„Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society’s values and beliefs is its proverbs” As a continuation of „You know you’re Hungarian when…” we collected 20 of humorous sayings, wise proverbs and inspiring quotes of Hungary.


Every culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. They have been handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation , until were recorded and became a folklore treasure. Many traditional sayings are still in general use today.

Proverbs are pearls of wisdom that condense good thoughts, morals and habits of long time into short, crisp sentences. Knowledge of proverbs is necessary for perfect knowledge of a language.
The expressions and sayings listed here will hopefully bring a smile to your face.

Még a falnak is füle van.
English: Even walls have ears.
Meaning: what you say may be overheard; used as a warning.

A hazug embert hamarabb utolérik, mint a sánta kutyát.
English: They catch up with a liar sooner than with a limping dog.
Meaning: your lies will come to light sooner than you think.

Nem esik messze az alma a fájától.
English: The apple falls close to its tree.
Meaning: children often follow the example of their parents in their behaviour.

Nincsen rózsa tövis nélkül.
English: There is no rose without thorns.
Meaning: nothing is perfect.

Ki mint vet, úgy arat.
English: They way you sow is the way your reap.
Meaning: you will get what you deserve.

Sok kicsi sokra megy.
English: Lots of small will amount to a lot.
Meaning: many small things can add up a big one.

Addig jár a korsó a kútra, míg el nem törik.
English: A mug keeps going to the well until it breaks eventually.
Meaning: if you constantly take the risk, you will finally be in trouble.

Aki a kicsit nem becsüli a nagyot nem érdemli
English: Who doesn’t appreciate the litte does not deserve the big.
Meaning: if you don’t cherish the little, you don’t deserve the more.

Nem akarásnak nyögés a vége.
English: Unwillingness ends in groaning.
Meaning: lazyness brings struggle.

Minden csoda 3 napig tart.
English: All miracles last 3 days.
Meaning: novelty always wears off eventually.


Ahány ház annyi szokás.
English: There are as many customs as houses.
Meaning: everyone has his/her own habits.

A tiltott gyümölcs a legédesebb.
English: The forbidden fruit is the sweetest.
Meaning: things that you must not do are always the most desirable ones.

Amelyik kutya ugat, az nem harap.
English: The dog that barks doesn’t bite.
Meaning: people who make the loudest threats are the least likely to take action.

A szükség a legnagyobb tanítómester.
English: Necessity is the greatest teacher.
Meaning: you can work better in an emergency.

Nem mind arany, ami fénylik.
English: Not all that glitters is gold.
Meaning: an attractive appearancemay cover or hide a much less favourable content.

Jó pap holtig tanul.
English: A good priest learns till he dies.
Meaning: learning is important.

Sok lúd disznót győz.
English: Lots of geese can conquer pigs.
Meaning: power in numbers.

A lónak négy lába van, mégis megbotlik.
English: The horse has four legs and still stumbles.
Meaning: even the best can fail.

Más kárán tanul az okos.
English: The smart one will learn from the mistakes of others.
Meaning: wise men learn by other men’s mistakes, fools by their own.

Read more articles about HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE

Nem látja a fától az erdőt.
English: Can’t see the forest from the trees.
Meaning: he/she misses the point.

by GAnina

Photo:  kurultaj.hu

Source: http://dailynewshungary.com/

  1. Nem mindegy, hogy a fasz melyik végén áll az ember.
    English: It’s not all the same which end of the dick you are at.
    Meaning: It is important to see both sides of an argument.

  2. Hallgat, mint postás a Jetiről.
    English: (He/she) stays silent, like the mailman about the Yeti.
    Meaning: Someone stays silent about a subject that is inconvenient to him/her.

  3. Very interesting! However, some of these are also standard in English (I counted 8~9) and only half is a typical “Hungarian proverb”. I suspect the rest is international. 🙂
    Ennek c. fele közhely az angolban is (valószínû nemzetközi). Csak fele tipikus “magyar közmondás”. Persze mind a huszat mondjuk és halljuk.

  4. Love your post. Can you please add “Mindenki magából indul ki” with its translation and explanation to the list of adverbs above? I’ve been trying to find a proper translation, or matching adverb in English, for this adverb for a while but nothing quite fits. There are so many situations in life when it’s soooooo appropriate and I’m trying to use it but I just can’t quite get the meaning through correctly and the translation requires a lengthy explanation. The closest English adverb in meaning would maybe be “Takes one to know one”, but it’s not the same, because it compares and equals two similar negative personality traits (a liar easily recognizes another liar) whereas “Mindenki magából indul ki” points out that just because one possesses some negative personality trait based on which he or she acts in a certain way, one shouldn’t erroneusly assume that the other also has the same low moral or would act in the same unethical way (just because you lie, you shouldn’t assume that I’m lying too)…

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