with a Beard Is Reading and Holding a Pencil to His Temple

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Intermediate Level?

If you continue to study for 1 hour each day, you should be able to reach the intermediate level in approximately 28 weeks.

At the intermediate level, you will…

  • …be able to read short and simple texts, and understand the main points. 
  • …have a larger vocabulary than you did at the beginner stage. 
  • …be able to hold basic conversations at a slow speed on topics that are familiar to you. 

Of course, your exact skillset at this level may vary depending on the speed of your progress. This is just a rough outline of what’s expected of intermediate-level learners. 

There are several things you can do at this point to make the most of your study time. To give you some inspiration, here’s how to learn Hungarian quickly using a variety of tools:

  • Broaden your vocabulary, especially on niche topics that fascinate you or relate to your daily life. 
  • Read Hungarian newspapers or blogs; this will further expand your vocabulary and give you insight into Hungarian culture and society. 
  • Watch Hungarian YouTube channels or Netflix shows with English subtitles.
  • Listen to Hungarian podcasts on your topics of interest. 
  • Go through HungarianPod101’s Level 2 Hungarian and Level 3 Hungarian pathways. 

At this point, we can’t stress enough how important it is to listen a lot, practice your pronunciation often, and keep a dictionary with you any time you read. The journey from beginner to intermediate level will involve expanding your vocabulary and gaining a better understanding of how Hungarians speak and converse with each other. By actively immersing yourself in different forms of Hungarian media, you can speed up your progress and develop these new skills faster. 

As mentioned in our bullet list, you should read plenty of Hungarian blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Keep a dictionary handy, so you can look up any unfamiliar words and note them down in a journal to study later. Having a written record of which words you’re struggling with is a great way to plan your next steps forward.

Newspapers, in particular, are a great reading source if you want to develop a more versatile vocabulary. You can read up on all kinds of modern, trending topics such as politics, coronavirus, and the labor market. You can also read newspapers or blogs specific to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary; this is a great idea if you plan on visiting the city in the near future!

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How Long Does it Take to Achieve Advanced Level?

Reaching the advanced level means that you’re finally fluent in Hungarian. According to the FSI, reaching this level of fluency will take you about 44 weeks (or 1100 hours) if you study for an hour every day.

This is a huge time commitment, but if you’re persistent, you can become fluent in Hungarian! 

The most common mistake language learners make is giving up. When you reach a plateau or feel like it’s taking you longer than it should to reach the next level, it’s easy to get discouraged. But! Just because you missed a few days of learning because you had other, more important things to do (let’s say, job-related), don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track as soon as possible, and forget the setback even happened.

You’re studying for yourself, by yourself, so it takes a large amount of willpower and motivation to be persistent with your lessons. Just remember that it’s okay to fall off the wagon sometimes—as long as you always get back on! 

Here are a few tips on how to learn the Hungarian language as you journey from intermediate to advanced: 

  • Study field-specific words, such as business terms or medical expressions, to keep your vocabulary varied. 
  • Watch Hungarian shows in different genres: crime shows, sitcoms, reality shows, etc. 
  • Start reading books in Hungarian; start small, and gradually work your way up to larger books.
  • Download Hungarian language learning apps and visit forums so you can chat with fellow language learners.
  • Go through HungarianPod101’s Level 4 Hungarian and Level 5 Hungarian pathways.

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How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

There you go: a few tips for learning Hungarian fast and easy. We hope we managed to cover everything you want to know about how long it will take to learn Hungarian, but don’t hesitate to reach out if we missed something—we’ll be glad to help. 

Remember that there are no studying barriers you cannot overcome! With HungarianPod101, you have a supportive group to back you up every step of the way. We provide you with pre-assembled study materials that have been tried and tested, as well as forums where you can ask questions and chat with other HungarianPod101 members.

We’ll be back soon with another useful, practical article—stay tuned and good luck with your studies!

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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.

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Hungarian Proverbs About Life
  2. Hungarian Proverbs About Love
  3. Hungarian Proverbs About Money
  4. How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Achieve Your Language Goals

1. Hungarian Proverbs About Life

A Woman Whose Nose Has Grown Longer After Telling a Lie

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

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

1. A nagy hal megeszi a kishalat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3. Az idő minden sebet begyógyít.

  • Literal Translation: Time heals all wounds.

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

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

4. Ki mint vet, úgy arat.

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

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

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

5. Aki mer, az nyer.

  • Literal Translation: He who dares, wins. 

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

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

6. Aki nem dolgozik, ne is egyék!

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

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

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

7. Ha nincs ló, jó a szamár is.

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

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

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

8. Ki tudja, mit hoz a holnap.

  • Literal Translation: Who knows what tomorrow will bring? 

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

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

9. A cél szentesíti az eszközt.

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

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

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

10. Ne igyál előre a medve bőrére!

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

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

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

A Woman is Thinking and There Are Bubbles Above Her Head

2. Hungarian Proverbs About Love

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

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

11. A szerelem vak.

  • Literal Translation: Love is blind. 

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

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

12. Az ellentétek vonzzák egymást.

  • Literal Translation: Opposites attract each other. 

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

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

13. Soha szerelem sóhajtás nélkül édes nem lehet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. Hideg kéz, meleg szív.

