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Photo: Alpár Kató – Daily News Hungary

Learning the basics like fruits, vegetables and clothing items in any language can prove very useful. Even if you are a tourist in Hungary, you will have to take a quick trip to the grocery store at some point, and it is always good to know the essentials in Hungarian.

Before we begin, check this quick pronunciation guide:

  • Hungarian: c – English: tz (similarly to ‘tzar’)
  • Hungarian: sz – English: s
  • Hungarian: gy – English: d’
  • Hungarian: cs – English: ch

Shop etiquette

From our previous articles, you could have easily mastered Hungarian greetings, so now when you step into a shop, you can try your skills and say ’Jó reggelt!’. Let us see what else you should pay attention to when shopping.

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Aside from these phrases, the more useful ones are the following:

I would like some (name of item) = (Valamit) szeretnék kérni/venni

I would like to buy 1 kilogram of (name of item) = Egy kiló (valamit) kérek

Where can I find the (name of item)? = Hol találom a (valamit)?

I do not need a bag = Nem kérek zacskót

I would like to pay by card = Kártyával fizetek

Is this a Hungarian product? = Ez magyar termék?

Fruits and vegetables

In many languages, the names of some fruits and vegetables are very similar – for example, ‘apple’ in English and ‘apfel’ in German – or the same, take for example ‘orange’ which is the same in both English and German, among many others. However, Hungarian has a funny way of approaching things because it belongs to an entirely different language family. Nevertheless, you are lucky when it comes to bananas and kiwis in Hungarian; we call them ‘banán’ and consequently ‘kivi’.

‘Fruit’ in Hungarian is ‘gyümölcs’.

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The case is similar with vegetables too, as you can see. Some of them might sound obscure compared to the English versions, but there are those that are basically the same just spelt differently like ‘brokkoli’ and ‘broccoli’.

Other common fruits and vegetables that you might want to learn are:
lemon = citrom (similar to the German ‘zitrone’, especially in pronouncing the first sound)
peach = barack
pear = körte
raspberry = málna
plum = szilva
potatoes = burgonya or krumpli
cucumber = uborka
radish = retek
cabbage = káposzta
mushroom = gomba

Other items

Finally, it is time to finish your grocery list and buy dairy, meat or anything else that you might need.

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You should also consider learning the following:

egg = tojás
bread = kenyér
meat = hús
pork = sertés
chicken = csirke
beef = marha
cereal = müzli
oats = zab
butter = vaj
cheese = sajt
pasta = tészta
oil = olaj
flour = liszt

 

 

In Hungarian, the accusative case is assigned directly to the object, in the form of an additional ‘-t’ at the end of words, accompanied by a linking vowel like a, o, á, e, etc. if the word ends with a consonant. This means, that if you want to buy 1 kilogram of oranges, you would have to say ‘egy kiló narancsot kérek’.

featured image: Daily News Hungary

Source: Daily News Hungary, https://www.facebook.com/HungarianPod101/

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