Seasoned Expat Experiences
When we practice a new language, we often say nonsense. This happened to me. The bus abruptly stopped, and a young woman bumped into me. “Bocsánat”, she said, “I am sorry.” “No problem, semmi vaj”, I replied smiling, proud to show off my Hungarian – or so I thought. For me, the best way to learn a language is to use it as often as I can.
Only several months later I realized my mistake. My own Hungarian teacher said “No problem” when someone forgot their homework. “Semmi baj”. “Oh”. I asked, “Is it not semmi vaj?”
It turned out I had told people “Nothing butter” – again and again. Because ‘vaj’ means butter while ‘baj’ means problem.
Did people realize I got it wrong? I have no idea. Did it matter that I got it wrong? Absolutely not. Do I say it right now? Yes, I do!
And you? You can learn the right expressions right away – start taking lessons next week!