Top 5 Reasons Expats Should Learn Hungarian

  • 27 Sep 2023 6:21 PM
Top 5 Reasons Expats Should Learn Hungarian
Hungarian is a notoriously challenging language for non-native speakers, with complex grammar rules and a vast vocabulary. However, for expats living in Hungary, there are many reasons why it's worth taking the time and effort to learn the language.

Here, we suggest five compelling reasons why expats should consider learning more than a few basic Hungarian words and phrases like jó reggelt, éhes vagyoknem kérek csipőst és hagymát, csinos vagy, kérek egy sört and egészségére! 

Whether you want to immerse yourself further into Hungarian culture, better integrate into local society, improve your job prospects, challenge your brain or experience personal growth, learning Hungarian can be a highly rewarding and enriching experience.

1. Personal growth

You might not think so at first, but learning Hungarian can be a highly rewarding experience.

It is said by experts to be a difficult language to learn, so mastering it can give you a great sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. It can also broaden your horizons and open up new opportunities for travel and exploration.

As you progress in your language skills, you may find that you develop a deeper appreciation for Hungarian culture and a greater sense of connection to your adopted country.

2. Cultural immersion

Learning Hungarian is a key step towards cultural immersion. Speaking the language allows you to communicate with locals in their native tongue and gain a deeper understanding of Hungarian customs and traditions.

Hungarian culture is rich and diverse, with a proud history and a wealth of art, music and literature. By learning the language, you can access these treasures and fully appreciate the country’s unique cultural heritage.

3. Better integration

Learning Hungarian can help you integrate more effectively into Hungarian society. While English is widely spoken in Hungary, particularly in Budapest and the main university cities, many locals still prefer to communicate in their native language.

By speaking even just some Hungarian, you can build stronger relationships with your Hungarian colleagues and friends. It also makes it easier to navigate daily life, such as reading signs, filling out forms and dealing with bureaucracy.

4. Mental stimulation

Learning Hungarian is an excellent mental workout. It challenges your brain to think in new and different ways, improving cognitive function and memory retention.

The complex grammar and vocabulary of Hungarian require concentration and focus, which can improve your attention span and problem-solving abilities. Research has also shown that learning a new language can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

5. Job opportunities

Finally, knowing Hungarian can give you a significant advantage in the job market. While many multinational companies in Hungary operate in English, there are many sectors where Hungarian language skills are highly valued.

By demonstrating your language skills, you show a commitment to the country and culture, which can be an attractive quality to potential employers.

Words by Peterjon Cresswell for
Peterjon has been researching the byways of Budapest for 30 years, extending his expertise across Europe to produce guidebooks for Time Out and his own website

Related links

Xpat Learning: Hungarian For Expats Lesson 1

Video: Learn Basic Hungarian In 20 Mins

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Top 12 Hungarian Words Many Expats Have Difficulty Pronouncing

Video: 25 Handy Hungarian Phrases

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