Hungarian-English travel dictionary

Wish to learn the basic expressions in Hungarian before entering the country? Here we have collected for you some general information about Hungarian and the most common phrases you might need.

Hungarian is a fascinating language. It's quite an oddball - surrounded by slavic and germanic languages, by which we mean that none of the surrounding coutries speak anything like this nearly-unique language! 

It is said to be a difficult language to learn, mostly because it is so different from all the other (Indo-European) languages. For example, Hungarian has a complicated set of 20 cases instead of prepositions like "on", "under" and more complicated ideas like "away from", and these are added to word stems as suffixes. in addition, each of these cases has two versions, as all suffixes in Hungarian obey a rule called vowel harmony, to make the final composite word "sound right". To further complicate matters, hungarian has no gender and speakers of this language often mix up the words "he" and "she", as this idea is just not differentiated in speech.

On the positive side for foreign speakers of Hungarian, it uses the latin alphabet, though it has a few extra letters, because almost all sounds have  just one written form. Furthermore emphasis is always on the first syllable of any word. This all means that unlike English, any unknown Hungarian word can be pronounced, if you know the pronunciation rules.

Tourist dictionary
(English-Hungarian)

The pronunciatiuon of some Hungarian vowels is different from their English counterparts:
a - say it like the a at the end of 'Amerika' - somewhere between the vowel sounds in cut and cot
á - starts like the middle sound of 'cat' but is quite a bit longer
e - say it like the start of 'enter'
é - is a bit wider sound, such as the middle sound in 'way' or the one after 'w' in 'whale'
ö, ő - sound like the one after 'w' in 'whirl' or the 'u' in 'church'
u, ú - sound like 'ou' in 'you' or the end of 'do'
ü, ű - say it like the one starts 'urgent'
o, ó, i, í - sounds the same as in english, except that the ones with the ascent are longer, and i is always sounds like 'ee' in 'see' never 'ay' like in the word 'icon'

Consonents (Only those that differ from English are listed here)

c   - always a soft sound,  like tz in Tzar
cs  - like ch in church
dz  - like the consonent in adze
dzs -  like J in Jungle
gy - nearly the same as the j in judge, but slightly softer - a cross between d and y
ly - like y in year
ny - like the first sound in new
s  - like sh in sheep
sz - like a standard s, for example, in sound
ty - sounds like the t in top and the ch in chop combined quickly.
w - not really used in Hungarian - only in foreign words, and pronounced exactlz like the letter v
zs - a soft sound like in Dr Zhivago

A list of helpful words
(easy pronuciation tip - enter any hungarian word in Google translate and press the loudspeaker symbol to hear it - the intonation will not be always be correct though - stress is always on the first syllable. )

English - angol [ɒn-gol]
Hungarian - magyar [mɒɟɒr]
Hungary - Magyarország [mɒɟɒr-or-sa:g]
Good - [jo:]
Bad - Rossz [ros:]
Subway - Metro [mɛt-ro:]
Train - Vonat [vo-nɒt]
Bus - Busz [bus]
Taxi / cab - Taxi [tɒk-si]
Airport - Repülőtér [rɛ-py-lø-te:r]
Fire - Tűz [ty:z]
Water - Víz [vi:z]
Cold - Hideg [hi-dɛg]
Warm - Meleg [mɛlɛg]
Hotel - Hotel / Szálloda [sa:l:-odɒ]
Room - Szoba [sobɒ]
Left - Bal [bɒl]
Right - Jobb [job:]
Man - Férfi [fe:r-fi]
Woman - [nø:]
Child - Gyermek [ɟɛr-mɛk]
Cell phone - Mobil [mobil]
Gas station - benzinkút [bɛn-zin ku:t]
Non-stop, 24/7 shop - Non-stop / éjjel-nappali [e:-jɛl nɒp:-ɒli]

Greetings, basic communication:
Hi / hello / so long / bye-bye / see you later - Szia [siɒ]
Yes - Igen [igɛn]
No - Nem [nɛm]
Don't! - Ne! [nɛ]
OK / good / fine - oké [oke:] / [jo:] / rendben [rɛnd-bɛn]
Thank you! - Köszönöm. [køsø-nøm]
Thank you very much! - Köszönöm szépen. [køsø-nøm se:pɛn]
You are welcome! - Szívesen! [si:-vɛ-ʃɛn]
Goodbye! - Viszlát! [vis-la:t] (Hungarians also understand bye-bye as an expression to say goodbye.)
Good morning! - Jó reggelt! [jo: rɛg:-ɛlt]
Good afternoon! - Jó napot! [jo: nɒpot] (literally means: Good day!)
Good evening! - Jó estét! [jo: ɛʃ-te:t]
Good night! - Jó éjt! [jo: e:jt]
Have a nice day! - Szép napot! [se:p nɒpot]
My name is… - Az én nevem… [ɒz e:n nɛvɛm]
I am... - ...vagyok. [vɒ-ɟok]
What's your name? - Hogy hívnak? [hoɟ hi:vnɒk]
Nice to meet you. - Örvendek. [ør-vɛn-dɛk]
Please - Kérem [ke:rɛm]
I'm from … - Én jöttem … [e:n jøt:ɛm]
That's very nice. - Nagyon kedves. [nɒɟon kɛdɛv∫]
Excuse me - Elnézést [ɛl-ne:-ze: ∫t]
Sorry - Bocsánat [bo-t∫a:-nɒt]
I don't know - Nem tudom [nɛm tudom]
I don't understand - Nem értem [nɛm e:r-tɛm]
How are you? - Hogy vagy? [hoɟ vɒɟ]
I'm good. / I'm fine. - Jól vagyok. [jo:l vɒ-ɟok]
Let's go! - Gyerünk! [ɟɛ-rynk]
I like it! - Tetszik. [tɛt-sik]
I love it! - Szeretem. [sɛ-rɛ-tɛm]
Come here! - Gyere ide! [ɟɛrɛ idɛ]
Go away! - Menj el! [mɛɲ ɛl]

