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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

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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Santa Claus Day in Hungary: Have You Been Naughty or Nice?

Nothing brightens a bleak winter like the festivities of Christmastime: colorful lights, Christmas markets, warm drinks, time with loved ones, and the excitement of children who just can’t wait to see what St. Nicholas brings them (And perhaps nothing makes winter more terrifying than the anticipation of Krampus’s arrival in your town!).

In this article, you’ll learn all about the Hungarian Santa Claus Day, from its main characters to how it’s celebrated each year. 

Let’s get started!

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1. What is Santa Claus Day?

Santa Claus Holding a Present

Each year on December 6, Santa Claus Day (also known as St. Nicholas Day) brightens young children’s spirits all over the country.

Santa Claus Day in Hungary has several parallels to Christmas in the U.S. and other countries, though Hungarians celebrate Christmas as a separate holiday. This holiday is held in commemoration of Saint Nicholas (called Szent Miklós in Hungarian), well-known in Hungary as the patron saint of pálinka (“fruit brandy”) distillers, the town of Kecskemét, sailors, and merchants.

Many European cultures have some version of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, and the Hungarian version, Mikulás, was introduced in the 1850s. Mikulás is depicted being dressed in red robes, a miter, and a staff, quite similar to the Santa Claus of the U.S. and other countries. Interestingly, the name Mikulás was replaced with Télapó (“Father Winter”) during the communist era, due to the original name being considered too Christian.

The Hungarian version of Santa Claus also has two helpers: an angel and a demon-like figure named Krampusz (“Krampus”). We’ll talk about the latter in a bit!

2. Santa Claus Day Traditions and Celebrations

Someone Giving Someone Else a Present

The evening before Santa Claus Day, children clean their shoes and place them in front of the window. According to tradition, Mikulás will leave tasty treats inside the shoes for the good children. Gifts may include a narancs (“orange”), csokoládé (“chocolate”), peanuts, or candies.  On the morning of Santa Claus Day, Hungary is filled with children’s excitement and wonder as they wake up to find these precious gifts in their shoes!

Even among adults, it’s common to megajándékoz valakit valamivel (“gift somebody with something”) on this day. This can be playfully done by putting the gifts in someone’s shoes to surprise them, or by simply wrapping the gift and handing it to them. 

Throughout the Christmas season, one can find ‘Santa Claus’ roaming the busier streets of Hungary, which adds depth and joy to children’s view of the holidays. In addition, parents will often ask their friends to dress as Santa and come over to visit the children. You can imagine how exciting this event is for the little ones! 

You may be wondering about Christmas Eve. Do children receive presents on this day, too? 

Yes! But instead of expecting gifts from Santa Claus, children look forward to seeing what Jesus brought them. 

3. Krampus 

As mentioned earlier, Santa Claus is said to have a demon-like partner named Krampus. Are you familiar with the Krampus story? 

Krampus is often depicted as a type of half-man and half-goat creature. In popular culture, he’s often claimed to be the son of a Norse goddess named Hel, though his actual origins are disputed. The character of Krampus is thought to have been introduced through the old pagan traditions. 

While children may look forward to gifts from St. Nicholas on Santa Claus Day, they also dread the arrival of Krampus. All year long, parents remind their children to behave or else Krampus will come and get them. He may kidnap them in a basket and drop them in the river, take them down to hell with him, hit them with a virgács (“birch-rod”), or simply leave coal in their shoes. Not surprisingly, this tradition has been banned by religious organizations as well as government officials over the years—but somehow, it always finds its way back into the holiday season.

In Austria and Germany, there is a Krampus parade (Krampuslauf, or “Krampus run”), during which several men dress up in disturbing Krampus costumes, have a few drinks, and then proceed to chase people all over town while brandishing switches. 

4. Essential Vocabulary for Santa Claus Day

A Reindeer Pulling a Sled along a Snowy Winter Scene

Let’s look at some of the vocabulary words from this article!

