Hungarian

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Hungarian translation you can trust

Which Hungarian translation do you need?

Getting the translation of your documents right can be very tricky. The Hungarian language is spoken as the official or co-official language in a number of countries. Hence there are a few differences depending on where your translation is intended for use.

Our Hungarian language translators are professional, qualified and accredited linguists who can deliver your translation in Standard as well as the Serbian, Romanian and Austrian Hungarian dialects.

Countries where Hungarian is the official or co-official language:

Hungary; part of Serbia – Vojvodina (with Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, Slovak and Ruthenian); part of Romania; part of Austria.


For your free country guide to Hungary click here.


The country
Colourful cultural heritage: a distinctive language and unique traditions of music and dance bear
witness to Hungary’s rich and lively culture. Romans, Ottoman Turks and Austrian Hapsburgs have all left their traces on Budapest with its distinctive riverside panorama, a vivid mix of Roman amphitheatres, ancient Turkish baths and elegant Art Nouveau buildings.

Hungary today: Hungary’s graceful capital Budapest is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage City and has a lively arts, cafe and music scene. In the countryside you will find majestic plains, resort-lined lakes, Baroque towns, horse markets and rustic villages. The Danube once divided this ancient world; today it connects modern Europe. Canals linking the Rhine, Main and Danube provide a great waterway from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

Did you know..? Two British men (Clark and Clark) designed constructed Chain linking parts the of and the Bridge two the Hungarian capital, Buda and Hungary produced Pest. Hungary has produced the highest per-capita number of Nobel Prize winners worldwide, and two Hungarian scientists part of were the Manhattan Project that led to development of the atomic bomb.

Key sectors: energy, machine, automotive, electronics, and pharmaceutical are the main sectors. There are growth opportunities in retailing, IT and telecommunications. Hungary is now a country looking for high-tech niche products and services.

People: Population mix: the Magyars (pronounced ‘Mojors’) are the majority; there is also a strong Roma base and a minority mix from the surrounding countries. 5 million Magyars live outside Hungary, 2 million of these in Romanian Transylvania.

Religion: Hungarians have a pragmatic view of religion. Of those declaring any affiliation, the split is broadly two-thirds Catholic, one-third Protestant. Churches are rarely full except on Saints’ Days.

Humour: Hungarian humour is considered by many outsiders to be dark and somewhat morbid – which often means it does not translate well into other languages!

Hungarian inventors and innovators have discovered and invented many everyday items, including the ballpoint pen, matches, antiseptic and the telephone exchange. Hungary was the first football team to defeat England at Wembley. They won 6-3 in 1953.

Business culture and etiquette

Formality: Hungarian business culture is somewhat reserved, formal and polite, and feelings are not outwardly displayed. Hands are shaken on meeting and separating, even in informal social situations among friends.

Titles: ‘Engineer’ (Ing.), ‘Doctor’ (Dr.) and ‘Director’ (Direktor) are important and should be used where known. Owing to the very high science and technological base of Hungary, many people you meet will be ‘Doctor’. Always use titles and surname until a) you know the person, b) they give you permission to use their first name, or c) they use your given name first. Names: In Hungarian convention, surnames come first (Smith, John). In the larger cities, however, Western convention is sometimes followed. This can cause confusion with business cards! To overcome the difficulty, the surname is often printed in capitals. Alternatively, business cards may be double-sided, with Hungarian and Western conventions on each side.

Conversation tips: To avoid causing offence, it is wise to steer clear of conversations involving Russia, Comecon, or any of Hungary’s past wars. Undue displays of wealth are also considered vulgar and are unlikely to impress.

Official language: Hungarian (also called Magyar). Hungary is often described as a cultural and linguistic island in the centre of Europe. The Hungarian language is completely dissimilar from the languages spoken in neighbouring countries (German, Romance and Slavic). In fact, it is a member of the Ugric branch of the Finno-Ugric languages. It has been influenced by a number of other languages, including Turkish, German, Latin, French, and several Slavic languages. Other languages: English is now the principal business language, particularly in the capital Budapest. German, however, is the most widely-spoken foreign language in Hungary. All Hungarians over the age of 30 learned Russian at school for many years, but few retain any ability to speak the language and fewer still like to do so.

Food and drink Hungarian food is very rich, and red meat is frequently used as an ingredient. Goulash (gulyás), bean soup with smoked meat (jokai bableves), and beef stew (pörkölt) are national dishes. The most distinctive element of Hungarian cuisine is paprika, a spice made from the pods of chilli peppers. Though paprika is not native to Hungary (it was imported either from Spain, India by way of the Turks, or the Americas), it is a fixture on most dining tables in Hungary and an important export. Among Hungary’s spicy dishes are halászle, a fish soup, and lecsó, made with hot paprika, tomato, and sausage. Drinking is an important part of social life. Hungary produces good wine and fruit brandies, as well as
excellent lager beers. Coffee is traditionally taken very strong and black, although other forms including cappuccino are now widely available. Tea will have lemon, honey or rum added (never milk).

Gratuities – it is customary to leave a tip of 10-12.5% in restaurants, cafes and bars, and a service charge is sometimes added to your bill. Never leave the tip on the table, as this is considered rude: just tell the waiter/waitress what to keep when settling the bill.

Festivals Budapest Spring Festival (March): Hungary’s major celebration, a two-week cultural extravaganza of local and international performances, conferences and exhibitions.
Budapest Film Festival (February): premieres new Hungarian films.
Busójárás (February): the nation’s top Mardi Gras
Sopron Festival Weeks (June/July): showcasing ancient music and dance performances.
Nagykálló (August): a folk arts festival and one of the biggest and best events of the year.
Debrecen (September): Hungary’s top jazz festival.

Basic Hungarian phrases The positive impression you will make by learning to speak a few basic Hungarian phrases cannot be overestimated. Below are some commonly-used phrases – if you are interested in learning the Hungarian language, you can search for quality-assured trainers and courses at www.expertlanguages.com

English: Hungarian: Pronunciation

Hello Szervusz/szia Servus/see ya

Good day/ morning Jó reggelt kívánok Yaw reggelt kivanok

Good evening Jó napot kívánok Yaw noppawt kivanok

Goodbye Viszontlátásra Vee-sawnt-la-tak-shro

Yes / no Igen / Nem Eegen / nem

Please / thank you Kérem /Köszönöm Kayrem /kusunum

Excuse me Bocsánat Bochsanat

My name is… Vagyok… Vodawk…

What’s your name? Hogy hívják? Hawd hvyak?