Our recent visitor from Ireland enrolled for a one-hour class after getting upset about wasting money on a phrasebook published by a renowned travel book company. His efforts to pronounce phrases transcribed like HEE-vom å REN-dø̱r-shey-get * or SŮK-shey-gem vån edj Or-vosh-rå** proved to be futile to make himself understood with the locals. Even though IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is applied for Hungarian, some sounds like GY, Ő, Ű cannot be described accurately. Of course, there are numerous help pages on the Internet that provide audio assistance, however, it won’t solve the issue of phrasebooks.
By using phrasebooks the innocent and good-willed traveller may get involved in a situation presented in the immortal hilarious sketch of Monty Python, the DIRTY HUNGARIAN PHRASEBOOK. If you have not seen it, here is the full version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNP7uQQT-oo .
A must. Parodising Hungarian accent in the sentence ” I will not buy this record, it is scratched” is quite authentic.
Do you buy phrasebooks when you go abroad? Tell us about your experiences. The only way the Fungarian Crew can help visitors with survival Hungarian is to offer our short, one-time classes: http://fungarian.hu/hungarian-language-classes-in-budapest/
*&** If you could not guess, the transcription stands for:
Hívom a rendőrséget. (HEE-vom å REN-dø̱r-shey-get) – i.e. I’ll call the police.
Szükségem van egy orvosra. (SŮK-shey-gem vån edj Or-vosh-rå) – i.e. I need a doctor.