Fun facts

Things to know about Hungarians:

  • Unlike many other cultures, Hungarians use their surname first and their given name second, any second given names come after that, but many don’t have second names
  • We are among the few people who celebrate their “names day”. If you want to surprise your Hungarian friends you may check for precise dates for individual names here
  • The general greeting between guys is a handshake, between girls and girls and guys a kiss on each cheek
  • We don’t like the term “Hungry Hungarian”, it already wasn’t funny 10 years ago :)
  • Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. The settlement of the Magyar’s in Hungary dates back to 896. The founding of the State of Hungary was in 1000 (originally known as the Hungarian Kingdom)
  • Hungary is a country rich in healing thermal water sources. The first thermal baths were built by the Romans during the time Hungary was a part of the Roman Empire, known as the Province of Pannonia
  • Hungary earned the sixth most gold medals in the history of the modern Olympic games
  • Hungary has 13 Nobel Prize winners so far
  • One of our peculiar traditions is the “watering” and egg painting during the Easter Holiday. Water has been replaced by sprinkling a bit of perfume on lady’s head, in almost all areas, but for some smaller villages where people still keep the original tradition
  • Unlike in many other (especially Anglo-Saxon regions) it is not Santa Clause, but Jesus who “brings the gifts” at Christmas. Santa brings gifts separately on December the 6th

Famous Hungarians

Famous Hungarian composers:

Bela Bartók, Ferenc Liszt, Zoltan Kodaly

Famous Hungarian inventors and scientists:

Ernő Rubik – Rubik’s Cube

Laszlo Bíró – ballpoint pen

Ede Teller – development of the hydrogen bomb

Albert Szent-Györgyi – discovery of Vitamin-C

John von Neumann – mathematician, theoretical physicist, developed the basics of the modern computer

Did you know they were Hungarian?

Tony Curtis – actor

Harry Houdini – world famous escape artist

Lugosi Béla – the original Dracula

Gene Simmons – the bass player of KISS

Johnny Weismuller – the original Tarzan

Ferenc Puskás the legendary football (soccer) player of Real Madrid and the Hungarian “Golden Team” was also Hungarian.

Useful Hungarian expressions and their pronounciation

Hungarian is one of the hardest languages in the world, but with some persistence and practice you may learn some basics. Since we are pretty much without linguistic relatives, we particularly appreciate if someone tries to speak a few words. Below are some of the most common words and expressions that may come in handy in everyday life.

Yes – Igen (Ee-gan)

No – Nem (Nem)

Thank you – Köszönöm (Curse-a-nem)

You’re welcome – Szívesen (See-wesh-en)

Cheers! - Egészségedre! (E-gayss-shay-gehd-rh!)

Hello – Szia (See-ah) or Hello

Good Morning! - Jó reggelt! (Yo-rehg-gehlt!)

Good afternoon - Jó napot! (Yo-nah-poht!)

Good evening - Jó estét! (Yo-esh-tate!)

Good night - Jó éjszakát! (Yo- ay-sah-kat!)

Goodbye – Viszontlátásra (Vee-sont-laa-taash-ra)

How are you? – Hogy vagy? (Hodge vodge)

You are beautiful – Gyönyörű vagy (Djer-nyer-oo vodge)

I love you – Szeretlek (Seh-ret-lek)

One – Egy (Edge)

Two – Kettő (Cat-er)

Three – Három (Har-um)

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