US Census data reveals that there are around 1.5 million Hungarian Americans in the country. Major waves of immigration took place both after the 1956 Revolution, and following the demise of communism from the 1990’s onward. Today, Hungary itself offers great access to Europe and a market of 500 million people, and US firms are investing more and more in the country. But if you’re planning to do business in Hungary, you don’t just face a language barrier, you also face a cultural one. Cultural awareness is now an important part of the global economy, and here, we’ll look at some key differences between the American and Hungarian way of conducting business.

Small Talk

There isn’t anything small about small talk! Chatting about topics like sport, food or the weather are a key component of any meeting before you get down to business. Hungarians place a lot of value on their relationships with others, and it’s important that you begin to build a personal, as well as a business relationship with your Hungarian partners, to establish trust before any negotiations take place. This is why using the services of a professional Hungarian translator is an invaluable tool to securing deals, as they will be able to help you build a solid foundation of trust.


When conducting business, Hungarians will consider a deal from every aspect, and in great detail, before making a decision. In fact, details are so important to Hungarians, they will often require a surprisingly large amount of information before they can reach a conclusion. Employing a highly skilled Hungarian translator will enable you to get across the fine details of the deal, while also answering any questions your Hungarian counterparts may have. They will also be able to enable you to have key documents and presentations translated ahead of the meeting


Although it may at first come as a shock, Hungarians will not hesitate to criticise, interrupt or argue during negotiations. Far from being rude, Hungarians see debates and arguments as a constructive way of creating new ideas and finding the best way forward. Our skilled translators have all spent time living in Hungary, and they understand this mentality, which means they will be able to provide a clear and precise counterargument as you hash out a deal.

Dealing with Indirect Communication

While they will argue a point if they feel it is necessary, Hungarians also use indirect forms of communication when they believe that it would be disrespectful simply to say ‘no’, and will often say things indirectly out of courtesy for you. This could lead to serious misunderstandings during important business meetings, which is why it is vital to secure the help of a professional translator. The translator, who understands Hungarian culture having spent time living and working in the country, will be able to advise you when your business partners are being indirect.

Business Relationships

Hungarians will often seek to further establish your working relationship by inviting you to dinner. While it is customary to avoid talking directly about business during such events, it is vital you are able to communicate with your Hungarian business partners, in order to build trust and understanding. A professional translator will be able to help you communicate in a natural and fluent way during these events and prevent any misunderstandings.