No, thank you equals NEM, KÖSZÖNÖM according to Google Translator. However, when you say that, Hungarians will hear the statement as NEM KÖSZÖNÖM, which –according to the rule of making a sentence negative – will mean I DON’T THANK YOU. Consequently, if you want to be polite and refuse something, the correct form is KÖSZÖNÖM, NEM.

There is an exception though. Don’t say thanks when you ask for a painkiller or any other medicine since the superstition is that it won’t be effective if you do. So, you don’t say anything or if you want to emphasize it you can indeed say: Nem köszönöm, or more correctly NEM KÖSZÖNÖM MEG.

You can read more on Hungarian language etiquette in our LANGUAGE MATTERS section.