  • Narancs – “Orange” [n]
  • Csokoládé – “Chocolate” [n]
  • Földimogyoró – “Peanut” [n]
  • Szakáll – “Beard” [n]
  • Mikulás – “Santa Claus”
  • Krampusz – “Krampus”
  • Rénszarvas – “Reindeer” [n]
  • Mikulás csomag – “Santa Claus pack” [n]
  • Cipőt pucol – “Clean the shoes”
  • Virgács – “Birch-rod” [n]
  • Szánkó – “Sled” [n]
  • Szent Miklós – “Saint Nicholas”
  • Zsák – “sack” [n]
  • Megajándékoz valakit valamivel – “Gift somebody with something”

Remember that you can find the pronunciation of each word and phrase on our Santa Claus Day vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about this iconic European holiday with us, and that you took away some valuable cultural information. How does Santa Claus Day compare with winter holidays in your country? Let us know in the comments! 

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn even more about Hungarian culture, check out the following blog posts on

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Happy Santa Claus Day! 😉

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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning


Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

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A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of and myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
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  • Weekly homework assignments
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As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

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Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

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As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. HungarianPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

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Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

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10 of the Best Hungarian Movies of All Time


Watching Hungarian movies is a great way to learn the language. Hearing native speakers use the language in various contexts will help you get used to certain phrases and patterns as well as familiarize you with colloquial Hungarian—both of which are very important for your future conversations with locals.

Another benefit of using movies to supplement your Hungarian studies is that it doesn’t feel like studying at all! And that’s the key to language learning: making the process enjoyable. This allows you to learn much faster and with ease because studying will no longer feel like a burden.

For this article, we’ve collected ten of the top Hungarian movies that you must see. These films will not only help you grasp the language in natural contexts, but also give you a better understanding of Hungarian culture.

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  1. The Witness – A tanú (1969)
  2. Mephisto – Mephisto (1981)
  3. Sunshine – A napfény íze (1999)
  4. Glass Tiger – Üvegtigris (2001)
  5. A Kind of America – Valami Amerika (2002)
  6. Made in Hungaria – Made in Hungária (2009)
  7. For Some Inexplicable Reason – Van valami furcsa és megmagyarázhatatlan (2014)
  8. Son of Saul – Saul fia (2015)
  9. The Citizen – Az állampolgár (2016)
  10. Sing – Mindenki (2016)
  11. How Can Help You Reach Your Full Potential

1. The WitnessA tanú (1969)

IMDb rating: 8.7 / 10

This old Hungarian movie, directed by Péter Bacsó, is a must-watch if you’re interested in the history of Hungary. The satirical piece was banned for ten years before its official release in 1969 because of its criticism of the Communist regime in Hungary after World War II. Its censorship illustrates how important this Hungarian movie is in context of the nation’s history. Given its release date, you’ll likely hear a few expressions that are no longer used in everyday Hungarian speech.

The story is about József Pelikán, a dike-keeper who commits a silly crime—slaughtering his pig—for which he is not sentenced but rather elevated into a serious position that was reserved for the Communist regime. Although he does not understand why this happened, he is later called in to falsely testify against his good old friend at a trial as a favor for the regime that “saved him” from doing time in prison.

Curious what kind of language and dialogue you can expect to hear while watching? Here’s a sample of dialogue from the film: 

Mi ez?
“What’s this?”

Egy narancs.
“An orange.”

Egy narancs?
“An orange?”

Az új magyar narancs. Kicsit sárgább, kicsit savanyúbb*, de a miénk.
“The new Hungarian orange. It’s slightly yellower, it’s slightly sharper*, but our own.”

*While this is the original Hungarian transcription, do keep in mind that “sharper” literally translates to élesebb (not savanyúbb, which means something along the lines of “sour”).

2. MephistoMephisto (1981)

IMDb rating: 7.8 / 10

One of the best Hungarian movies of all time is surely Mephisto, directed by István Szabó and starring Klaus Maria Brandauer alongside many other great Hungarian actors.

This Hungarian film is set in 20th-century Germany, and it’s about a stage actor named Hendrik Höfgen who wants to become well-known and have a successful career. His biggest goal is to play the part of Mephisto. However, desperation to see his dream finally come true drives him to collude with the Nazis. The party offers him the fame he always wanted and he accepts the offer—but at what cost?

Here’s a quote from the film:

Nem én vagyok a legrémisztőbb gonosztevő, akit valaha láttál?
“Am I not the most dreadful villain you have seen?”

3. SunshineA napfény íze (1999)

IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10

Sunshine debuted in 1999 and is one of the most popular Hungarian drama movies, telling the story of a Hungarian Jewish family in the 20th century. This film has played a large role in Hungarian culture since its release, so if you’re thinking about watching Hungarian movies online, this one should definitely be on your list! 

