Although the Hungarian language and culture did not have a significant impact on English, there are certain connections between the two languages. Considering the vocabulary, a number of supposed Hungarian loanwords can be identified in English. Idioms, proverbs, and expressions constitute an important part of everyday language use, and they can also show the similarities and differences between the two languages. You can find some Hungarian and English idiom pairs and the comparison of their lexical/syntactic structure HERE.

In this article, we have collected 20 English and Hungarian word pairs that are coincidentally pronounced the same or in a very similar manner. However, these expressions have a different word form and meaning, and they do not have a common etymological origin. We included the meaning(s) of the Hungarian words in each case. Let’s have a look at them.

ape [eɪp] (ENG) − ép [eːp] (HUN)
meaning1: whole, intact, unharmed
meaning2: sound, healthy

are [ɑː(r)] (ENG) – ár [ɑːr] (HUN)
meaning1: price, cost
meaning2: flood, current

cake [keɪk] (ENG) – kék [keːk] (HUN)
meaning: blue

came [keɪm] (ENG) – kém [keːm] (HUN)
meaning: spy

cape [keɪp] (ENG) – kép [keːp] (HUN)
meaning: picture, photo

car [kɑː(r)] (ENG)  – kár [kɑːr] (HUN)
meaning1: damage, loss
meaning2: De kár! What a pity!

cheap [ʧiːp] (ENG) – csíp [ʧiːp] (HUN)
meaning1: to pinch
meaning2: to sting, bite

dale [deɪl] (ENG) – dél [deːl] (HUN)
meaning1: noon
meaning2: south

hear or here [hɪə] (US [hɪr]) (ENG) – hír [hiːr] (HUN)
meaning1: news
meaning2: reputation, fame

keen [kiːn] (ENG) – kín [kiːn] (HUN)
meaning: pain, torment

nape [neɪp] (ENG) – nép [neːp] (HUN)
meaning: people

pear [peə] (US [pɛr]) (ENG) – per [pɛr] (HUN)
meaning: lawsuit, legal action

poke [pəʊk] (ENG) – pók [pɔːk] (HUN)
meaning: spider

maze [meɪz] (ENG) – méz [meːz] (HUN)
meaning: honey

my [maɪ] (ENG) – máj [mɑːj] (HUN)
meaning: liver

scene [siːn] (ENG) – szín [siːn] (HUN)
meaning: colour

sheep [ʃiːp] (ENG) – síp [ʃiːp] (HUN)
meaning: whistle

smoking [sməʊkɪŋ] (ENG) – szmoking [smɒkɪng] (HUN)
meaning: dinner jacket

tape [teɪp] (ENG) – tép [teːp] (HUN)
meaning: to tear, rip

whale [weɪl] (ENG) – vél [veːl] (HUN)
meaning: to think, believe, reckon

hungarian flag hungary
Read also12 facts about the Hungarian language you did not know about

Featured image: facebook/Énekeld a Himnuszt/

Source: Daily News Hungary

3 comments
  1. Say ‘sajt’ and most english people will think of the irish-english word of a different meaning (not a nice one).

  2. I noticed the Hungarian word for trees, which is fák sounds very much like the f-word in English

  3. to raise – réz (copper)
    Case – kész (It’s done)
    tool – túl (beyond)
    11 – eleven (living, lively)
    hole – hol? (where?)
    check – csekk (cheque)
    cheese – csíz (siskin – It is a little, lovely bird, mainly in Europe)
    hold – hold (The Moon)
    Whose – húz (draw, pull, lug)
    cape – kép (picture)
    coot (a water-bird) – kút (well, like a noun, when you can get some water)
    law – ló (horse)
    old – old (to dissolve sg in a liquid)
    soul – szól (sb. or sg. gives voice e.g. a radio does it and you can hear it. 2.: to let sb. know about sg.
    why – váj (making a groove with a tool especially in wooden think, to carve something, or making a new adit in a mine)
    sake (not as a Japanese drink) – szék (chair)
    hate – hét (1: week 2.: seven)
    sieve – szív (1.: heart, 2.: to suck)
    hit – hit (faith. religion)
    rate – rét (meadow)
    toll- toll (1: pen, 2: feather)
    less – lesz (axillary will, to going to be)
    more – mór (Moorish)
    lake – lék (leak, especially on an ice surface for winter fishermen to finding fish or a dangerous hole on a hull
    my- máj (liver)
    bale – bél (bowel, pulp)
    hay- héj (peel, crust )

    The Hungarian forms of the verbs are third-person singular.

    Do you need more? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.