  • Literal Translation: Cold hand, warm heart. 

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

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

16. Nincsen rózsa tövis nélkül.

  • Literal Translation: There is no rose without thorns. 

Meaning:
Nothing and nobody is perfect.

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

17. A szerelem a bölcset is vakká teszi.

  • Literal Translation: Love makes even the wise blind. 

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

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

18. Kenyér és bor nélkül meghűl a szerelem.

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

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

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


19. A harag és a szerelem a legrosszabb tanácsadók.

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

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

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

20. Álomban és szerelemben nincs lehetetlenség.

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

Meaning:
Love can defeat anything and makes everything possible.

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

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

3. Hungarian Proverbs About Money

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


21. Sok kicsi sokra megy.

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

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

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

22. Az idő pénz.

  • Literal Translation: Time is money. 

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

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

23. Pénz beszél, kutya ugat.

  • Literal Translation: Money talks, dog barks. 

Meaning:
With money, everything is possible.

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

24. Ki korán kel, aranyat lel.

  • Literal Translation: The early bird catches the worm. 

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

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

25. Nem mind arany, ami fénylik.

  • Literal Translation: Not all that glitters is gold. 

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

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

26. Ismerik, mint a rossz pénzt.

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

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

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

27. A pénz nem a fán nő.

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

Meaning:
You shouldn’t spend your money recklessly. 

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

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

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

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

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

29. Annyi pénze van, mint békán a szőr.

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

Meaning:
Somebody is broke.

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

30. Kinek nincsen pénze, ne menjen piacra!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy learning!

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Budapest Travel Guide: Top 10 Places to Visit in Budapest

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

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

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

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

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

Someone Holding a Passport and Travel Documents

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

Before You Go

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

Quick Facts

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

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

Weather

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

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

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

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

Travel Tips

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

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

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

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


Packing Reminders

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

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

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

Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip

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

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

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

#1: Buda Castle (Budavári Palota)

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

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

#2: Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)

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

#3: Citadella (Citadella)

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

#4: Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom)

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

#5: Gellért Thermal Bath (Gellért Fürdő)

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

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

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

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

#6: Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere)

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

#7: Margaret Island (Margit-sziget)

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

#8: Parliament of Budapest (Országház/Parlament)

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

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

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

#10: Dohány Street Synagogue (Dohány utcai zsinagóga)

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

Inside of the Dohány Street Synagogue

Hungarian Survival Phrases for Travelers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hunglish: English Words in the Hungarian Language

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s get started.

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

Introduction to Hunglish

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

There are two types of Hunglish: 

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

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

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

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

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

The Hungarian Flag Waving

Hunglish Examples

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

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

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

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

English Words in Hungarian

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Say These Names in Hungarian

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

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

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

The Star Wars Logo with a Black Background

English Words Derived From Hungarian

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

The most common Hungarian words in English are:

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

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

A Big Pot of Colorful Goulash

English Words Derived From Other Languages

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

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

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

How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Hungarian

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

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

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

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

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A Brief Overview of Hungarian Culture

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

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

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

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

Now, let’s dive in!

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

1. Values and Beliefs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hungarian Flag against a White Background

2. Religion

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

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

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


The Bible, Holy Necklace with Christ Crucified Is Seen

3. Family

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

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

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

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

4. Work

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

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

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


5. Art

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

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

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

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

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

The Hands of a Pianist Is Seen Playing on a Piano

6. Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Traditional Holidays

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

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

A- New Year’s Eve

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

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

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

C- Easter

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

D- Saint Stephen’s Day

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

E- Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Ultimate Guide to Traditional Hungarian Food

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

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

But before we begin…

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

1. What is Hungarian Food? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Must-Try Dishes in Hungarian Restaurants

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

Now, let’s see what they are.

Gulyás(leves)

Main ingredients:

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

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

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

(Csirke)pörkölt

Main ingredients:

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

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

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

Halászlé

Main ingredients:

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

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

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

Hortobágyi palacsinta

Main ingredients:

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

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

Rántott sajt

Main ingredients:

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

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

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

3. Authentic Hungarian Food vs. Overseas Hungarian Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Unique Hungarian Foods and Drinks

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

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

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

Somlói galuska

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

Mákos guba

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

Bejgli

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

Pálinka

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

Tokaji aszú

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

A Wine Cellar Is Seen, Wooden Casks In a Row

5. Food-Related Vocabulary

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

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

Szeretnék egy üveg bort.

In English: I would like a bottle of wine.

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

Van tejtermék ebben az ételben?

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

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

Mi a mai ajánlat?

In English: What are today’s specials?

  • “today’s special” – mai ajánlat

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

Beszélhetek a szakáccsal? Nagyon meg vagyok elégedve az étellel.

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

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

Szeretnék fizetni a vacsoráért.

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe #1: Mákos guba

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

Recipe #2: Babfőzelék

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

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

Recipe #3: Meggyleves

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

7. How HungarianPod101.com Makes Studying Fun

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

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

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

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

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

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An Overview of Hungarian Grammar

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We’re so glad that you’re browsing this page because it means that you’re considering learning Hungarian—or have already started! 

Now, we must say that although it is a beautiful language, Hungarian is also a bit challenging at times. That’s why it is so important for you to become familiar with the Hungarian grammar basics from the beginning. 