Like Mephisto, this Hungarian movie was also directed by István Szabó. The story follows three generations of a Hungarian Jewish family; viewers witness their successes, the horrors they face during the Holocaust, and how the 1956 revolution affects them. 

We especially recommend this film for beginners, as the original audio is in English. By watching the film with Hungarian subtitles, you can more easily pick up new words, broaden your vocabulary, and become more familiar with Hungarian history and culture.

Here’s a quote from the film: 

Az antiszemitizmus bosszús és sikertelen emberek hitvallása…a filiszteusok filozófiája. Ízléstelen.
“Anti-semitism is a creed of resentful and unsuccessful people…the philosophy of Philistines; it’s in bad taste.”

Top Verbs

4. Glass Tiger Üvegtigris (2001)

IMDb rating: 7.7 / 10

The Hungarian movie Glass Tiger is a comedy that could be considered the “visual anthem” of the nation (alongside A Kind of America, which we’ll introduce in a bit as well). It was partially directed by Péter Rudolf, who also starred in the movie alongside Gábor Reviczky and József Szarvas.

The story is about six good friends who normally live very boring lives. In the film, however, they encounter quite a handful of interesting situations. The ‘Üvegtigris’ (a buffet truck that the character Lali owns) is at the heart of the whole movie.

Here’s a recurring sentence that, because of this Hungarian film, became a famous catchphrase in the Hungarian language:

Ízirájder, öcsém, ízirájder!
“Easy rider, bro’, easy rider.”

The guys in the film use this phrase to describe a “laid-back dude” or some loser that “copies Americans.”

5. A Kind of AmericaValami Amerika (2002)

IMDb rating: 6.9 / 10

Our list of the top Hungarian movies could never be complete without A Kind of America, which is a prime example of the typical Hungarian comedy movie. 

The film follows the story of an up-and-coming film director named Tamás, who lives in Budapest. He has a great idea for a film, but lacks the money to make his dream come true. One day, an American film producer reaches out to Tamás and praises him for the script he’s written—Tamás sees this as a grand opportunity and, with the help of his two brothers, tries to impress the producer once they meet in person. But it’s not such an easy task, after all…

The cast of this film includes several famous Hungarian actors and actresses, such as Győző Szabó, Ferenc Hujber, Szonja Oroszlán, and Claudia Liptai. If you would like to perfect your language skills—and pick up some slang too, of course—by watching a silly and humorous Hungarian movie, this film should be at the top of your list! 

Here’s a quote from the movie that’ll make you smile: 

Olyan vagyok, mint a spanyolnátha. Bárki megkaphat.
“I’m like the Spanish flu. Anybody can get me.”

6. Made in Hungaria Made in Hungária (2009)

IMDb rating: 6.9 / 10

Among the best films to learn Hungarian is Made in Hungaria, a lively musical with a captivating plot, charming characters, and songs you’re going to love. Regarding the language of the film, the vocabulary is nowhere near as rough as that of Üvegtigris or Valami Amerika, for example. There are a couple of curse words and a little bit of slang, but these aspects of the language do not feature prominently in the film. 

Miki and his parents return to Communist Hungary in the 1960s after living in America for some time. He finds it hard to assimilate at first, as even his old friends don’t know what to make of his new style and personality. Throughout the story, we can see Miki (who happens to be a young musician) trying to win over his childhood love, Vera, and to make his old friends trust and like him again—all while getting ready to participate in a talent show. 

Several famous actors feature in this film, including Tamás Szabó Kimmel, Iván Fenyő, and Péter Scherer.

Now, for some sample dialogue: 

Miki’s mom:
Jesszus, miért vagy vizes?
“Jesus, why are you wet?”

Útközben megáztam.
“I got wet on my way home.”

Miki’s mom:
De hát nem is esett!
“But it didn’t even rain!”

Ahol én voltam, igen.
“It did where I was.”

Miki’s dad:
A Tűzoltó utcában, ugye?
“In Tűzoltó street*, right?”

*Tűzoltó street is located in Budapest.

Honnan tudod? Valaki beköpött?
“How do you know? Did somebody rat me out?”

Miki’s dad:
Ez Magyarország. Itt mindenki tud mindent.
“This is Hungary. Everybody knows everything.”

