Hungary, flag, blue, sky

Language is a beautiful system of words, meant to make communication easy. However, with cultural and national differences comes language difference. Every country has a different language, some of them have similar roots, similar scripts, and yet some are poles apart. We have a list of Hungarian words that are similar to words in other languages:

VIDEKI

Everyone’s favourite word. Not. ‘Videki’ means essentially, someone who is not from Budapest is considered ‘videki’. Interestingly, the word ‘Videshi’, which is from the Hindi language of India, has a similar meaning. It also means foreigner but is not limited to a particular region.

Update: A better definition of Videki would be everyone from the countryside and/ or not from Budapest. 

KUTYA

‘Kutya’ means ‘dog’, and everybody loves dogs. They are cute, cuddly, and loyal to the core, plus ‘kutya’ sounds pretty cute, too. Funnily, dog in Hindi is called ‘kuta’ which is not too different from its Hungarian name.

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MIT CSINÁLSZ

Now, I am no expert in any of the two languages, but one of my teachers actually made a group of Korean children cry by saying ‘mit csinálsz’ to them, which means ‘what are you doing’ in Hungarian, not realising that it was a curse word in Korean.

KÖSZI

Again, absolutely no knowledge, but one of my Arabic friends said she thanked someone in Hungarian by saying ‘köszi’ in front of her parents, and they did not understand, and she had to have a very uncomfortable conversation with them about what it means. So, be careful with that one. Use the full version.

PUSZI

Do I even have to explain this one? I am pretty sure every English speaker reading this just giggled a little bit to themselves. It means ‘kisses’ in Hungarian, which is fairly innocent compared to its English counterpart. So, do what you will with that information.

Language is as diverse as the people that speak it, so to find similarities in our differences creates a certain kind of kinship that is comforting in itself. After all, we are united in our differences.

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7 comments
  1. Puszi and Köszi have the same meaning. So I would be very careful with that one with Arabic and Hebrew speakers who do not speak great Hungarian!

  2. There is no such thing as a Hungarian language. There’s Magyar, and there is Hunnic. The two are not related.

  3. Umm – no – just, Not!
    Vidéki means from the countryside. Külföldi means foreigner, or someone from the outside lands. Only in downtown Budapest does vidék have negative or ‘foreign’ connotations. That is more about cultural tensions than about language.

  4. beton, plafon and pisoar (I don’t know how you spell it thought but it’s french)

  5. As a Hungarian myself, there are many more words which, over the years, I connected to its source word.
    Papucs – slippers (also Turkish)
    Boszorkany – witch (in Farsi it means something scary or powerful)
    Kert – garden (must come from quart [yard]
    Kapu – gate (In Hawai’i it means something like it’s forbidden to enter. In the minds of Hungarians it must have meant the word for gate when they adopted this in their language
    Sapka – hat (also in Turkish)
    Magyarorszag – Hungary (Magyarska in Persian)
    Sal – shawl
    Vaza – vase
    Haz – house
    Kocsi – coach

    And there are many more. This list indicates how we borrowed from other nations our vocabylary, without much explamation or particular rule.

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