Perhaps it is a little bit strange thing for you, but generally Hungarian people don't speak any foreign languages! Why? This is mainly the heritage of the former, socialistic system. On the one hand people could not visit other countries through the closed borders, on the other hand children learned the Russian language in the schools and never used it in the reality. So people didn't need the knowledge of any foreign languages.
Of course this situation has changed after the system change, as well. Children study generally English and/or German in the school, so you can speak a few words with the younger generation about the most important things. Nowadays about the 20% of people can speak one foreign language, they live mainly in towns. If you would like to get some information, look for and ask rather younger people.
Usually Hungarian people are helpful, they help certainly the aliens. They are very glad, if somebody greet them with Hungarian words, and they will explain the things with gesticulation.
Some useful Hungarian phrases and words:
The Hungarian is a polite nation, we use generally the “kívánok” (I wish) word in the greetings.
There is a very good website in English, where you can find the explanation of the Hungarian pronunciation with sound examples. On the one hand this is a very easy thing, because every Hungarian vowel and consonant has only one good pronunciation, on the other hand there are 44 characters in the Hungarian language with the short and long vowels, with the simple, double and triple consonants! So if you are interested in the Hungarian language and pronunciation, visit this webpage, please! Its address:
But the chapter about the Hungarian language is only a part of this site, you can find here a lot of other information about the Hungarian culture, tradition, foods, famous people, etc.
If you walk through a Hungarian settlement, you will see the main difference between a West-European (or American) and Hungarian village. There are high wooden or metal fences around every yards! What is its reason? There is a Hungarian saying: My house is my castle. And people keep this saying! But there are guards in the yards similar to the castles and fortresses, as well!
Generally people keep dog at home in the countryside of Hungary, especially in the villages. But these dogs aren't the pets of the family, they have an own job: to guard the house and the yard. These animals mustn't enter the house - usually they live their life in the gardens, yards of houses!
These dogs are trained to signal with barking, when anybody approach to the house. They bark onto everybody: onto the postman, the policeman, the neighbours, generally every people! You have to accept that thing, if you go through a Hungarian village, you will escorted by the barking of dogs!
Fortunately people are consistent: beside the guards they keep closed the gate of the castle - in other words the gate of the yard. If you want something from a family, you have to ring. The button is always on the post of the gate! You have to know, even the best friend of the family comes, he/she have to wait at the closed gate until the master of the dog comes, shows to the dog that the visitor is a friend and open the gate!
There are such smaller factories, plants or premises in the countryside, where the gate isn't permanently closed. In this case dogs are on chain generally - my opinion, that this is cruelty of animals - or they are trained not to leave the area of the yards.
So dogs never leave the yard to follow anybody, they know that the border of their “empire” is the fence. If a dog escape from the yard and go to loaf around, or you meet with an ownerless, stray dog, it will get out from your way, without any barking. But this situation happens really very rarely.
But if after all you afraid of dog, buy an ultrasonic dog alarm - it will protect you hundred percently! But don't use it unnecessarily, when you and the dog are on different sides of the fences!
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