Someone Purchasing Popcorn and a Drink at a Movie Theater

7. For Some Inexplicable Reason – Van valami furcsa és megmagyarázhatatlan (2014)

IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10

This is one of the more recent Hungarian movies, written and directed by Gábor Reisz. It has won eight awards in total, including the Adolph Zukor Prize at the Jameson CineFest and the Best Feature Film at FEST New Directors/New Films Festival.

The film tells the story of Áron, a nerdy guy who is about to turn thirty but is recently single, unemployed, and lacking any kind of purpose in life. In search of meaning and excitement, he buys a ticket to Lisbon and flies there to find himself. The film depicts the truth of what it’s like to be a young professional and what hardships one must encounter throughout their life.


Hihetetlen, hogy a rossz dolgokat mindenki elhiszi, ami jó, az meg állandóan magyarázatra szorul.
“It’s unbelievable how everybody believes the bad things, but the good ones always need to be explained.”

8. Son of Saul Saul fia (2015)

IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10

We had to include this one on our list of the top Hungarian movies. It’s quite possibly the most famous Hungarian film nowadays, having won an Oscar as well as 62 other prizes. The film, directed by László Nemes Jeles and featuring the acting talent of Géza Röhrig, even had a screening at the Cannes Film Festival

The film shows just two days of the main character’s (Saul’s) life. He is a Jewish Hungarian captive in Auschwitz who tries to have a boy, believed to be his son, buried properly by a rabbi. He refuses to join the others in a rebellion they’re planning, choosing instead to save the remains of the child as he feels guilty for not having taken care of him while he was still alive.

Watching this Hungarian film will give you a glimpse into the horrors that took place in Auschwitz.

Here’s some sample dialogue from the film: 

Cserben hagytad az élőket a halottért.
“You failed the living for the dead.”

Már halottak vagyunk.
“We are dead already.”

A Big Crowd at the Cannes Film Festival

9. The CitizenAz állampolgár (2016)

IMDb rating: 7.2 / 10

One of the latest Hungarian movies to debut, this film touches on sensitive topics related to immigration practices and refugees in Hungary. 

It depicts the life of an African-American man in his fifties who has been living in Hungary as a refugee, but would like to acquire Hungarian citizenship. To achieve this goal, he studies a lot for exams and even learns the language, trying to assimilate into the culture. However, his journey is not easy as he constantly encounters racist people and those who do not trust or believe in him. 

The main character’s charm lies in the fact that the part is played by an amateur actor—Dr. Cake-Baly Marcelo—who’s a former refugee in real life and currently a resident of Budapest.

This movie is perfect for language learners because there’s a person on-screen they can relate to: somebody who’s trying to learn a new, rather challenging language. In the film, you can see that effort matters and that the path to mastering a language is through trial and error. Plus, you can try to understand Wilson’s lines without English subtitles (although Netflix does provide them).

Here’s a quote you’ll hear in the film: 

Hazádnak rendületlenül légy híve, óh magyar!
“To your homeland, without fail be faithful, oh Hungarian.”

This is the first line of Szózat, a Hungarian patriotic song written by Mihály Vörösmarty. It happens to be the second most important one, after the national anthem (Himnusz).

10. Sing Mindenki (2016)

IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10

Last but definitely not least, here’s a short Hungarian film that conveys a wonderful message.

The story is based on a true event and set in Budapest in the 1990s. It follows an award-winning children’s choir and questions certain pedagogical methods. When a new girl joins the school choir, she slowly discovers the truth behind why the group became famous in the first place. This Hungarian film is less than half an hour long, but it will surely leave you speechless.


Ha mindenki szót fogad, mindenkinek jó lesz.
“If everybody obeys, it’s going to be good for everybody.”

11. How Can Help You Reach Your Full Potential 

We hope we’ve gotten you in the mood to watch a couple—or more—Hungarian movies. As we said in the beginning, this is a great way to pick up new vocabulary and become more familiar with the culture while having fun. 

And the best part? You can find most of these Hungarian movies on Netflix (at the time of this writing). This means you’ll have little trouble accessing these titles and can use English subtitles to better understand the language in a given film.  

If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to watch some of these movies in the cinema (such as on special nostalgia nights). 

Did you enjoy this article? Then don’t forget to check out our other articles, too (like this one on the best Hungarian TV series). We also recommend that you join the HungarianPod101 family to gain access to exclusive benefits, such as audio lessons and reading exercises. Sign up now and become a part of the largest Hungarian language-learning community out there! 