This page is the perfect place to acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of Hungarian. From the word order to verb conjugation, and everything in-between, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to get a head start in your language learning journey. 

But do remember that we’ll only be covering the basics of Hungarian grammar here. If you wish to study any of these topics further, HungarianPod101.com has tons of resources and lessons, some of which we’ve linked to throughout this lesson. In addition, you can find insightful articles on our blog page

Are you ready to explore the world of Hungarian grammar with us? Let’s begin.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. General Rules
  2. Word Order
  3. Verb Conjugation
  4. Grammar Cases
  5. Bonus: Extra Hungarian Grammar Rules for the Road
  6. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Master Hungarian

1. General Rules

First things first, we’ll quickly go over the most basic Hungarian grammar rules. Once you have a good understanding of these, you should have a much easier time learning the more complex concepts! To make things simpler for you, we’ll be using English as a benchmark and drawing comparisons between the two languages. 

Once you feel comfortable with these rules, you can see our more-detailed explanations further down this page.

Ready? 

Gender

Let’s start with some good news: Just like English, Hungarian does not have grammatical gender. Phew! 

Sentence Structure

Normally, English sentences are constructed using the Subject-Verb-Object pattern, making it an SVO language. Well, this is not the case in Hungarian. 

Although there are instances where Hungarian uses the SVO word order too, Hungarian sentence structures are flexible and pragmatic. This means that words are ordered based on which word you want to give the most emphasis, and which the least. This gives speakers the freedom to better express themselves and make their points clear.

For this reason, super-long sentences can be structured any number of ways. You don’t have to worry much about making mistakes regarding the word order, because pretty much anything you say will be grammatically correct. The only thing that matters when forming sentences is that you put the right word—the one you want to emphasize—at the beginning.

Tenses and Conjugation

In English, there are twelve major verb tenses. That’s quite a lot, huh? 

Well, you won’t have to struggle with Hungarian that much, as it only has three verb tenses: past, present, and future. Pretty straightforward, right? 

Also, once you learn the conjugation of regular verbs (and that of a few irregular verbs), forming correct sentences will be easy as pie.

Cases

Both English and Hungarian use cases. This means that, depending on what role a pronoun plays in a sentence (subject or object), there are slight changes to the word.

Take this sentence for example: 

  • “He loves him.”

This sentence has two masculine pronouns, but “he” (the subject) is in the nominative case and “him” (the object) is in the accusative case. 

In English, the case system is fairly simple. But in Hungarian grammar, cases are a bit more challenging and require the memorization of quite a few suffixes.

Papers, a Pencil and a Blue ABC

2. Word Order 

As we mentioned earlier, Hungarian normally uses the SVO word order in sentences, but there’s not a set word order that one must follow. The speaker decides how they want to structure their sentences. But for this reason, they also have to remember that their word placement will impact the overall meaning of the sentence in terms of emphasis.

In Hungarian grammar, word order is based on the following rules:

1. Priority of Word

The most important words—the ones you want to emphasize—go at the beginning of the sentence. In speech, you might also emphasize them vocally by putting stress on them.

For example, each of the following variations means, “The girl sews in the house.” But each one places emphasis on a different part of the sentence.

  • A lány a házban varr. – The girl is sewing in the house and nowhere else.
  • A házban a lány varr. – It is the girl that is sewing in the house, and not just anybody.
  • A lány varr a házban. – The girl is sewing in the house, and not doing something else; that’s why she’s in the house.

2. Priority of Negation

Words of negation are always at the beginning of a Hungarian sentence.

For example:

  • Nem fogod elhinni. / “You are not going to believe it.”
  • Ne mondd el! / “Do not tell it.”

3. Focus of the Sentence

The focus of the sentence is usually the word before the verb.

Let’s take a look at a couple of the sentences from above and see how this applies to them.

  • A lány a házban varr. / “The girl sews in the house.” 

Házban means “in the house,” and it’s the focus of this sentence, indicating that she sews in the house and nowhere else. Following the “focus word” is varr, the Hungarian verb for “(she) sews.”

  • Ne mondd el! / “Do not tell it.”

The focus here is on the negating word ne, which is the most important part of the sentence. Following it is the verb mondd.

Got It?

As you can see, the Hungarian sentence structure is rather flexible. To make sure you have a good grasp of this concept, let’s look at a final example.

  • Szeretem őt. / “I love her.”

Here, the speaker wants to let us know that he loves the girl in question, which is why the Hungarian word szeretem (“I love”) is at the beginning.

But what if we switched the word order?

  • Őt szeretem. / “It is her I love.” OR “She is the one I love.” 

This structure indicates that the speaker loves her (őt) specifically, and is not fond of anybody else. Here, the girl who is being loved is important, not the fact that the speaker loves her.

    → Do you need more information and examples on this topic? Then head over to our Hungarian Word Order blog post!
An Incomplete English Sentence Is on a Blackboard, a Band Is Shown Holding Chalk

3. Verb Conjugation

Now that you know about the Hungarian word order, let’s fill in another piece of the puzzle: verb conjugation.

Conjugation refers to the way that a verb changes according to factors such as voice, mood, tense, number, and person.

