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Sziasztok Profizmusra Vágyók!

Ma arról olvashattok, hogyan látnak minket az itt élő külföldiek. Azok, akik ide jönnek több évre dolgozni, elsősorban multicégekhez, látják azt, amit mi talán nem.

There is a considerable expat community living in Hungary, they are mainly employed in diplomacy or multinational companies. Relocationg to a new country is never easy but definitely a big adventure. Steven Robert Carlson has the following opinion about us:

A major dividing line is language. Yes, Hungarian is a notoriously difficult language to master. And you can get by with basic English in many places – at least in Budapest. However, even a few words of magyarul can open doors.

If you’re planning to stay for less than a year, it may not make sense to invest your time and effort to learn Hungarian. But you would also miss the nuances of the local culture.

Language is only the first barrier. It can be difficult to find work in Hungary, and it usually isn’t well paid (by Western standards). The bureaucratic face of Hungary is harsh. The low level of trust in this society makes it difficult to do business. The cost of living is rising, but wages remain static.

It was much easier to be an expat in Hungary ten or 15 years ago, when a wave of foreigners arrived to invest, work or ‘help’. At one point, we had at least three competing English-language newspapers. We had expat bars and expat businesses. The multinationals were just starting up in Hungary and they generally brought in foreign management.

Those days are gone. Those people have left.

The odd thing is it feels like Budapest’s foreign population is even larger now. In my neighborhood, every other person you hear on the streets is speaking English.

My guess is much of Budapest foreign population is transient. They are weekend travellers, who fly by discount airlines or Brits on stag parties or foreign exchange students.

Hungary presents a rather harsh ‘official face.’ When you meet people here, they may at first be suspicious, stand-offish or formal. But once you break the ice, the Hungarians can be extremely warm, welcoming and hospitable – to a greater degree than you’ll find in Western Europe.

Budapest itself is a wonderful place to live. Grand architecture and great views. Charming flats with high ceilings. Great public transportation. Easy city to walk around. Human scale. Easy pace of life. Plenty of entertainment options.

An American woman Natalie Jaro says:
When you are invited to someone’s house, it is standard to bring a small gift such as flowers or chocolates. Let the Hungarians serve the wine, they are rather proud of their local varieties. Palinka is a spirit made with distilled fruits. When you meet friends be sure to kiss cheeks, starting with the left one. Never talk politics or religion, but other than that, most topics are open for discussion. Don’t chink beer glasses as this has been a 150-year tradition and practice. When you finish everything on your plate this signals that you are still hungry and the same with drinks. If you are done, then just leave a little left on your plate and in your glass. Be sure to cross your fork and knife together to tell the waiter/waitress you’re not done! Address friends with the informal words of Hungarian and save the formal words for elders and people in restaurants and public places. There is a difference!

Hungarians work hard and the income tends to be low. Much of the country is poorer than in the States but that doesn’t take away the pride most Hungarians have in the work they do.  You may see people smoking more freely in shops and outside shop doors while working. The Hungarians love festivals and are often out celebrating in every season on weekends and holidays. There are a few superstitious do’s and don’ts like: if you are a woman don’t sit on a cold rock or you won’t have children; if you are a woman don’t sit at the corner edge of a table or you won’t get married; and do take your hat off when indoors. The most difficult thing was the more reserved mannerisms of Hungarians compared to the more boisterous energy of Americans.

expat: külföldről ideszakadt, itt élő külföldi, aki általában munka miatt van kiküldetésben

relocate: áthelyez

odd: furcsa

notorious: hírhedt

transient: átmeneti

stag party: kan buli, legénybúcsú

stand-offish: távolságtartó (az ish a szavak végén egy angolos nyelvi dolog, azt fejezi ki, hogy olyasmi, nem egészen az, csak a körül van.)

pace: ütem

chink: koccint

supersticious: babonás

reserved: visszafogott

boisterous: lármás, heves, szilaj


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Demkó Andrea

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