Not sure where to start? Visit our page Getting Started with for some great ideas. 

Before you go: Which Hungarian movie will you watch first? Have you seen any of the films on our list already?

Must-Watch Hungarian TV Series to Improve Your Hungarian


Watching TV shows is a great way to learn a language, and Hungarian is no exception. For some people, it’s rather hard to find the motivation to sit down at a desk and open a language book. If you happen to be one of them, you’re going to love this article. We’re presenting you with the best Hungarian TV shows to help you study the language in a highly efficient way, without feeling like you’re actually studying. Sometimes tricking your brain is the way to go.

With the help of Hungarian TV series, you’ll be able to pick up slang words and detect any slang that’s being used in a conversation when you’re visiting Hungary. Of course, it depends on the kind of show you’re watching, but most of them use shortened language (slang), i.e. how people of a given nation actually use their language in their daily lives.

For this reason, it might be a bit challenging to improve your Hungarian by watching TV shows as you might come across words that aren’t in the dictionary. Instead, in such cases, you’ll have to rely on your instincts and try to master “reading from context” so that when you guess what the characters are saying, you actually succeed. We’re not going to lie: it takes practice. But the good thing is that practice here means watching Hungarian TV channels.

Watching TV shows of a given language is not only helpful for learning new phrases and vocabulary, but also for picking up expressions. For example, you can easily start to detect how Hungarians use body language and facial expressions when speaking. Do you see any gestures they’re often making when they say a certain sentence? Do they get angry or happy if they hear a given word or phrase? Do they articulate much or murmur under their nose? How does their face change when they say specific words or phrases? You can learn so much by watching Hungarian TV!

Okay, okay, but what are the best TV shows to learn Hungarian? Well, we’ve got you covered. We’ll introduce you to ten of the best Hungarian TV shows, and will even tell you how to stream Hungarian TV (legally, of course).

We hope you’re ready to study the fun way. Take a look at what we have for you and decide which show interests you the most.

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Table of Contents

  1. Animations
  2. Sitcoms / Dramas
  3. Talk / Reality Shows
  4. Gives You the Best Ideas to Make Studying Fun

1. Animations

Show #1: Mézga család (The Mézgas) — 1968

Family of Four Watching TV

If you’re interested in old Hungarian TV shows, this is definitely worth a watch!

This show follows the Mézga family. Their thirteen-year-old boy, Aladár, is a genius. He creates gadgets and machines that make even time travel and travel through space possible. His family, however, often gets into trouble because they don’t know how to use these machines properly. Thus, Aladár always has to save his family.

His best friend and constant companion on his journeys is his dog, Blöki. Other members of the family include his stubborn and strict father, Géza Mézga, who doesn’t really approve of Aladár’s machines. His mother, born Paula Rezovits, often faints on their exciting journeys due to her poor nervous system. Aladár often fights with his not-so-bright sister, Kriszta, who has a pet cat named Maffia.

The story is built around these six characters and their spectacular journeys, though some episodes feature their angry neighbor, Máris. It also features, in speech only, Pisti Hufnágel, who used to be one of Paula’s past lovers. She often voices her regret of not marrying him instead of Géza.

This is one of the best Hungarian TV shows, though it’s not aired anymore. For this reason, you can only stream it; you can’t catch an episode of Mézga család if you’re watching Hungarian satellite TV. Since this Hungarian series is rather old, you’ll find that the slang the characters use is a bit outdated. This can be both a positive and negative aspect of watching this show.

Through watching this series, you won’t learn lots of slang, but rather the usual way that Hungarian works. Also, given its time of creation, you’ll probably be able to understand the speakers better, as the characters don’t speak as fast as people do these days.

Recurring Sentences in the Show

  • Anya, szólj rá!
    “Mom, rebuke him.”

Kriszta says this when Aladár is annoying her.

  • Miért nem a Hufnágel Pistihez mentem feleségül?
    “Why didn’t I marry Pisti Hufnágel?”

This sentence leaves Paula’s mouth in every episode. In the Hungarian version, the a (meaning “the” ) before the name Hufnágel Pisti is grammatically incorrect. You’re not supposed to say “the” before names, but that’s how people do it in Budapest and the surrounding areas, as well as in some Transdanubian places.

