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Hungary

I am visiting Budapest first time I hoping the language barrier isn’t too bad going some people can speak English. I know the rest of europe not too much trouble.

Posted by
654 posts

About ten million people speak Hungarian, and you do not need to be one of them. However, if you can locate a audio tutorial of Hungarian, you will have exposure to a truly unique language. It doesn't sound like anything you have heard. Nearly everyone under thirty speaks English fluently. Enjoy your visit to my favorite European city.

Posted by
2092 posts

I haven't had any trouble on my 4 trips to Budapest, plenty of English spoken by the people you will likely be dealing with--even venturing to the nearby towns of Szentendre and Godollo I was fine. I went south to Pecs, a fairly big town, and while the bus driver didn't speak English--he gave me a free ride, though--people in the restaurant and museums did. I am working on learning the language as I am half Hungarian and the people there always seem pleased when I attempt to say something. It would be nice if you learned some courtesy words, that goes a long way.

Posted by
10834 posts

I haven't had any trouble on my 4 trips to Budapest, plenty of English
spoken by the people you will likely be dealing with--even venturing
to the nearby towns of Szentendre and Godollo I was fine.

DITTO

Why would anyone expect less? If the guy you approach doesn't speak English, I can almost guarantee the person to his right and the person to his left does .... in almost every corner of the country.

Posted by
279 posts

I read somewhere that Hungary has the highest percentage of English speakers of any non English speaking country.

Posted by
1956 posts

We will be visiting Budapest this year and like most other countries we've been to we expect some language barriers. Like "Ambassador James E" remarked, you can find someone who speaks English. jó utat! ;)

Posted by
10834 posts

But I am one of those people who never seem to have language problems no matter where I go. Sometimes the language barriers become the best memories.

I was in Kyiv a few years ago. I posed in the middle of Maidan to have my photo taken. An older gentleman approached and started scoldng me in Ukranian (or maybe Russian). Took me a minute to figure out he wanted me to stand straighter, fix my belt and button my shirt neatly...... I laughed, put my arm around him and put him in the photo. Probably my dearest vacation photo....

Posted by
4637 posts

Mike Tipton, I don't know where you read it but it is certainly not true. Nederland, north part of Belgium, Scandinavian countries and Switzerland are on the top.

Posted by
10834 posts

https://dailynewshungary.com/hungary-is-among-the-top-english-speaking-countries/

It is what it is. I would suspect that 75% of the 57% live in Budapest, and I saw another article once that showed the scores; the difference between Hungary and the 5 or 6 above and below was more statistical than real. But in actual practice you will be the exception as a tourist in Budapest if you run into any service provider in the areas frequented by tourists that doesn't speak English. It's a shame, I travel to get away from things, including English.

Posted by
4637 posts

James, be glad that you can communicate in Budapest. Unless of course you can speak Hungarian. In that case you won't need English. Just last February I was in Ecuador. Nobody, not even in hotels spoke English and I don't speak Spanish. My problem, of course. Many times I wished so much that somebody spoke English (or Czech in my case - which actually happened in Golden Prague Pub in Cuenca). Nevertheless I survived without English speakers around but it would have been much easier.

Posted by
1956 posts

@James, I am having a good laugh about your "language barrier" experience! ;J

Posted by
10834 posts

Ilja, I speak perfect taqueria Spanish so I wouldn’t starve, not even in Equator. Obviously, it’s about education; and most of Europe is well educated. Not as true in Latin America.

Another tale: A few years back I was in the market in Budapest. I found one vendor that had dried fruit and chocolate covered fruit. But chocolate covered what? I guess the confusion was on my face because this sweet middle aged woman came beside me and pointed to one pile and “the best”. I asked what they were, but she didn’t know the translation. So I thanked her and she left. I had a quarter kilo bagged up and was about to leave when the woman reappeared and shouted “cranberry”! She had apparently gone to find someone to translate for her and returned to tell me. Why? Just because. It’s one of the reasons I love Budapest. (and they were good)

Despite the obvious superiority of English, I really don’t miss it when I travel.

Posted by
10834 posts

Despite the obvious superiority of English, I really don’t miss it
when I travel.

Oh RELAX, its a joke!!

Posted by
4637 posts

Obvious superiority of English. James, it may be joke but it is also true. Imagine you were a monolingual Hungarian (or Czech, Serbian etc.) and wanted to travel abroad without a guide. Practically impossible, right? Well, most of us Americans are monolingual and we travel abroad no problem. If somebody does not speak English in a foreign country we are very surprised. We are very lucky that we don't have to learn foreign language to be able to travel.

Posted by
12103 posts

But, James, ... thanks...no joke, I take it seriously!