Drinking and eating
Cheers! - Egészségedre! [ɛge:s-ʃe:gɛd-rɛ] (literally means: to or for your health)
Bless you! - Egészségedre! [ɛge:s-ʃe:gɛd-rɛ]
Wine - Bor [bor]
Beer - Sör [ʃør]
mug - korsó [kor-ʃo:]
refresher drink - üdítő [ydi:tø:]
glass - pohár [po-ha:r]
bottle - üveg [yvɛg]
Drinking water - ivóvíz [ivo:-vi:z]
Restaurant - étterem [e:t-tɛ-rɛm]
Fast food restaurant - gyorsétterem [ɟor∫-e:t-tɛ-rɛm]
Café - kávézó [ka:-ve:-zo:]
Bar - bár [ba:r]
Open - Nyitva [ɲit-vɒ]
Closed - Zárva [za:r-vɒ]
Push - Tolni [tolni]
Pull - Húzni [hu:z-ni]
Entrance - Bejárat [bɛ-ja:rɒt]
Exit - Kijárat [ki-ja:rɒt]
Toilet - WC [ve:-tse:]
Toilet / Washroom - Mosdó [mo∫-do:]
Enjoy you meal - Jó étvágyat! [jo: e:t-va:-ɟɒt]
Do you have free table? - Van szabad asztaluk? [vɒn sɒbɒd ɒs-tɒ-luk]
Delicious - finom [fi-nom]
Small - kicsi [ki-t∫i]
Large / Big - nagy [nɒɟ]
I'm hungry. - Éhes vagyok! [e:-hɛ∫ vɒ-ɟok]

Questions
Do you speak English? - Beszélsz angolul? [bɛ-se:ls ɒngo-lul]
How much does it cost? - Mennyibe kerül? [mɛɲ:ibɛ kɛryl]
What's the time? - Mennyi az idő? [mɛɲ:i ɒz idø:]
Where can I find the...? - Hol találom a …? [hol tɒ-la:-lom]
Where can I buy tickets? - Hol tudok jegyet venni? [hol tudok jɛɟɛt vɛnni]
Is it far? - Messze van? [mɛs:ɛ vɒn]
Is it free? - Ez ingyenes? [ɛz inɟɛ-nɛ∫]
Are there any vacancies? - Van szabad szobájuk? [vɒn sɒ-bɒd soba:-juk]
How many stops? - Hány megálló? [ha:ɲ mɛg-a:lo:]

Help
First aid - elsősegély [ɛl-∫ø-∫ɛ-ge:j]
Help - Segítség [∫ɛgi:t-∫e:g]
Fire department - Tűzoltók [ty:z-ol-to:k]
Police - Rendőrség [rɛn-dø:r-∫e:g]
Ambulance - Mentők [mɛn-tø:k]
(Medical) Doctor - Orvos [or-vo∫] / doktor [dok-tor]
Forbidden - Tilos [ti:-lo∫]
Look out! / Watch out! - Vigyázz! [vi:-ɟa:z:]
Thief! - Tolvaj! [tol-vɒj]
Stop! - Stop! [∫top] / Állj! [a:lj]
Pharmacy - Gyógyszertár [ɟoɟ-sɛr-ta:r]

Numbers
One - Egy [ɛɟ]
Two - Kettő [kɛttø:]
Three - Három [ha:rom]
Four - Négy [ne:ɟ]
Five - Öt [øt]
Six - Hat [hɒt]
Seven - Hét [he:t]
Eight - Nyolc [ɲolts]
Nine - Kilenc [kilɛnts]
Ten - Tíz [ti:z]
Hundred - Száz [sa:z]
Thousand - Ezer [ɛzɛr]
Million - Millió [mil-lio:]
Billion - Milliárd [milli-a:rd]
Many / a lot - Sok [∫ok]
Few / a little - Kevés [kɛ-ve:∫]
 

Time
Today - Ma [mɒ]
Tomorrow - Holnap [hol-nɒp]
Yesterday - Tegnap [tɛg-nɒp]
Monday - Hétfő [he:t-fø:]
Tuesday - Kedd [kɛd:]
Wednesday - Szerda [sɛr-dɒ]
Thursday - Csütörtök [t∫y-tør-tøk]
Friday - Péntek [pe:n-tɛk]
Saturday - Szombat [som-bɒt]
Sunday - Vasárnap [vɒ-∫a:r-nɒp]
Now - most [mo∫t]
Never - soha [∫ohɒ]
Later - később [ke:-∫ø:b]

(Stress always falls on the first syllable of a word)

An online guide to pronouncing Hungarian words with examples and sound-a-likes here!, plus a introduction to the nine expressions you need for survival Hungarian here!