In Hungarian grammar, verbs can be:

    ❖ In first, second, or third person

    ❖ Singular or plural

    ❖ Undetermined or determined 

    Realis mood, conditional mood, or imperative mood

    ❖ Present tense, past tense, or future tense

Because Hungarian is an agglutinative language, conjugation is done by attaching suffixes to the end of verbs. These suffixes indicate if the verb is in first, second, or third person. For this reason, Hungarians don’t use personal pronouns unless they want to emphasize the subject.

  • (Ők) Főznek. / “They’re cooking.” 

The suffixes also give away whether we’re talking about one person or multiple people (in other words, whether the subject is singular or plural).

  • Várok. / “I’m waiting.” 
  • Vezetünk. / “We drive.” 

Below, you can see all of the possible verb endings regarding person and number. Here, the definite conjugation endings are in bold, whereas the indefinite conjugation suffixes are in italics.

Definite Conjugation EndingsIndefinite Conjugation Endings
I (Én)-m-k
You (Te)-d-sz, -l 
He / She / It (Ő / Az)-ja, -i
We (Mi)-juk, -jük-unk, -ünk
You (Ti)-játok, -itek-tok, -tek, -tök
They (Ők)-ják, -ik-nak, -nek

Let’s look at the topic of definite versus indefinite conjugation in more depth.

Indefinite Conjugation

When to use indefinite conjugation:

  • If there is no article
    • Babát várnak. / “They are expecting a baby.”
  • In the case of undetermined pronouns
    • Bármit mondasz, nem érdekel. / “Anything you say I do not care about.”
  • In the case of an unknown noun that is in plural form
    • Gyümölcsöket veszek. / “I’m buying fruits.”

Definite Conjugation

When to use definite conjugation:

  • When using demonstrative pronouns
    • Meghívtam a srácot. / “I invited the guy.”
  • When using actual names (known people)
    • Megtréfáltuk Samet. / “We tricked Sam.”

-Ik Verbs

It’s crucial that you learn this aspect of Hungarian grammar properly, so that you’ll know whether to use a definite or indefinite Hungarian verb conjugation ending. This is important because a person might appear uneducated if they neglect to use the -m ending for the first person singular present form of -ik verbs.

  • Alszom. (Alszok.) / “I’m sleeping.”

Hungarian “-ik verbs” are the spoken forms of a word, also known as the citation forms for when a verb stands alone. For example, -ik verbs are what you would find in Hungarian dictionaries. They’re called -ik verbs because their last syllable is -ik.

  • Eszik. / “She is eating.”

It Is a Drawing of the English Pronouns with Colorful Bits

4. Grammar Cases

Another crucial part of Hungarian grammar is the cases, of which there are five types:

1. Nominative

2. Attributive / Possessive

3. Genitive

4. Dative

5. Accusative

Please note that the first three are also called “subjective cases” because they can stand as subjectives as well.

Hungarian nouns have eighteen cases, which are formed by adding suffixes to the stem. The nominative case, for example, has no suffix. The accusative case, on the contrary, is marked with the suffix -t. For example:

Nominativea könyv 
“the book” 
Accusative(Értékelem) az könyvet.
“(I appreciate) the book.” 

Most of the cases are a combination of the source-location-target and surface-inside-proximity ternary distinctions (three times three cases). There is also a separate case ending, -ból/-ből, which means “from inside of.” For example, “from the school” would be iskolából.

Let’s take a moment to focus specifically on the attributive (possessive) case, as this trips up many new Hungarian learners.

Attributive Case

The attributive case has two suffixes, which are -nak (for flat-sounding words), and -nek (for sharp-sounding words). This case can also be called the “possessive case” as it expresses possession of something. This case stands in an adjectival relation to the thing that is being possessed, and therefore also serves as an attribute of the thing being possessed. Here’s an example:

  • Péternek a könyve / “Peter’s book” OR “the book of Peter” 

(Péter is a flat-sounding word.)

Here, Peter is the possessor, and the book is the thing he possesses. Peter is also an attribute of the book (the book is defined as being owned by him).

  • Anyának a könyve / “Mom’s book” OR “the book of Mom”

(Anya is a sharp-sounding word.)

Also, possession in Hungarian grammar is expressed by a possessive suffix on the possessed object (just like above). This is opposite to how this is expressed in English, where the possessor takes the suffix. Take a look:

  • “Peter’s book” becomes Péter könyve, meaning “Peter book-his.”

Another difference between Hungarian and English is that Hungarian does not have a verb meaning “to have.” Rather, Hungarians express possession by using the attributive case with the verb van (“to be”). For example:

  • Anyának van egy könyve. / “Mom has a book.” 
    • Literal meaning: “There is a book of mom.”

Do you need a little more help with the attributive case and showing possession? Don’t worry! HungarianPod101.com has you covered with the following lessons:

A Guy in a Blue T-shirt Smiling Is Looking Up and Pointing Up to Lightbulbs

5. Bonus: Extra Hungarian Grammar Rules for the Road

In this last section, we’re going to introduce you to a few more practical Hungarian grammar rules. They might seem expendable at first glance, but they’re just as important as the topics we covered in the previous sections.

Gradation

One of the matters we’d like to talk about is gradation in Hungarian. 

