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Quiz about Simple Hungarian Basics Gestures and Culture
Quiz about Simple Hungarian Basics Gestures and Culture

Simple Hungarian: Basics, Gestures, and Culture Quiz


OK, I lied. Hungarian isn't simple. It's a complex and unique European language that's hard to learn and no easier to master, but this quiz should prevent you messing up too badly on any trip from Budapest to Balaton and places in between. Jo szérecném!

A multiple-choice quiz by Flynn_17. Estimated time: 9 mins.
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Author
Flynn_17
Time
9 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
228,373
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
390
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Question 1 of 10
1. Off the plane you get after a tiring journey. You're not best pleased as you've been sat in the aisle next to a man who has just finished reading a Dan Brown novel and can't wait to tell you all about it. Pouring scalding hot coffee in his groin has crossed your mind more than once, but you have restrained. Grab your backpack and get to the doorway.

You enter the terminal, and of course, it's very busy. You scan for a newsagents to buy something to calm your nerves, but they're all shut. You scream and begin pummelling the metal shutters as people stare at you and plot their escape. Why is it all shut? You scan around for someone to ask, but all you can find is a moustachioed Hungarian with a martini. "Hány óra?" you enquire.

"Öt perccel múlt három", he finally replies after laughing for a while at your horrendous accent. So that's why the shops are all shut...
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. You grab your bags and leave Ferihegy airport through the main doors. You find one of the few "újságárus" in the street that is open and head in to buy something to calm your nerves. You go in and get your best accent on.

"Szeretnék vatti egy öngyútjú", you croon.

The swarthy Hungarian newsagent points to a lighter on the shelf and the label underneath. "Kétezernegyvenkettő forint" he replies, tapping the sign. The little label itself reads "2.042 Forint", and so you whip out your wallet and find a small five forint coin. The newsagent looks at you stupid. What fundamental error have you made?
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Annoyed that you've paid so much for a lighter, you leave the newsagents and head out into the street to find your hotel. Looking over the blue Danube and seeing the beautiful "napkelte" peering over the horizon, you stumble into your hotel and go up to the reception.

You wander over, dragging your luggage, and start to speak. "Szervusztok, van faglalásom. A nevem..."

"Igen", says the hotelier, and hands you a brochure. "Nincs lift" he mumbles, and points to the staircase. You drag your bag up two flights to the top floor and before you know where you are, you are surrounded by "a vecek", "a zuhany", and even a woman in "a fürdő"! You appear to have stumbled into the...
Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. After a couple of hours sleep (the neighbours were very noisy, remember to lend them a good book tomorrow night), you head back out into the street. You're ready and raring to go, but sadly, the Hungarians aren't. It's early on a Monday, and the last thing they want you to do is go up to them waving your arms screaming Hungarian. But you do it anyway.

Of course waving your arms and being all emotional in your speech is great in some languages. What reaction will this kind of behaviour encourage from the locals?
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Hungry? Yeah, you are. Go to a store and see if you can get something to eat. The "alma" looks pretty tasty, but you guess you'd rather have something more substantial, and so you go over to the meat counter and ask for "csirkehús", or a chicken.

"Hány?" asks the butcher.

Oh hell. He's asked you how many chickens you want and you've just realised that you've left you phrasebook up in the hotel room. Now, the word for "one" has escaped you completely. Which finger should you hold up to show that you only want one chicken?
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. You're sat in your hotel room with your chicken, still embarrassed about what you did last night. The air conditioning is on full belt, you think you might have Legionnaire's disease, and the poultry is looking at you funny. It's all too much for your delicate little British constitution to take. You know you're going to dinner at your girlfriend's house tonight, so you decide to give her a call to see if she wants you to bring anything. Grab the receiver.
It's ringing.

"Halló?"
"Halló", you reply. "John vagyok. Hazel ott van?"
"Egy pillanat, kérem."

You hear some vague Hungarian screaming going on in the background. He's upstairs, she's downstairs, and no one has any idea where Hazel is.

