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Photo: Alpár Kató – Daily News Hungary

Visiting a country as a tourist is always a lot of fun, especially if you speak at least a few words or sentences in the nation’s language. Since Hungarian is a really difficult language, the people of Hungary become extremely happy when they hear you were speaking their language. Let us see the most useful expressions in ‘basic tourist’ vocabulary.

The Facebook page Learn Hungarian – shares Hungarian mini language lessons – let us introduce to you Hungarian essentials on their cards.

In today’s article, we will show you how to greet people, how to introduce yourself and how to say thank you to another person. We promise it is not going to be hard (at least not for the first time)!


Although the title of this picture is ‘How to Say Hello in Hungarian’, it is not necessarily only about ‘hello’. As you can see below, there are three questions asking about your speaking partner’s mood and feelings. Watch out, because Hungarians do not use ‘How’s it going?” as often as native English people do.

Hungarian greetings
Hungarian greetings

Besides these eight short expressions, here are some other greetings:

  • Jó napot! (Good day!/Good afternoon!)
  • Jó estét! (Good evening!)
  • Jó éjszakát! (Good night!)
  • Szia! (Hi!)

Hungarians do not like to learn foreign languages. Why?

Introducing yourself

Introducing yourself is, of course, really important and highly recommended if you would like to explain yourself to Hungarians. Here is an easy guide on what you can say about yourself.

Introducing yourself, Hungarian version,
Introducing yourself, Hungarian version

10 easy phrases

These ten phrases look easy, but you may have to practice their pronunciation.

Ten simple Hungarian phrases
Ten simple Hungarian phrases,

Quick pronunciation guide:

  • in Hungarian: sz – in English: s
  • in Hungarian: gy – in English: d’
  • in Hungarian: cs – in English: ch

The best videos of the Hungarian language

Typical questions when meeting someone new

Top 5 questions in Hungarian
Top 5 questions in Hungarian,

Please note that, in this picture, every question is formal. Informal versions:

  • Hol laksz?
  • Mit mondtál? (informal speech already), formal would be: Mit mondott?
  • Hogy vagy?
  • Mi a neved?
  • Honnan származol?


  1. Useful and simple.
    Two small notes, though:

    1. “Hé! ” (Hey) is a bit rude when used to address strangers. Even in an informal context, it has a special connotation of either demanding attention or a slight disagreement with the other person.

    2. On the last pic, “Mit mondtál?” is already the informal version.

  2. Gy is not “d” In English. Most Americans and foreigners cannot even pronounce that letter. It is unique to Hungarian.

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