I’ve lived in Hungary for a year now. Budapest is a vibrant, cool city. People are nice. Life is good here. The only issue: I don’t speak Hungarian. Although I am having classes, Hungarian is an extremely complex language and it takes time to reach even a basic level.
Although I can get around using English in most situations, I still face many occasions where I need to understand Hungarian. Naturally, my go-to solution is to use Google Translator. And while it is a lifesaver in most cases, it has cracked me up on a bunch of occasions with the funny, incredibly stupid translations it provides. Hungarian is so complex that even Google Translator gets completely lost!
Let’s see what I mean…
This one was sent to me by my Portuguese friend when she tried to ask Google how to say “Merry Christmas” (Feliz Natal) in Hungarian.
Looking for an apartment is probably what has given me the biggest amount of crazy translations. Even when I didn’t speak any Hungarian at all, I could still read numbers, obviously. And I found an ad for an apartment that had the number 10 in Hungarian but, the English translation said this…
What are 9.99 buses anyway?…
Another time, I was looking for an apartment in Budapest and I could already understand some Hungarian. I could see that the Hungarian version said it was located in Budapest. But, for some weird reason, in English, it said the apartment was in Ukraine!
Other times, it leaves you wondering…. How many washing machines does the apartment have exactly?
But the most typical translation regarding apartments is this one: you pay “per snow” and you always have to pay extra “rubber” (eventually I learned that “Hó” is snow in Hungarian and people shorten “Hónap” (month) to “Hó” in the ads).
Other times, it just doesn’t make any sense at all…
This next one was translated into Portuguese (my mother tongue) but is one of the most ridiculous ones! I think it’s worth it to try to translate it into English… It’s something like this:
“(…) the apartment is located near Westend, metro 4, 3, by a spit. (…) It is not almost the most modern, but it is not the most modern. In the apartment you will live with a girl (nails of nails) (…) I don’t want to sell a cat in a bag, I was taken by necessity”.
Once you figure out the apartment part and want to start furnishing it, you also come across a few pearls. Like this ad for a sofa, which starts with “Crab sofa” — what on Earth would that be?… And then finishes stating that it has
“bedsheets with a door. It can be turned. Lying surface: 112×212. You x today x 122 cm”.
Maybe I will buy it. I mean, bedsheets with a door? I need that in my life.
I also need Google Translator. To make me laugh but, mostly, to help me get around in Hungary. Because, if these translations are crazy, I can guarantee you that anything I try to translate myself makes even less sense!
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