The Hungarian Language
Hungarian is one of the more complex and difficult languages in the world. There are fewer than 11 million people worldwide who speak it.
Considering the world’s population is nearing five billion, Hungarian speakers are a small minority.
The history and evolution of the Hungarian language has fostered much controversy amongst linguists over the years. It’s considered a Finno-Ugric language, which remotely resembles Finnish and Estonian. No other language in Eastern Europe is even remotely related. The Hungarians may have many Slavic neighbors, but shouting out a “Hi, how’s it going?” (in Hungarian) over the fence is bound to be met with a quizzical stare.
Hungarian will always remain obscure when compared to the world’s more widely spoken languages. Unless you have some specific (and perhaps masochistic) interest in learning to speak Hungarian, you would probably be better off learning a few simple phrases and leaving the rest to the natives. A small phrase book will come in handy in case of emergency, though.
Hungarian Language Schools
International Language School
V. Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ut 62
Phone: (01) 131-9796
V. Pesti Barnabas utca 1
Phone: (01) 121-1174
Katedra Language School
V. Veres Palne utca 36
Phone: (01) 165-5116
Hungarian is one of the world’s more complex languages, so don’t expect mastery to come easily. To get started, though, make sure to put emphasis on the first syllable of every word. And remember to use your last name first when formally introducing yourself.
Important Words and Phrases
Yes = Igen
No = Nem
Good morning = Jó reggelt kivánok
Good afternoon = Jó napot kivánok
Good evening = Jó estét kivánok
Goodbye = Viszont látásra
Thank you = Köszönöm szépen
Please = Legyen szíves
Where is the bus station? = Kérem, hol van a busz megálló?
Where is the train station? = Kérem, hol van a vasút állomás?
Where is the toilet? = Kérem, hol van a W.C.?
Nice to meet you. = órvendek (hogy megismerhettem).
I don’t understand. = Nem értem.
I don’t speak Hungarian. = Nem beszélek magyarul.
one = egy
two = kettó
three = három
four = négy
five = öt
six = hat
seven = hét
eight = nyolc
nine = kilenc
ten = tíz