Dos and Don’ts

Shaking Hands: Hungarians almost always shake hands on meeting. At a social gathering, it is quite common to go around the room or table shaking hands with everyone as you introduce yourself.

Greetings: On meeting and leaving someone, it is customary to say “hello” and “goodbye,” even to strangers, including in shops or in elevators.

Manners: At a social gathering, particularly if invited to someone’s home, it is regarded as impolite to sip a drink as soon as it is served. Wait until the host or hostess has finally filled his or her glass, raises it, and says the Hugarian equivalent of  “cheers.”

Names: Hungarian names are inverted with the surname, or last name, listed first.

Flowers: Flower shops are ubiquitous in Budapest. Among Hungarians it is almost a mania to present flowers to a female on her name (saint’s) day, and certainly to the hostess if invited to someone’s home.

Phrase Book

Good day/hello: Jó napot kivánok. Pronounced yo nup-ot kee-VAH-nok.

Good morning (early): Jó reggelt. Pronounced yo reggelt.

Good evening: Jó estét. Pronounced yo esh-tate.

Good night: Jó éjszakát. Pronounced yo A-sa-kaht.

Goodbye: Viszontlátásra. Pronounced vee-ssont-la-tash-ra.

Yes: Igen. Pronounced eegen.

No: Nem. Pronounced nem.

Thank you: Köszönöm. Pronounced kurssurnurm.

Thank you very much: Köszönöm szépen. Pronounced kurssurnurm saypen.

Good; OK!: Jó! Pronounced yo!

Very good: Nagyon jó. Pronounced nudyun yo.

Please: Kérem. Pronounced kay-rem.

Excuse me: Bocsánat. Pronounced bowch-AH-note.

One: Egy. Pronounced edge.

Two: Kettő. Pronounced kettur.

Three: Három. Pronounced harom.

Four: Négy. Pronounced nayd.

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