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

    Studia Hungarica
    Eotvos University
    V. Pesti Barnabas utca 1
    Phone: (01) 121-1174

    Katedra Language School
    V. Veres Palne utca 36
    Phone: (01) 165-5116

    Hungarian Language School (HLS)
    1088 Budapest, Brody S. u. 4.
    Phone: (361) 266-26-17
    Fax: (361) 266-48-16
    Email: [email protected]

Useful Phrases

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


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