Show #2: A nagy ho-ho-horgász (The Great Fisherman) — 1982

The persevering fisherman (horgász) and his best friend, Chief Worm (Főkukac), are the main characters of one of the best Hungarian TV series. There’s nothing better than sitting at the breezy waterside on hot summer days. Our protagonist does the same and, in the meantime, gets himself involved in unexpected adventures.

For him, it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. On cold days, he fishes from rooftops and chimneys, and out of bathtubs, aquariums, and even fountains. Nothing stops him and his little friend from having a good time fishing.

You can expect the same kind of language exposure from this show as you can from Mézga család. It’s an old cartoon, but one of the best Hungarian children’s TV shows.

Recurring Sentences in the Show

  • Én fogtam ki a világ legjobb szívű halacskáját! Ez is világcsúcs!
    “I got to fish a little fish with the biggest heart. This is a world record, too.”
  • Megőrülök! Ez még a maradék halat is elriasztja! Ilyen tehetségtelen csalival kell nekem horgásznom!
    “I’m going crazy. He scares away even the remaining fishes. And I have to work with such untalented bait.”

2. Sitcoms / Dramas

If you want to watch Hungarian drama online, RTL Most and are going to be your best friends. These are the sites to check out even if you want to watch free Hungarian live TV online. Your favorite Hungarian television shows are only a few clicks away.

Show #3: Jóban rosszban (In Good and Bad) — 2005

The story of this Hungarian TV show is set in Csillagkút, a village not far from the capital of Hungary, Budapest. Life in this little village suddenly becomes quite lively after everyone starts talking about the Csillagvirág Clinic and its mysterious director, Péter Pongrácz (played by Tibor Gazdag, a great Hungarian actor and composer in real life). All that the residents of the village know about him is that he left his perfect life in the USA behind to come home to Hungary and open a private clinic in Csillagkút.

Everybody is happy that the old castle has been transformed into a new hospital…well, almost everybody. Előd Várnagy had different intentions for the castle, but Péter beat him to it.

Love stories, cheating, betrayals: these are all parts of everyday life at the Csillagvirág Clinic. Although the characters are willing to betray and even kill each other—and they do—some of them are willing to support one another…in good and bad.

By watching this series, you’ll be exposed to all kinds of language. You’ll encounter healthcare terminology as well as everyday expressions, including day-to-day conversations and slang. Thus, this is the perfect Hungarian TV series for you if you love drama and are open to learning Hungarian in a fun way.

Important Sentences in the Show

  • Egyet jegyezz meg! A szerelem elmúlik… de a férfiak ostobasága soha!
    “Remember one thing. Love fades away…but the stupidity of men never does.”
  • A kudarc kell. A siker elkényelmesít, de a kudarc megtanít megbocsátani, és megmutatja, hogy kik és mennyire fontosak az életünkben.
    “Failure is needed. Success makes you too comfortable, but failure teaches you to forgive and shows you who the important people in your lives are, and how much.”

Show #4: Barátok közt (Amongst Friends) — 1998

This one is an oldie but a goldie, and is a must-watch for Hungarian learners who want to experience popular Hungarian TV shows.

The main characters of this Hungarian TV show are the members of the Berényi family. This show has been following their everyday lives, and that of those living around them, for more than twenty years now.

The story starts with a bunch of kids who become really good friends. Later on in their lives, they end up living in the same block of flats, which is something they never would have thought. Their aim is to create modern mansions and a good community in the building where they first met as children. However, betrayals, hook-ups, and other surprising events make this seem like a rather hard thing to do.

This Hungarian TV show is perfect for you if you love drama, complicated relationships, and excitement.

In some cases, you can access the episodes on Hungarian TV channels online. Barátok közt is one of them. Just go to RTL Most (RTL Now) and you can stream all 20+ years’ worth of Barátok közt episodes right away.

Popular Quotes from the Series

  • Az emlékek megszépítik a múltat.
    “Memories make the past seem more beautiful.”
  • Nincs szeretet elfogadás nélkül.
    “There is no love without acceptance.”
  • Akár aggódsz, akár nem, az a dolgokon nem változtat.
    “Whether you worry or not, that does not change things.”
  • Egy férfinak minden helyzetben kell, hogy legyen terve.
    “A man must have a plan in all situations.”
  • A szerelem vak, és ez csak addig közhely, amíg a saját bőrünkön nem tapasztaljuk meg.
    “Love is blind and it is a cliché only until you experience it on your own skin.”

