Communicating on your Hungarian Vacation
The Hungarian language is a Uralic language that is spoken by the people of Hungary. It is a unique language that is different from most other European languages. The language is also spoken by the Hungarian minorities who are living in other European countries. The Hungarians call their language “Magyar”.
Approximately 15 million people in Europe speak Hungarian. When traveling to Hungary, it is imperative that visitors have a basic knowledge of the language; otherwise, it may get extremely difficult to communicate with the native Hungarians. Unlike other European languages, such as German, Spanish, and French, Hungarian is spoken by very few people outside the native country. This makes the language sound rather perplexing, since very few non-Hungarians get a regular exposure to the language.
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of Hungary believes that it takes about a thousand hours to achieve speaking and reading proficiency in the Hungarian language, but those who are only visiting the country for a while may not want to spend so much time learning the language. There are a number of online programs as well as books that can help travelers speak conversational Hungarian in a short period of time.
FSI offers a basic course in Hungarian that comprises of about 50 tapes, CDs, mp3 audio files, as well as a few books. It is ideally suited for travelers as it can help them speak and write basic Hungarian, which will be good enough for them find places to eat and shop in Hungary. There are several other programs available that makes it possible for people to learn basic Hungarian in just four weeks. The four-week Hungarian course requires holiday-makers, students, and businessmen to attend classes five days a week. Moreover, regular meetings are held and additional instructions are given to help students get a faster grasp of the language. It is necessary for students to study about two to three hours each day, so that they can be comfortable with the language in about a month. There are also some websites that offer a two-week intensive Hungarian language course. In these two-week courses, classes will be held six days a week.
Furthermore, there are certain websites that offer online Hungarian courses, where students will be given the chance to converse regularly with a native speaker over the internet. Some other sites give students a list of basic terms that are usually required by travelers. Some of the essential phrases that all travelers to Hungary ought to know are “Jobbra”, which means “to the right”; “Balra”, meaning “to the left”; “Kerek szepen”, which is “I would like”; “Nem beszelek magyarul”, meaning “I cannot speak Hungarian”; “Beszel angolul”, which means “Can you speak in English”; “Fizetni szeretnek”, which is “I want to pay the money”; and “Kerem, segtisen”, which means “Please help me”.
Travelers to Hungary should carry a Hungarian dictionary with them if they don’t have enough time to learn the basics of the language before their trips. It is not that difficult to learn basic Hungarian for the purpose of traveling, but mastering the language can take a long time.