Continuing our series of articles, here are another five phrases that you might find helpful when you come to Hungary. Whether you speak a few words in Hungarian or none at all, these easy-to-learn sentences will make your stay much easier and more comfortable. Again, we have provided their phonetical transcriptions.
Hol találom a mosdót? – Where can I find the restrooms?
It happens to the best of us, especially during summer, that we drink too much water and miscalculate the time it would take for us to get back to the hotel. In cases like this, fortunately, there are many places we can run for help: restaurants, bars, McDonald’s. Ask the following questions from a member of staff:
- Hol találom a mosdót? /hol tɒlaːlom ɒ moʒdoːt?/
Since the answer to this is usually not too complicated, there is a good chance the person will kindly show you the way to the restrooms.
Egy tányér gulyást szeretnék kérni. – I would like a plate of goulash, please.
Of course, you can replace the word “gulyás” with any kind of meal you would like to eat. However, since many people are eager to try the widely-known Hungarian goulash, especially during their very first stay in the country, we have chosen this as an example. When the waiter comes to take your order, just say the following:
- Egy tányért gulyást szeretnék kérni. /ɛɟ taːɲeːɾ gujaːʃʦːɛɾɛtneːkːeːɾni./
Hopefully you will get a big portion of mouth-watering goulash!
Tudnál/Tudna segíteni? – Could you help me please?
In Hungarian, we have formal and informal ways of addressing someone. When you want to ask someone if they could help you in Hungarian, you have to decide whether you will address them in a formal way (older people, members of staff, strangers on the street) or in an informal way (younger people, especially those under 18, since we use the informal address if we do not know someone).
- Tudnál segíteni? (informal) /tudnaːl ʃɛgiːtɛni?/
- Tudna segíteni? (formal) /tudnɒ ʃɛgiːtɛni?/
Beszél(sz) angolul? – Do you speak English?
When starting a conversation with this very important question, there is a chance that the follow-up will be much easier for you as many of us do speak English. The /s/ sound at the end of the first word is pronounced when you address someone in an informal way.
- Beszél(sz) angolul? /bɛseːl(s) ɒŋgolul?/
Viszontlátásra! – Goodbye!
Whenever you leave a place – a hotel, a restaurant, a museum, a shop –, you can say goodbye by saying the following word:
- Viszontlátásra! /visont laːtaːʃɾɒ!/
This one might not be the easiest Hungarian word to pronounce, but we are always delighted when a foreigner makes an effort to say things in Hungarian.
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