Unlike English, Hungarian does not express gradation through stand-alone words. Instead, the language expresses it with prefixes and suffixes. More specifically, with the prefix leg- (“the most” or “-est” in English) and with the suffix -bb (“more” or “-er” in English). 

Here are some examples to give you a better idea of what we mean:

  • Te vagy a leggyönyörűbb. / “You are the most beautiful.”
  • Ő a legokosabb. / “She is the smartest.”
  • Légy pontosabb! / “Be more specific.” 
  • Ez szélesebb. / “It is wider.”

Particles

The next thing you should know about Hungarian grammar is that it has particles. Actually, it’s very rare that a Hungarian verb does not have a particle attached to it. Anytime there’s a Hungarian verb, it will almost certainly have a particle.

This is important to know because, sometimes, Hungarians answer questions with the particle alone, omitting the verb. 

Take a look at what we mean by this:

  • Elment a boltba? / “Did he go to the store?” 
    • El. / “He did.” 
  • Megvársz, ugye? / “Wait up, will you?” 
    • Meg. / “I will.” 

Politeness

Now, this might be the most important (or should we say legfontosabb?) rule. Hungarians greatly appreciate a little politeness. 

In Hungarian grammar, you can form sentences in one of two ways depending on the politeness level you wish to convey. In this sense, Hungarian is more like French (where ‘tutoyer’ and ‘vouvoyer’ exist) than like English. 

In Hungarian, you can hit a friendly note with a friend, family member, or acquaintance. But you should opt to use Ön and a more polite tone with people you don’t know. Also, if the other person is older than you or deserving of your respect (like a teacher, for example), you should be more polite.

Now, as you know, Hungarian grammar tends to drop pronouns since the verb conjugation reflects the pronoun already. When using Ön, you should use the third person singular form of verbs. 

Let’s see a few examples of informal vs. formal Hungarian:

Friendly / InformalPolite / Formal
“How are you?”Hogy vagy?Hogy van?
“Do you know what time it is?”Tudod, mennyi az idő?Tudja, mennyi az idő?
“You don’t have to wait.”Neked nem kell várnod.Önnek nem kell várnia.

A Guy in a Checkered-shirt Smiling into the Camera with Peers behind Him also Smiling

6. How HungarianPod101.com Can Help You Master Hungarian

In summary, we covered a variety of practical Hungarian grammar concepts that you should learn as a beginner. From word order to conjugation and special rules, you should now have a much better understanding of basic grammar points. 

And now that you’re somewhat familiar with the most common Hungarian grammar rules, you can dive deeper. 

All you have to do is join the HungarianPod101 family.

If we’ve inspired you to continue in your Hungarian studies, create your free lifetime account today and start speaking real Hungarian from your first lesson. You’ll find tons of vocabulary lists, blog posts, video and audio lessons, and much more when you sign up. And don’t forget that should you encounter any troubles during your language studies, we’re always here to help!

With us, language learning has never been easier.

Before you go, let us know in the comments which Hungarian grammar concepts you find easiest and the most difficult. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Change in Hungary: 1848 Revolution Memorial Day

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

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

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1. What is 1848 Revolution Memorial Day? 

A Cockade with Hungarian Flag Colors

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

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

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

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


2. Celebrations and Key Events

The Hungarian Parliament Building

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

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

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

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

3. More on Sándor Petőfi

A Man Clip Art

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

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

4. Vocabulary to Know for 1848 Revolution Memorial Day

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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The Top 45 Quotes in Hungarian for Language Learners

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

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

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

Ready yet? Then let’s dive in.

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

Quotes About Success

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


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

Author: Bob Brown

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

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

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

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

Author: Robert Foster Bennett

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

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

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

In Hungarian: Ne várj lehetőségre! Teremtsd meg!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Zig Ziglar

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

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

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

Quotes About Life

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


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

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

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

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

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

Author: Mario Fernández

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: James Dean

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

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

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

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

Author: Robert Frost

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

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

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

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

Quotes About Time

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

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


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

Author: Benjamin Franklin

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

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

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

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

Author: Leo Tolstoy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Leo Christopher

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

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

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

Quotes About Love

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

Ready to make hearts melt? Let’s go.

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

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

In Hungarian: Álmodj félelem nélkül, szeress határok nélkül!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Taylor Hanson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes About Family

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Mario Puzo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes About Friendship

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


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

Author: Gina Barreca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Helen Keller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes About Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Julia Child

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

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

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

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

Author: Julia Child

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

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

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

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

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

  • “to taste better” – jobb íze van

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

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

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

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

Quotes About Health

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

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

Author: Mahatma Gandhi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Buddha

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Benjamin Franklin

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

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

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

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

Author: Jim Rohn

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

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

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

Quotes About Language Learning

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Author: Haruki Murakami

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

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

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

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

Author: Professor Usama Soltan

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

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

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

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

Author: Charlemagne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How HungarianPod101.com Motivates You to Become Better and Better

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

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

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

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian

The Top 30 Common Business Phrases in Hungarian

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Let’s talk business. 

If you’re planning to start your own business in Hungary, want to find a job here, or need to talk with Hungarian clients or partners, you need to know how to speak the language. Knowing even a few basic phrases can give you a huge advantage in the business world—and that’s exactly what you’re going to learn today.

