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.
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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