No, seriously – who is he? (Communication can be fun in a bilingual, English-Hungarian family!)

I’m sure many of us, finding ourselves in a foreign-language environment, and using the elementary knowledge we have of the language – which to our mind ‘isn’t bad’ – have been able to get a pretty good idea of what those around us are talking about. At the level preceding this, the foreign language is so new to us we are extremely surprised at how similar it is to our own native language! They use so many of our words, and the names of objects and people are so familiar… Our languages must be related somehow, even if they belong to completely different language families!
This is how my brother Peter must have felt many years ago when he was still at pre-elementary level in his Hungarian. Peter and his family were staying with us at our home in Martfű, a pleasant little town in the Great Hungarian Plain beside the River Tisza. You can imagine the bustle and excitement in a house full of four- to fourteen-year-olds, with animated interaction between adults and children, and everyone wanting to be heard and understood in their own language. The irate mother (me) is trying desperately to keep discipline and order among her Hungarian-speaking sons and daughter and her English-speaking nieces. Likewise Peter and Miranda, who are attempting the same with their daughters, niece and nephews. “Téboly!” – a Hungarian speaker would cry; “It’s a madhouse!” – so the Englishman.
Knowing little of the mysteries of Hungarian grammar, Peter was still oblivious of the ‘roppant érdekes’ (extremely interesting) way in which the infinitive tenni (to put) takes its form in the imperative. Nor was he quite clear on the meaning of the word vissza (adverb, means ‘back’ in Hungarian) – although it certainly sounded familiar to him! Finally, no longer able to suppress his curiosity, and with Hungarian-English words and expressions whistling past his ears, Peter asked, “Who’s that bloke Ted Vissza you keep mentioning?” All I could do was laugh and say:”He’s a friend of that guy Ted Le!” *


For Theodore, who did so well preparing for his citizenship interview, so he knows why I laughed when he said I could call him Ted.

Communication can be fun in a bilingual, English-Hungarian family!

* Julia’s comments: ‘Tedd vissza!’ means ‘Put (it) back!’ in Hungarian. ‘Tedd le!’ means ‘Put (it) down!’.

Planning a holiday in Hungary? Stay at the Hadváris’ Hungarian Holiday Let!

In the past few years we have been asked many times to recommend a taxi driver, who doesn’t overcharge, a good restaurant, or a place to stay. A couple of our learners have commented: ‘When I was in Hungary together with my Hungarian girlfriend / wife everything seemed to be cheaper compared to when I was on my own.’ At this point we were ashamed for all those people who should have been ashamed for themselves and wished to show the real Hungary and Hungarian hospitality.
Now we’ve got someone we can wholeheartedly recommend: a friend of mine, Gábor Hadvári is now offering an apartment for tourists to stay in the 2nd district of Budapest.
I could mention many good things about Gábor and his wife as hosts, but probably the most important is that they are the kind of decent, sharing people who take care of their guests in that old-fashioned, nice Hungarian way, making sure their guests have everything they need for a memorable time.

The Hadváris' Hungarian Holiday Let_bedroomThe apartment is 65 square meters large, and great for 2 – 4 people to share. Gábor has put two packages together, and offers a 3+1 bonus night, or a one week stay. But there is a possibility to have the apartment for a longer period also, and if you are moving to Hungary and planning to find a long-term place to rent, this would be a cheaper option for the interim than a hotel. Gábor and his wife Ica were born and bred in The Hadváris' Hungarian Holiday Let_swimming poolBudapest so they will help you with a huge amount of insider’s knowledge on the city.
We think it’s great that as well as providing accommodation, Gábor has put a full package together, which includes transfers from/to the airport, a welcome drink, a lovely Hungarian dinner, a full day tour of Budapest, use of the pool, barbecue and garden, Wi-Fi, and lots of local info on where to go shoppinThe Hadváris' Hungarian Holiday Let_bathroomg, eat out, etc.

The short-stay package costs 54,000 HUF per person (at the time of writing this article around GBP 154, or USD 240, or EUR 180) and for this amount you get 3 nights plus an extra night free, plus all the above extras.
The one-week package costs 80,500 HUF per person (at the time of writing this is around GBP 229, or USD 355, or EUR 268) and for this amount you get one week stay plus all the above mentioned extras.
You can find more info and pictures on the Hadváris’ website:

As a small, specialist business the most important things we have are happy customers, the knowledge and experience we have accumulated over the years and our great reputation. So of course, it’s a big responsibility for us to recommend someone, but we know that the Hadváris’ are genuinely decent people, so we decided to work with them on this project as their UK contact people. If you are interested in staying in their apartment, or would like more details, please contact us and we are more than happy to tell you more.