"Nincs itthon, sajnálom"
"Kérem, mondja meg neki, hogy hívtam."
"Igen."

The line goes dead, and Hazel wasn't in. That's a bit irritating, you don't know what you need to bring, but at least the person on the other end of the line will...
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. You arrive at Hazel's house after a day of looking at the river and thinking "Ooh, a river." You've been on a Danube cruise, you've bought some paprika, it's been a full day. You knock on the door, enter the dining room, and get lost in a crowd of Hungarian people you've never met before. Fortunately, you have your phrasebook with you tonight.

The evening starts with a toast, and as the guest of honour (the only non-Hungarian in the house), you're expected to issue it. You pick up your glass, clear your throat, and offend 18 people. Hazel shoots you a dirty look and you look at what you've just said. "Egészségedre?" you say. You pronounced it wrong. What have you just said as opposed to "to your health"?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Hazel is embarrassed and trying to correct your mistake, so while you try to make yourself as small and meek as possible, Hazel's friend brings the wine through. You have one glass before you start eating and find that's it is refilled right away. So you drink that. And it gets refilled. Soon, you're on your third glass because you keep on drinking and it keeps on getting refilled.

"Úgy érzem, részeg vagyok" you mumble to Hazel, who still won't make eye contact with you because of what you said to her esteemed guests. She shrugs you off, and you go back to your meal and your copious amounts of wine, but you notice no one else has drunk as much, and then, you fall over.

If you want to avoid ending up on the floor at a Hungarian dinner service, the best advice I can give you is to...
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. It's the same every time you leave the country. You've been in your destination for less than three days and you've already been arrested. They drag you into the police station and begin questioning.

"A vád Ön ellen rendzavarás" states the officer who arrested you. You try to plead your case and explain that you weren't really disturbing the peace, you were being attacked by a homicidal wasp. What is the best thing you can do to make sure you are believed?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. It's been a full week with a rather bizarre end, and now that you've managed to get out of the local jail, you decide to try and make it up to your girlfriend Hazel, whose dinner party you ruined earlier. You go to the florist and buy a bunch of flowers to take round. You select white carnations, but since you can't afford a full dozen, you buy nine and hope she doesn't notice. When you take them round to her house and as she opens the door, you hand over the flowers. And get a good hard slap. Why would this be seen as slightly inappropriate? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Off the plane you get after a tiring journey. You're not best pleased as you've been sat in the aisle next to a man who has just finished reading a Dan Brown novel and can't wait to tell you all about it. Pouring scalding hot coffee in his groin has crossed your mind more than once, but you have restrained. Grab your backpack and get to the doorway. You enter the terminal, and of course, it's very busy. You scan for a newsagents to buy something to calm your nerves, but they're all shut. You scream and begin pummelling the metal shutters as people stare at you and plot their escape. Why is it all shut? You scan around for someone to ask, but all you can find is a moustachioed Hungarian with a martini. "Hány óra?" you enquire. "Öt perccel múlt három", he finally replies after laughing for a while at your horrendous accent. So that's why the shops are all shut...

Answer: ... it's five past three in the morning. Need sleep...

Just like everywhere else, the shops close at a reasonable hour, but if you go out into the high street on a Sunday, then you better be up to some window-shopping. Many important services such as buses and taxis in some of the smaller places in Hungary may not run on a Sunday, although in Budapest and Eger, you are usually safe from this lack of travel. Unless it's Easter.
2. You grab your bags and leave Ferihegy airport through the main doors. You find one of the few "újságárus" in the street that is open and head in to buy something to calm your nerves. You go in and get your best accent on. "Szeretnék vatti egy öngyútjú", you croon. The swarthy Hungarian newsagent points to a lighter on the shelf and the label underneath. "Kétezernegyvenkettő forint" he replies, tapping the sign. The little label itself reads "2.042 Forint", and so you whip out your wallet and find a small five forint coin. The newsagent looks at you stupid. What fundamental error have you made?