Of course, in addition to knowing Hungarian business phrases, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of other Hungarian basics. To help you with this, HungarianPod101.com has created an Absolute Beginner Pathway to get you started in the right direction. 

But if you’re already confident in your everyday Hungarian skills and feel like you can get onboard with business Hungarian, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re going to provide you with business phrases in Hungarian for common business situations, from nailing a job interview to interacting with your new coworkers. We’ll also teach you how to handle business phone calls and emails, as well as the must-know Hungarian words and phrases for your business trip.

Ready to be the best Hungarian businessman or businesswoman who ever existed? Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Nailing a Job Interview
  2. Interacting with Coworkers
  3. Sounding Smart in a Meeting
  4. Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails
  5. Going on a Business Trip
  6. HungarianPod101.com Can Boost Your Career

1. Nailing a Job Interview

Job Interview

Even though you’re a foreigner applying for a job in Hungary, it will leave a good first impression on your interviewer if you know some business phrases in Hungarian. It will show your potential employer how dedicated and eager you are to learn and work with them. While there are lots of business terms in Hungarian you could use, you can usually get by knowing just one or two.

    → If you want to learn more vocabulary related to work, see our vocabulary list of terms for the Workplace.

1- Hi. My name is ___ [name]. I’m from ___ [country / city].

In Hungarian: Jó napot kívánok! A nevem ___ [name]. ___ [country / city]-ból származom.

This is the perfect way to hit it off instantly with your interviewers. Do you remember that first impression we talked about earlier, and the importance of making an effort? This introduction is the best way to start your interview.

2- I’ve been working in this field for three years. I have a lot of experience.

In Hungarian: Három éve dolgozom ezen a területen. Sok tapasztalatom van.

During any job interview, you’ll likely be asked about your previous experience. But if the question doesn’t come up, it’s always good to mention it so that your interviewers see that you’re competent for the position you’re applying for.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “for three years” – három éve
  • “in this field” – ezen a területen
  • “a lot of experience” – sok tapasztalat

Concerning the last phrase, note that in the example, tapasztalatom has the linking vowel o and the suffix -m. This causes the word to mean “my experience.”

3- I have great communication skills and math is a strength of mine.

In Hungarian: Nagyszerűek a kommunikációs készségeim, és a matek az egyik erősségem.

The interviewer will also want to know what your strengths are when deciding whether they want to hire you or someone else.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “communication skill” – kommunikációs készség* 
  • “great” – nagyszerű** 
  • “strength of mine” – erősségem
  • “mathematics,” “maths,” or “math” – matematika vagy matek

* Készségeim means “my skills.” E is a linking vowel, i is an indication of the plural form, and -m is a suffix that refers to the first person singular.

** In the original sentence, nagyszerű is in the plural form with a k at the end and an e linking vowel. This word is in the plural because it refers to “my skills,” which is also plural.

4- Sorry, could you please repeat this sentence? I didn’t understand you well.

In Hungarian: Elnézést, volna szíves megismételni ezt a mondatot? Nem értettem Önt jól.

This is one of the best Hungarian business phrases you could learn, because you never know when it will come in handy. In this case, you can use it to ask your interviewer to repeat what they said if you didn’t quite hear or understand. In Hungarian, make sure that you say this phrase using formal language (like the French ‘vouvoyer’), and not using informal language.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “Could you please ___?” – Volna szíves___?
  • “to repeat” – megismételni
  • “this sentence” – ez a mondat* 

* In the sentence above, “this sentence” is the object. In Hungarian, the object takes a suffix, in this case -t. This is how it becomes ezt a mondatot.

5- May I ask when I can expect a response about the job?

In Hungarian: Megkérdezhetem, hogy mikorra várhatom a visszajelzést a munkával kapcsolatban?

This is another one of the most important Hungarian business phrases, because you’ll probably want to know when to expect a response.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “May I ask ___?” – Megkérdezhetem ___?
  • “can expect” – várhat
  • “response” – visszajelzés
  • “about the job” – a munkával kapcsolatban

6- Thank you for reaching out to me and for this opportunity.

In Hungarian: Köszönöm a megkeresést és a lehetőséget!

In Hungarian business culture, it’s very polite to thank your interviewers for the opportunity. 

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “thank you” – köszönöm
  • “opportunity” – lehetőség
Two Black Man in Blue and White Shirts Are Doing an Interview Facing Each Other at a Desk

2. Interacting with Coworkers

Jobs

Interacting with coworkers is an important aspect of work life, no matter what your job is or where you work. It’s crucial to your work performance to be able to discuss the outcome of a project with your partner, or chit-chat with a fellow worker during coffee breaks to preserve your sanity. 

In this section, you’ll learn about Hungarian business phrases that you can use to connect with coworkers. Keep in mind that we’ve also created a vocabulary list of Phrases for Doing Business Successfully that you can check out to broaden your workplace vocabulary.

1- Hi all. I’d like to introduce myself. I’m going to be working with you from now on as well.

In Hungarian: Sziasztok! Szeretnék bemutatkozni. Mostantól én is veletek fogok dolgozni.

You might want to start your self-introduction with this phrase after you’ve joined a new company. Even though you have the job now, it’s important that you leave a good impression on your coworkers.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “to introduce oneself” – bemutatkozni
  • “to be working” – dolgozni
  • “from now on” – mostantól
  • “as well” – is

2- Could you help me with this task, please?

