If you visit Budapest or live here, and if you take public transportation with any frequency, then you’re sure to hear recorded notices in Hungarian over the loudspeaker while riding the Metro system.
And if you’re like me, you may even hear these every day!
Of course, to get the meaning you could just listen to the English version that usually follows the Hungarian, recorded by local resident Rachel Appleby. But at Let’s Learn Hungarian we’re here to learn Hungarian! And I found a fantastic site that lists all of the recordings from the Metro in one place.
They even write down the Hungarian text for each recording. But what do these mean in English??
Let’s take the two easiest recordings on this site, which are anyway very similar to each other, and examine them:
“Tessék vigyázni, az ajtók záródnak.”
“Szíveskedjenek vigyázni, az ajtók záródnak.”
As you can see, these two phrases differ only by one word, and mean basically the same thing.
Tessék vigyázni, az ajtók záródnak. – Please be careful, the doors are closing.
Szíveskedjenek vigyázni, az ajtók záródnak. – Please (be so kind as to) be careful, the doors are closing.
Let’s break them down word-by-word:
tessék – please (in this context)
szíveskedjenek – please be so kind as to (3p. plural, imperative, formal form)
verb stem: szíveskedik – be so kind as to
Obviously, “szíveskedjenek” is a more formal way of saying “please” than “tessék.” But in this context they have basically the same meaning.
vigyázni – to be careful (infinitive)
verb stem: vigyáz – be careful
Note that we have to use the infinitive after either “tessék” or “szíveskedjenek.”
Tessék vigyázni – Please be careful
Szíveskedjenek vigyázni – Please be so kind as to be careful
The second phrase is identical in both recordings:
az ajtók – the doors
noun stem: ajtó – door
záródnak – are closing (3rd p. plural nominative)
verb stem: záródik – something closes
az ajtók záródnak – the doors are closing
And that’s our analysis of Budapest Metro recordings for today! We’ll be sure to include more audio of sounds and recordings heard in Hungary in future posts. Let us know if there’s one you would like us to cover!