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What is a good bank for USA expats in Budapest?

klsallee :
FeliciaOni :

So i would recommend at least that branch for english speaking people.

Or.... Either:

1) Do not come to a country that you do not speak the language, and waste time and effort seeking out others that speak your language, for your convenience.

2) Put a crow bar in your pocket, lever out the wallet, and hire a local professional interpreter to assist with such things. Which is, in my humble opinion, the much, much more polite, elegant, faster, and easier option.

1) That's a bit impolite.  Hungarian is awkward and it's difficult to learn on the fly.   It's not unusual to turn up in places and try to muddle through. I do it all the time.  Learning a few words helps break the ice of course.

On 2), I'm lucky (as are you), I've got my own personal assistant called Mrs Fluffy and I'm working on the two Fluffyettes to help me out with my pathetic HU language skills. I suppose, in the latter case, rather than hire an interpreter, I'm growing my own! ;)

Strangely enough, the Brexit thing has really given me a kick up the rear end.  Maybe the one I needed. I've started learning Hungarian more earnestly so that after all this time, I could maybe become a citizen as a Plan B.  I satisfy all the rest of it, I just cannot pass the language skills test.

This post and all of my posts which i will say i speak for most people on here, is just trying to help or give advice or ideas to others. In no way am i trying to be negative or mean. I am just stating my experiences and trying to help others.


One thing that i hear almost exclusive from USA expats is that view that black people from the USA should not leave the USA. It is funny, Europeans find it interesting and positive that i moved to Europe. I was told by an old Hungarian man that he liked i as a young person are into the "old ways" and other Europeans have told me that the young embrace the USA too much and like that i even being a black person from USA i am less about the fast food and hip hop culture and ideas than many of the European people my age. {I have this old real estate guy that we had a negative experience with last year still feel that me and my father should move to Dombóvár. Dombóvár is pretty but i am not sure if i want to buy a house there}

Then the USA expats most i have met both here in Hungary and other parts of Europe always say these same things-"why are you here in Europe?", " when are going back home?". Even had a woman ask me "how many times have you been raped? I know that is a problem since you are a black woman in europe" crazy!

FeliciaOni :

"1) ...... and say they do not know what candy is. Or you say something they are interested in and they suddenly learn  english so well. Just silly even. ...

They might not know what "candy" is.   That's the American word for confectionery. 

It depends on which version of English they have been taught.   

In British English we would call them "sweets".

Well i did not mean candy exactly per say i was using that as an example! he hee.

I would imagine that back many centuries ago only wealthy people ventured to travel.
They more then likely were well educated and spoke more then one language and perhaps even spoke Latin or another international language which was vogue for the time.
When I first visited HUngary on a family reunion with my HU husband
virtually no one spoke any English at any time.
My second visit was the same, English was only taught at some universities and mostly for those going into a foreign service.

I get by within reason with my very limited amount of Hungarian.
I never except anyone to speak English and decided a long time ago that if I couldn't be understood at a shop or anywhere, I would just leave and try again another day.
I never expect anyone on the street to speak English or stop to help me out.
I lived in NYC and believe me, even with them being in the US, no one has the time to bother helping out a tourist or stranger, lucky if they point you to the nearest news stand to buy a map.

One must learn at least a few dozen words of Hungarian and one must totally change they attitude to be a foreigner in a country that has survived for centuries without us.

Plus the stranger on the street may be OK speaking English with their friends but may have second doubts about their skills when pressed on the spot to be a translator.
The culture in Hungary is different then in the west.They use different forms of phrases when speaking with family and friends and do not get personal with strangers.
In English we are very forward to them. It can be a bit of a turn off to find yourself on the spot with a foreigner who is asking questions they do not feel comfortable with answering.
Yes in a professional situation they probably get special training with being more forward when dealing with we outsiders.
Life in Hungary is still Hungarian, we asked to come here no one sent out an engraved invitation.
We have to learn to take things slow and as them come.
In any serious business dealing , it might be a good idea to hire a translator.