In Hungarian: Tudnál segíteni nekem ebben a feladatban, kérlek?

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “Could you ___?” – Tudnál ___?
  • “to help” – segíteni
  • “task” – feladat

3- I apologize for having submitted the report late.

In Hungarian: Elnézést kérek, hogy későn adtam le a jelentést.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “I apologize” – elnézést kérek
  • “to submit late” – későn ad le
  • “report” – jelentés

4- Thank you for the persistent hard work.

In Hungarian: Köszönöm a kitartó, kemény munkát!

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “persistent” – kitartó
  • “hard work” – kemény munka

5- Unfortunately, I’m not satisfied with your work. You submit the reports too late too often. 

In Hungarian: Sajnos nem vagyok megelégedve a munkájával. Túl gyakran adja le túl későn a jelentéseket.

You have to be honest with each other in the workplace, even if it means criticizing the other party. But don’t forget that there is a difference between constructive criticism and being arrogant and disrespectful.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “unfortunately” – sajnos
  • “satisfied” – elégedett
  • “too late” – túl későn
  • “too often” – túl gyakran

6- Are you free today after work? How about going out together? 

In Hungarian: Szabadok vagytok ma munka után? Mit szólnátok, ha mind elmennénk szórakozni?

In addition to talking business with your coworkers, it’s important to really hit it off with them and form a good relationship. Try inviting them out for a drink sometime.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “free” – szabad
  • “after work” – munka után
  • “How about ___?” – Mit szólnátok ___?
  • “going out” – szórakozni
Four Colleagues, 3 Men and 1 Woman, Are Standing and Chatting with Each Other

3. Sounding Smart in a Meeting

Business Phrases

If you’re anxious about your first business meeting in your new company, you’re going to love this section. You can use any of the following Hungarian phrases for business meetings to impress your boss and coworkers. 

1- In my opinion, this presentation would be more expressive if you used graphs.

In Hungarian: Szerintem szemléletesebb lenne ez a prezentáció, ha grafikonokat használnál.

When doing business in Hungary, giving constructive criticism in the workplace is always welcome. Everybody wants to do a nice job and better themselves, so if you have a good idea or advice about what the person could have done better, feel free to let them know. Remember that sharing is caring.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “in my opinion” – szerintem
  • “presentation” – prezentáció
  • “expressive” – szemléletes
  • “graph” – grafikon

2- Maybe if you illustrated this data on a pie chart, the presentation would be easier to follow.

In Hungarian: Talán ha kördiagramon szemléltetnéd ezeket az adatokat, a prezentáció könnyebben követhető lenne.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “to illustrate” – szemléltetni
  • “data” – adat
  • “pie chart” – kördiagram
  • “easy to follow” – könnyen követhető

3- I have to agree with you. Holding a conference would be the best publicity for our company.

In Hungarian: Egyet kell értenem Önnel. Egy konferencia megtartása lenne a legjobb reklám a cégünknek.

Expressing your feelings is crucial when working with other people. If you don’t speak up, nobody is going to know what you think.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “to agree” – egyetérteni
  • “conference” – konferencia
  • “best” – legjobb
  • “publicity” – reklám
  • “our company” – cégünk

4- I don’t agree with you. Your argument is weak.

In Hungarian: Nem értek egyet Önnel. Gyenge az érvelése.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “argument” – érvelés
  • “weak” – gyenge

5- I’d like these financial reports to be on my desk by Wednesday.

In Hungarian: Szeretném, ha ezek a pénzügyi jelentések az íróasztalomon lennének szerdára.

When you’re working with others, especially at a relatively big company, demands are almost impossible to avoid. It’s important to note that everyone working there probably depends on another person within the firm, so if somebody is late with a report, another person might get in trouble for it. Requests and demands are just a normal part of worklife, and they should be given politely. 

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “financial” – pénzügyi
  • “report” – jelentés
  • “desk” – íróasztal
  • “Wednesday” – szerda

6- Would you please ask the contract manager if they already sent out the invoice?

In Hungarian: Megkérdeznéd, kérlek, a szerződésmenedzsert, hogy kiküldték-e már a számlát?

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “Would you ask ___?” – Megkérdeznéd ___?
  • “contract” – szerződés
  • “manager” – menedzser
  • “already” – már
  • “invoice” – számla
3 Colleagues, 1 Old Man and 2 Young Women Are Having a Meeting

4. Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails

There are a few Hungarian business words you need to learn for handling business phone calls and emails. When you communicate this way, you don’t have direct contact with the person you’re talking to, so you can’t rely on non-verbal cues—all you have is words. This makes it extra-important to compose your Hungarian business phrases well. 

But don’t worry! We’ve listed some of the most common business phrases in Hungarian that you’re likely to encounter in these contexts.

1- Hello. This is ___ [name]’s office. You’re speaking to his / her assistant. 

In Hungarian: Halló! ___ [name] irodája. Az asszisztensével beszél.

This is how you would pick up the phone if you were an assistant in somebody’s office. Pretty easy, huh?

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “office” – iroda
  • “assistant” – asszisztens

2- She / He is not in the office at the moment. Can I take a message?