Answer: You've confused yourself with Hungarian numerical punctuation, you have.

In Hungary, as in many countries in Europe, the numerical punctuation is different to that of the UK and the USA. If you saw a number display reading 10,50, that would be 10.5, while if you saw a price shown as 2.100 F, that would be 2,100 forints. Make sure you don't get these mixed up - it's one of the basics.
3. Annoyed that you've paid so much for a lighter, you leave the newsagents and head out into the street to find your hotel. Looking over the blue Danube and seeing the beautiful "napkelte" peering over the horizon, you stumble into your hotel and go up to the reception. You wander over, dragging your luggage, and start to speak. "Szervusztok, van faglalásom. A nevem..." "Igen", says the hotelier, and hands you a brochure. "Nincs lift" he mumbles, and points to the staircase. You drag your bag up two flights to the top floor and before you know where you are, you are surrounded by "a vecek", "a zuhany", and even a woman in "a fürdő"! You appear to have stumbled into the...

Answer: Fürdőszoba

It's always a problem when you wander into the communal baths in the middle of the night, especially if it's full of members of the opposite sex. Even worse if they're naked. If you're interested, the other options mean "kitchen" (konyha), "court" (bíróság), and "guided tour" (csoportos utazás). Remember those. You will see communal baths in many cheaper hotels in Hungary.
4. After a couple of hours sleep (the neighbours were very noisy, remember to lend them a good book tomorrow night), you head back out into the street. You're ready and raring to go, but sadly, the Hungarians aren't. It's early on a Monday, and the last thing they want you to do is go up to them waving your arms screaming Hungarian. But you do it anyway. Of course waving your arms and being all emotional in your speech is great in some languages. What reaction will this kind of behaviour encourage from the locals?

Answer: Csanad, get the funny farm on the phone, we've got another one...

In Hungary, they just don't do it. If you're talking, you don't move a muscle, there's little body language and everything you say has to be conveyed through language and facial expressions. If you do wave your arms about, they'll more than likely think you're weird. If you want a taxi, you wait patiently in a taxi rank like everyone else, and a bus stops at a bus stop (bizarrely). If you want someone in Hungary to talk to you, maybe you should try assuming a neutral expression and asking a simple question.

They only real reason for you to go flapping your arms about is if you're screaming "segítség" at the same time.
5. Hungry? Yeah, you are. Go to a store and see if you can get something to eat. The "alma" looks pretty tasty, but you guess you'd rather have something more substantial, and so you go over to the meat counter and ask for "csirkehús", or a chicken. "Hány?" asks the butcher. Oh hell. He's asked you how many chickens you want and you've just realised that you've left you phrasebook up in the hotel room. Now, the word for "one" has escaped you completely. Which finger should you hold up to show that you only want one chicken?

Answer: Your thumb

If you answered any of the other three, then you would be inundated with chickens by the time you left the "élelmiszeráruház", or the supermarket. The index finger indicates two, the middle three, the ring finger four, and so on in that vein until you run out of fingers.
6. You're sat in your hotel room with your chicken, still embarrassed about what you did last night. The air conditioning is on full belt, you think you might have Legionnaire's disease, and the poultry is looking at you funny. It's all too much for your delicate little British constitution to take. You know you're going to dinner at your girlfriend's house tonight, so you decide to give her a call to see if she wants you to bring anything. Grab the receiver. It's ringing. "Halló?" "Halló", you reply. "John vagyok. Hazel ott van?" "Egy pillanat, kérem." You hear some vague Hungarian screaming going on in the background. He's upstairs, she's downstairs, and no one has any idea where Hazel is. "Nincs itthon, sajnálom" "Kérem, mondja meg neki, hogy hívtam." "Igen." The line goes dead, and Hazel wasn't in. That's a bit irritating, you don't know what you need to bring, but at least the person on the other end of the line will...

