July 2, 2016

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Funfact: bocs also mean cub. Typically, bear cub.

That's why we can say:

Ezer bocs meg egy anyamedve

Which can mean, Thousand sorry, and a mother bear or A thousand bear cub and a mother bear.


I assume, the meaning depends on the context.


Sure ;) But it is a frequent source of jokes.


Bocs is very informal, typically used among friends. If you did something very bad that needs a more serious apology, you should stick to 'Bocsánat', even if among friends (otherwise, 'bocs' would sound like a half-assed sorry). If you want to be cute (again, in an informal setting) you can say 'bocsi' or 'bocsika' for extra cuteness <3


sounds like "botch" so all I think of when I hear it is plastic surgery


You're right, it sounds like that! :)


While living in Hungary I never heard Bocs or bocsanat once. I only heard Bosci


Sometimes it is not too easy to hear the difference in a casual situation. It also depends on the region, average age and age distribution in the local subculture. "Bocs" is not rare but it is possible that in a university, a neighborhood or a region has the preference for "bocsi". But that is even more colloquial than "bocs" and it is better to avoid in formal ocassions.


I definitely don't consider "bocsi" more colloquial than "bocs", on the other hand, I think it's a lot more common.


You have a typo bosci (bocsi is the correct one) :D


This is one of the weirdest languages I have ever seen. I love it.


I really don't understand the down votes. Actually many Hungarians agree that our language is one of the weirdest ones—and we're proud of it :D

Also Hungarian is very flexible, and when you master it (after some decades for a non-native speakers) it gives tons of fun and a lot of joy when you can exploit its expressive power and abilities. This flexibility and expressive power makes Hungarian literature sound so strange and diminished in translation. None of my favourite poets and writers translate well (and I do translations quite often, too).


Hungarian is definitely a mouthful, with some interesting constructions arising over two millenia and the evolution of the language. As for poetry, I recall having to memorize and recite Petofi Sandor's "Nemzeti Dal" as a child (sorry - can't type accented characters on this keyboard). Powerful poem of the 1848 revolution in Hungarian, but just doesn't carry into English well.


Did you call our language weird. I... wha-


Sounds distantly Slavic in origin.


It's short for "bocsánat" which is of Hungarian origin.


Anyamedve 100% though


By the way, the meaning is "forgiveness"

"bocsánatot kérek" - I ask for forgiveness - I am sorry, my apologies
"bocsánat" - sorry, excuse me, aplogies
"bocs" - sorry - very informal, shortened version


"aplogies" is a typo ;) Of course it is apologies. "bocsánatot kérek" is the most formal, it is often used to show respect, too.

Slang and chat lingo uses many forms usually based on "bocs" and starting with it. If a word starts with "bocs" you can suppose that it is a variant of "bocsánat" (Examples are "bocsi", "bocsesz", "bocsika" are very common, and the list is very far from complete. You can often hear them on the streets, etc.)


Am i right in saying bocs is kind of rude? Bocsi would be better?


thanks! Hungarian works very interestingly


every one learns like 10 langauges i learn 1


Duolingo is a blast and a great way to learn! Any language can be a challenge.


jani678913 - Appearances can be deceiving.


jani678913: check out the levels. If it is below 10 that is usually just a curiosity not real learning. Serious study often involves 20+ levels. In my case Italian is the language I really learn, and I am somewhat fluent in English and I practice now and then. All other languages are short acquintances driven by curiosity only. :)


Cosmo-pendant: "Any language can be a challenge" —indeed! Even your own mother tongue :D


For me Anyamedve sounds like half-turkish, half-slavic: why?

anne - (Turkish) - mother and medve = medved which is a root for all slavic variations for bear, and medved is derived from med which means honey.


I think this is a bit late reply, but you're completely right! Hungarian is in secondary relation with some turkic languages (but the level of relation is wildly debated) and we have tons of borrowed and adopted words. Anya, apa, alma, zseb, etc. Just go to Google Translate and try to put this to Turkish: "zsebemben sok kicsi alma van" Then try to say them in both languages—they are almost exactly the same :D

We also have many words borrowed from Slavic languages. Hungarians lived more than a thousand of years among Slavic people, and there are many influences. Medve is one of them, it is direct descendent of medved, but there are lot more. And, as the common official language was German during the XVII to XIX centuries, we also have many borrowed words from German, too.

Meanwhile the Hungarian "szablya" made worldwide success and originated even the English "saber"; "kocsi" is the forefather of "coach", "coche", etc. and to my surprise Slovakian word for harp is "harfa" that is clearly comes from Hungarian "hárfa".


"harfa" just happens to be a cognate with everything, it most likely made it's way to Hungarian via German "Harfe" - and since pretty much all other Slavic languages have either "harfa" or "arfa", there is no reason to think this is a mass influence from Hungarian. (The funny coincidence that "fa" is meaningful in Hungarian and "hár" sounds like something that could be meaningful almost got me as well, a couple of months ago. :D)


Haha, you"re right, medved! :)


The origin is turkish, meaning "let smth go". While there is no similar word in slavic languages as far as i know, the same concept applies, e.g. "odpustiť" in slovak and "odpustit" in czech both mean to "let go".


In Ukrainian it's "proBACS", the first thing that came into my mind. It's quite interesting to find similar words for me as a native Slavic speaker. Well, it's important to seek some associations.


Not gonna lie i guessed on this one...i always thought bocsánatot kérek was the formal way, at least thats what my girlfriend told me.


You are mostly right, "bocsánatot kérek" is more formal, but still used in colloquial speech, too.


okay, do what do you say when bumping into someone in the street? Duo had 3 words for "sorry" so far: Bocsánat/elnézést/bocs. what is more used?


"Pardon!" ;) It is the easiest to learn and it fits for your need when you're in doubt in a situation like this. We use it sometimes, not too often but it won't be strange. For other words, all of them suit for different circumstances. "Bocsánat" (actually "bocsánatot kérek") is generally used, a bit formal, but not overly. "Elnézést" (or "Elnézést kérek") is frequent, but more formal, while "bocs" is very informal.

You may want to know that "Elnézést [kérek]" means different thing actually, even though I use it for apologize. This literally means "[please] look away" as if the case wouldn't be happened if you won't see... The root of the expression means many things (like "indulge", "look away", "watch something for a long time", "miss" [a target for example], "don't pay attention" [in certain situations only], "look into the distance"). These meanings show that "Elnézést kérek" means actually a request of not noting what happened.

A summary:

  • Bocsánat = like "I apologize", it is more formal

  • Elnézést=a bit less formal, but keeping a distance

  • Bocs ("bocsi" and many versions) = very colloquial, use only with closest friends and relatives.


thank you! this was really helpful :)


You're most welcome!


Hi everyone! I am hungarian. Bocs (Bocsánat) = Sorry & Bocs = baby bear, young bear, bear cub 2020 july


It's spanish or vanish


Is a B in Hungarian pronounced like a G in English or is it just an audio issue?


Probably the latter but I would say not even that. For me it doesn't sound like a g.

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