Useful phrases for Hungarian business transactions

Hungarians know their language is tough to master. If you can use just one or two native phrases when talking to a shopkeeper or potential business partner, I guarantee you’ll brighten their day and make your interaction go just a little bit smoother. A show of good intentions, if you will. Here are a few to get you started:

In person

  • Üdvözöljük! (Oo-d-vuh-zuhl-you-k) Welcome.
  • Örvendek! (Euhr-ven-dek) Pleased to meet you.
  • Jó napot kívánok! (Yo nah-poat kee-vah-knock) Literally, “good day to you.” This is a polite way to say hello.
  • Viszontlátásra. (Vee-sawnt-lah-tah-shra) “Until we meet again,” or, goodbye.

In writing

  • Tisztelt [Name] ! This is how you begin a letter. It’s a little more formal than the English “Dear So-and-so.” For a woman, use LastName-né; for a man, LastName úr. Note the proper punctuation at the end—an exclamation point.
  • További jó napot kívánok. Have a nice rest of the day. You can use this just before you close a letter.
  • Üdvözlettel: [Your Name] This is how you close a letter. Again, note the proper punctuation, this time, a colon.

What other phrases would you find useful for business interactions? How do you try to make foreign clients comfortable?

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