Which quote is your favorite?

Show #5: Válótársak (Divorce Buddies) — 2015

Bálint, Dávid, and Joci are best friends. Not only do they live together in their mancrib, but all three of them are going through a divorce. The show follows their lives through this process.

Bálint has cheated on his wife, Zsófi, so she files for divorce. Bálint is trying to get Zsófi back and ruin her forming relationship with his brother. However, Bálint can’t restrain himself and keeps cheating on Zsófi with other women.

Dávid, a rich entrepreneur, has been dumped after six years of marriage because his wife, Tamara, found him boring. Dávid gets a heart attack because of this, and he soon falls in love with his doctor, Dalma. While trying to win Dalma over, he’s in constant war with his ex. However, the stricter and harsher Dávid is with Tamara, the more she finds him interesting and wants him back.

Joci and Szonja have been trying to have a child for ages, but couldn’t succeed. As soon as they decide to break up, Szonja gets pregnant with twins. Joci is trying to escape the father role, so he even hires a lawyer, Leonóra, whom he soon starts to date and build a new relationship with. But Szonja isn’t going to let the love of her life be anybody else’s.

This is definitely one of those Hungarian TV programs that you can’t miss if you want to have a good laugh. It’s quite popular in Hungary, largely due to the fact that one of the main characters, Bálint, is played by the famous Hungarian actor András Stohl.

Regarding the language of the show, you might want to be careful, as this series is explicit and features intercourse and similar 18+ (or 16+) content. So, there you have it: if you want to learn Hungarian curse words and slang while having heaps of laughter, this is definitely the show to watch.

Famous Quote from the Show

  • Csak az első hiba számít, a többi az következmény.
    “Only the first mistake matters. The rest is the consequences.”

Show #6: Jófiúk (Good Boys) — 2019

This comedy is one of the newer TV shows in Hungarian and is a big hit nowadays in Hungary, alongside Válótársak.

Jófiúkis is a Hungarian TV series about a group of clumsy policemen who cause more problems than they solve. Gyula, a very unmotivated policeman, and his team are mistakenly relocated to the most ructious part of the city. On their first day, the team has already had to deal with a dead body, meanwhile Gyula and his family struggle with the new neighborhood.

This series is also explicit, but very funny at the same time. So, the same “rules” apply to this one as to Válótársak. If you want to have a good laugh and study Hungarian slang, you might want to consider watching this Hungarian TV show.

Famous Quote from the Show

  • Szolgálunk és védünk.
    “We serve and protect.”

This is the slogan of the Hungarian police.

Show #7: A tanár (The Teacher) — 2018

Old Teacher in Front of a Blackboard

This series gives an inside view of the lives of high-schoolers and their community. The episodes feature social issues such as adoption, search for identity, and rivalry amongst students. Each episode introduces the life of a student and their problems.

The main character is Szilárd, a chemistry, physics, and P.E. teacher (played by Ervin Nagy, who is rather famous in Hungary and also appears in theater plays). He tries to help the children in the school in his own way, which often puts a humorous spin on the show.

This series is worth watching for its interpretation of social issues and their take on them. The channel that airs this Hungarian TV show is RTL Klub, so if you’re interested in it, and you’re all for streaming Hungarian TV, you can easily watch this series on RTL Most.

Preparing for a Hungarian language exam is really no different than preparing for any other language exam. However, in the case of Hungarian, you might want to pay special attention to spelling, as the way Hungarians write and pronounce words differs greatly at times. Therefore, you might want to do as many mock tests regarding Hungarian grammar as you can. And we think A tanár is a great way to experience this first-hand.

Famous Quote from the Show

  • Isten hozott a birodalmamban.
    “Welcome to my empire.”

This is the first sentence, with which the main character, Szilárd, greets his students.

Show #8: 200 első randi (200 First Dates) — 2018

This is one of the best TV series for learning Hungarian.

It’s a witty, funny, and emotional story that follows the everyday life of a thirty-year-old woman, Luca, who’s a bit clumsy and disorganized.

Her sister’s engagement came as a great surprise to this single lady, and their mother makes bitter remarks on the fact that her sister will marry sooner than Luca, and that she’ll probably go to the wedding without a partner. Because of this, Luca swears that she will find The One in 200 days, meanwhile trying to live up to the expectations of her boss at work. Whether she succeeds and love finds her or not, and whether she manages to find herself, will be revealed in the sixty episodes that this Hungarian TV series has.

