Hungarian Lesson for your Stag Do in Budapest
Hungarian (Magyar) bears no relation at all to the Slavic and Germanic tongues spoken in neighbouring countries, and finds its closest cousins in the national languages of faraway Finland and Estonia. The alphabet contains such logical innovations as eight variations on the letters O and U, all of which are unpronounceable, as well as compound letters like “Dzs”, which sounds like the English letter J. With some patience, though, you’ll be fine speaking English – especially amongst younger Hungarians.
Hauling out the phrasebooks for anything beyond everyday pleasantries isn’t for the faint of heart: to the Magyar ear, even slightly mispronounced Hungarian sounds like gibberish. Should you wish to give this bizarre Finno-Ugric language a whirl, here are the essentials. Just remember that the emphasis is always placed on the first syllable of every word.
English Hungarian Pronounced like
Good day Jó napot kivánok YO NA-pot KEE-van-ock
Hello (informal) Szia SEE-ya
Bye-bye Hello HE-llo
Yes Igen EE-gen
My name is Dave Dave vagyok DAVE VOH-dyock
One pint of beer, Egy korsó sört, EDGE COR-sho SHiRT,
please kérek szépen KAY-reck SAY-pen
I love you Szeretlek SEH-ret-leck