Answer: ... tell her that you called

This kind of interchange will prevent you from repeatedly ringing Hazel's house and irritating the other members of the house (who, undoubtedly, you will force out of the bath several times by calling.) You may have noticed the use of the word "nincs", which is an all-purpose word to use when someone isn't in, if you haven't got something, or anything else negative.
7. You arrive at Hazel's house after a day of looking at the river and thinking "Ooh, a river." You've been on a Danube cruise, you've bought some paprika, it's been a full day. You knock on the door, enter the dining room, and get lost in a crowd of Hungarian people you've never met before. Fortunately, you have your phrasebook with you tonight. The evening starts with a toast, and as the guest of honour (the only non-Hungarian in the house), you're expected to issue it. You pick up your glass, clear your throat, and offend 18 people. Hazel shoots you a dirty look and you look at what you've just said. "Egészségedre?" you say. You pronounced it wrong. What have you just said as opposed to "to your health"?

Answer: To your rear end.

It's quite common for English speakers to accidentally make this pronunciation mistake, apparently, and so with this, it's always good to ask someone who can speak the language for advice, or better yet, to avoid saying it at all. And never ask for a tour of the house.

This is yet another one of those situations where native Hungarians would look at you stupid. You should wait in the hall or dining area until you are assigned a seat representative of your rank.
8. Hazel is embarrassed and trying to correct your mistake, so while you try to make yourself as small and meek as possible, Hazel's friend brings the wine through. You have one glass before you start eating and find that's it is refilled right away. So you drink that. And it gets refilled. Soon, you're on your third glass because you keep on drinking and it keeps on getting refilled. "Úgy érzem, részeg vagyok" you mumble to Hazel, who still won't make eye contact with you because of what you said to her esteemed guests. She shrugs you off, and you go back to your meal and your copious amounts of wine, but you notice no one else has drunk as much, and then, you fall over. If you want to avoid ending up on the floor at a Hungarian dinner service, the best advice I can give you is to...

Answer: ... leave your glass half full when you don't want any more wine.

This is the only way to stop yourself ending up on the floor at a dinner party. Another way is just not to drink anything. Hungary is famous within Europe for wine, most of which comes from the Eger region. This sort of wine is known as "Bull's Blood", due to its deep red colour.
9. It's the same every time you leave the country. You've been in your destination for less than three days and you've already been arrested. They drag you into the police station and begin questioning. "A vád Ön ellen rendzavarás" states the officer who arrested you. You try to plead your case and explain that you weren't really disturbing the peace, you were being attacked by a homicidal wasp. What is the best thing you can do to make sure you are believed?

Answer: Maintain eye contact - if you don't, Hungarians will think you have something to hide.

Hungary, like everywhere else in Europe, has a good strong police force, but has fortunately managed to escape the police savagery of the Eastern Bloc. Had you been stung by that horribly homicidal wasp, however, you may have ended up in the "gyógyszertár" (pharmacy), or if you had a bad reaction, the "Kórház" (hospital). Best to avoid nasty insects, though.
10. It's been a full week with a rather bizarre end, and now that you've managed to get out of the local jail, you decide to try and make it up to your girlfriend Hazel, whose dinner party you ruined earlier. You go to the florist and buy a bunch of flowers to take round. You select white carnations, but since you can't afford a full dozen, you buy nine and hope she doesn't notice. When you take them round to her house and as she opens the door, you hand over the flowers. And get a good hard slap. Why would this be seen as slightly inappropriate?

Answer: Carnations and bunches with an odd number of flowers are used only for funerals. Odd numbered Carnations are as good as a death threat.

If you wanted to apologise and show your love, red roses would be the best. White roses and yellow roses would surely be appreciated, but they do not show that you have a romantic interest. Always send even-numbered bouquets to a friend or potential lover, as odd-numbered bunches are only used for funerals. Carnations, as in most cultures, are also the flowers for a funeral in Hungary.

So, when you're next in Budapest or Balaton, follow these rules. And try not to screw up.
Source: Author Flynn_17

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Bruyere before going online.
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