You’ve found the perfect show to watch if you fancy a good love story, and if you feel like you can relate to the main character. The dialogue is composed in a witty and funny way, so you won’t be bored for a second.

This series reflects on everyday Hungarian life, so you will find some slang in the show—but not teenagers’ slang. The pace of speech might be a bit too fast for beginners, but practice makes perfect. If you don’t hear something clearly, just rewind the episode a bit. This is one of the best aspects of watching Hungarian TV shows online!

Famous Quotes from the Show

  • Ahogy a nagymamám mondta, a dolgok legyenek áttekinthetőek, a csoki pedig jó tömény.
    “As my grandma used to say, things must be clear and chocolate high in cocoa.”
  • Mindig a jók mennek el… meg Félix.
    “Always the good ones go away…and Félix.”

3. Talk / Reality Shows

Show #9: Heti Hetes — 1999

This Hungarian TV show is different from the ones we’ve gone over so far. This almost works like a talk show, and it used to be aired once a week on Sundays (up until 2016). Seven people got together and talked about social issues, everyday life, the news, etc. It was very amusing as every guest was able to give their own perspective and take on the topic.

You’re not very likely to come across any slang—or maybe just a few slang words—in this series, as the guests are mainly middle-aged or elderly. The pace of speech, therefore, is normal, not usually too rushed. We have to admit, though, that you’re most likely to enjoy this show if you know more about Hungarian culture and news, as the topics are linked to current issues in the country.

This Show’s Theme Song

  • Politika, botrány, bulvár, pletyka, sztárhegyek. Ez a Heti Hetes, a feketeleves.
    “Politics, scandals, tabloids, gossip, mountains of celebrities. This is Heti Hetes, the black soup.”

This used to be the theme song of the show. “Black soup” in Hungarian refers to something unexpected and unpleasant. This reflects the controversial nature of the show, as the guests aren’t afraid to convey their real opinions, even if those opinions aren’t in favor of the government, for example.

Show #10: Való Világ (Real World) — 2002

Való Világ is one of the most-watched Hungarian reality TV shows.

There are thirty-six candidates, selected by a jury based on homemade videos, who will compete with each other to win over the viewers who can get them into the villa by a call or an SMS. Every day, there are three candidates at a time, and only one of them can get in. Once they’re all in the villa, the voting begins to eliminate each of them until there’s only one left inside—the winner.

There have been nine seasons so far, with a new season coming out roughly every two years. In each of the seasons, there’s always something new.

You’re going to love this Hungarian TV show if you’re all for reality shows. As all realities, this one is vulgar and explicit. In this type of show, the only thing you’ll hear are super-easy and short sentences—the very basic everyday Hungarian dialect, swear words, and slang.

However, you might want to double-check every expression before memorizing it, because the people in these shows are usually not the brightest and they often make grammar mistakes or simply use phrases or words the wrong way. This may be a good test for more advanced Hungarian learners, to see if you can spot the mistakes the candidates are making.

Important Quote from the Show

  • Itt a lét a tét.
    “Here ‘being’ is the stake.”

This is the motto of the reality show.

4. Gives You the Best Ideas to Make Studying Fun

Wow, it was just like reading a Hungarian TV guide, right? Did we miss any good Hungarian shows you know about? If so, leave us a comment below and share your knowledge with fellow Hungarian learners!

Now that you’re familiar with the best TV shows to learn Hungarian, the major Hungarian TV stations, and how to watch Hungarian TV online… We wonder if there’s anything left to teach you.

You know now that RTL Most and are the best places for streaming Hungarian TV. All you need to take into consideration at this point are what genre you’re looking for, what you want to achieve or learn, and your current level of Hungarian. And you’re all set for a fun way of learning a challenging language.

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    That’s right. It’s not rocket science. A new language can open up many new doors. You’re able to work in countries other than your own, leading to a world of new opportunities. It can also qualify you for many new jobs in your home country as well! There are tons of employers who look to hire multilingual professionals every year!

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    When it comes down to it, learning a new language is just plain fun! There’s always something new to learn and the rewards are endless! Whether your goal is to meet new people or to get a job in a new country, language learning is something that is actually enjoyable!

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