In Hungarian: Per pillanat nem tartózkodik az irodában. Átadhatok egy üzenetet?

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “at the moment” – per pillanat
  • “message” – üzenet

3- As soon as she / he is back in the office, I will deliver your urgent message to her / him.

In Hungarian: Amint visszaérkezik az irodába, átadom neki az Ön sürgős üzenetét.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “as soon as” – amint
  • “to deliver” – átadni
  • “urgent” – sürgős

4- Thank you for your call. We’ll try to notify you about the news as soon as possible.

In Hungarian: Köszönjük a hívását! Igyekszünk minél hamarabb értesíteni Önt a fejleményekről.

This is a very polite way to end a call. The person on the other end of the phone will probably be very pleased to hear it. A little politeness never hurt anybody.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “call” – hívás
  • “to notify” – értesíteni
  • “news” – fejlemény, hír
  • “as soon as possible” – minél hamarabb, amint lehet

5- Dear Sir / Madam,

In Hungarian: Kedves Hölgyem / Uram!

This is how you would address a Hungarian business email or a letter. However, if you know the person’s name, it’s always better and more personal to use that instead of just “sir” or “madam.”

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “dear” – kedves
  • “sir” – úr
  • “madam” – hölgy* 

* In the sentence above, hölgyem and uram mean “my lady” and “my lord” in Hungarian, respectively. 

6- I’m looking forward to your reply. Best wishes,

In Hungarian: Várom mielőbbi válaszát. Üdvözlettel,

This is a standard way to end Hungarian business emails and letters.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “to be looking forward to” – várni
  • “reply” – válasz
  • “best wishes” – üdvözlet
A Man in a Blue Shirt in Glasses Is on the Phone and Taking Notes

5. Going on a Business Trip

Most people go on a business trip at least once in their lifetime. If you want to navigate your business trip like a pro, make sure to memorize these common business phrases in Hungarian. 

1- I’d like to make a hotel room reservation for one for two nights.

In Hungarian: Hotelszobát szeretnék foglalni egy főre két éjszakára.

When on a business trip, you’ll probably be sleeping in a hotel. This phrase will help you make a reservation.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “hotel room” – hotelszoba
  • “reservation” – foglalás
  • “for one” – egy főre
  • “for two nights” – két éjszakára

2- Thank you for the great service. I’ll be sure to come back to your hotel.

In Hungarian: Köszönöm a remek kiszolgálást! Mindenképp visszatérek még a szállodájukba.

And of course, it’s always nice to say goodbye politely and make sure the staff knows you had a great time.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “great” – remek
  • “service” – kiszolgálás
  • “to be sure to” – mindenképp
  • “to come back” – visszatérni
  • “hotel” – szálloda, hotel

3- I’d like to buy a return plane ticket from London to Paris.

In Hungarian: Szeretnék retúr repülőjegyet vásárolni Londonból Párizsba.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “to buy” – vásárolni
  • “return” – retúr
  • “ticket” – jegy
  • “plane ticket” – repülőjegy

4- Hi. It’s nice to finally meet you in person. I’ve come, on behalf of our company, to pick you up.

In Hungarian: Jónapot! Örülök, hogy végre személyesen is találkoztunk. Én jöttem, a cégünk nevében, hogy üdvözöljem Önt.

This sentence can be useful when you come to pick somebody up on behalf of your company. It’s a nice gesture to address someone in their own language, and it’s a great way to earn points with a Hungarian client.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “finally” – végre
  • “to meet” – találkozni
  • “to come” – jönni
  • “on behalf of” – ___ nevében

5- We’ve had a great conference. We’re going to have a meeting with my team and we will let you know about our decision during next week.

In Hungarian: Remek tárgyalás volt. Megbeszélést tartunk majd a csapatommal, és a jövő hét folyamán értesítjük Önöket a döntésünkről.

If you’re going on a business trip, it’s very likely to involve a meeting or a conference.

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “conference” – tárgyalás
  • “meeting” – megbeszélés
  • “team” – csapat
  • “to let know” – értesíteni
  • “decision” – döntés
  • “next week” – jövő hét

6- This is a one-time offer. Consider it.

In Hungarian: Ez egy egyszeri ajánlat. Fontolja meg!

For after negotiations…

Vocabulary Breakdown:

  • “one-time” – egyszeri
  • “offer” – ajánlat
  • “to consider” – megfontol
Two Colleagues in Tux and Costume Are Standing in Front of the Board at an Airport, Their Back Is Shown

6. HungarianPod101.com Can Boost Your Career

Now that you know the thirty most important Hungarian business phrases, you’re one step closer to a successful business experience in Hungary. You can go straight into the Hungarian labor market, set up your own business, and even negotiate with potential business partners.

If you want to pick up even more business vocabulary in Hungarian, we advise you to join the HungarianPod101 family. With us, you’ll get unlimited access to many articles, vocabulary lists, and video / audio content to make studying way easier.

Another benefit of becoming a member of our community is that you’ll always have someone to help when things get tough, be it us or your fellow language learners. With us, you’ll never be alone on this exciting journey.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or suggestions about what we could include in our next article, let us know in the comments section.

Which Hungarian business phrase do you wish you had known sooner? And which are you likely to use in the future?

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