My husband moved from Hungary to the US, in fact he landed in tough NYC.
He had zero contacts in the US, no money as a refugee and only knew 5 words of English.
He was  determined  to be an American and learn English.
Found a full time job within his first 2 weeks in the US. Opened a bank account, bought a car and rented a flat without really knowing the language. No one spoke his language and still somehow he made it work.
He spend nights going to English language classes after spending 8 hours working on his feet.
You have to want to be part of the culture to fully experience the Hungarian way of life.
The first generation in a new country always has it rough.

Thinking it over, it is true air travel has made the world smaller then say even 70 years ago. People have not  caught up with technology as fast as their feet can travel.

I am white and have people ask me why we are in Hungary.
My husband is Hungarian and at times even he wonders why.
Don't take offense to people asking why you are here.
Most people would love to experience living in the US that's probably why they ask about why you would chose to live in Hungary.
I wonder why anyone would say something so silly as haven't you been raped yet.
Hungary is not a rape culture.
People can say some silly things at times without thinking.

Thanks for extreme and continued kindness Marilyn!

People are strange sometimes! he hee.

Well i just was trying to maybe help others that may go threw simlar things, hell if someone told me advice i would of saved much money and time and not bothered with the bank we had to start with.

And avoided the Jello man! he hee

FeliciaOni :

So no one that does not speak the native tongue of a country should move there?

Wrong conclusion.

I was pretty explicit. I said ""Or.... Either".".

As in, pick one option if you do not want your activities here to reflect on the rest of us Expats by locals. Because it does.

fluffy2560 :
klsallee :
FeliciaOni :

So i would recommend at least that branch for english speaking people.

Or.... Either:

1) Do not come to a country that you do not speak the language, and waste time and effort seeking out others that speak your language, for your convenience.

2) Put a crow bar in your pocket, lever out the wallet, and hire a local professional interpreter to assist with such things. Which is, in my humble opinion, the much, much more polite, elegant, faster, and easier option.

1) That's a bit impolite.  Hungarian is awkward and it's difficult to learn on the fly.   It's not unusual to turn up in places and try to muddle through. I do it all the time.  Learning a few words helps break the ice of course.

Sighs.....

I said "Or.... Either".

I did not say anyone needed to learn Hungarian. Misinterpretations can happen, but Implying I suggested such is at odds with what I wrote. In fact, why would I say this, my Hungarian is terrible, for example.

So if one chooses to or simply can not learn the local language (all too common an issue), then the "either" #2 option was my suggestion how to not come across as treating Hungarians or Hungarian businesses as something not just to "service" you, but to "serve" you. I trust you understand the difference.

If you think my comment was impolite, that is no problem. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Which is why, and meanwhile, I think expecting to be linguistically served by a business is impolite. We can disagree on that. I have opened 4 bank accounts in 2 different non-English languages in two different countries. I all cases, I took an interpreter. I was in and out in less than an hour. And I used the normal client lines. No special treatment. Easy and quick. And IMHO that was also the most polite thing I could do for the business and the clerk that handled my application.

And, yes, as you said, from my wife I do have a "linguistic" foot in the door here. And it is because of that I know some people here do not think much of expats that do not do one OR the other of my suggestions. And for better of for worse, for right or for wrong, for good or for bad, that DOES affect their perception of all of us. And that is regardless of what some national law says about not having to learn Hungarian. This is a social issue. And social issues transcend "legal requirements".

FeliciaOni :

I hear these statements over and over on expat forums not even directed toward english speaking expats, all foreign ones so i am starting to think this is just a way people are trying to solicit business to companies.

If you feel there is some scam by some to generate business, feel free to independently pick your own interpreter. It is not difficult.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=english+interpreter+budapest

Well if you read some of my prevous posts i do not think it is just an expat thing!

Like i said we first went to CIB and the 6 people in line in front of us were Hungarians and they were waiting and waiting getting no serivice. It was not an expat issue just they seemed to be not very efficent.

As i mentioned before we went with our neighbor who is a 53yo Hungarian woman who is fluent in here native Hungarian, speaks English, French and basic Italian i think, she is a PHD professor at one of the collages here in Budapest. A fairly good person to help with these things. *that said she realizes my dad will not date her and buy her lobster dinners and 42 ounce steaks dinners every week so her helped has ceased*

We went into Ober bank with her and as i posted they only spoke German, 7 people working there and no one spoke Hungarian! She and I went to one other bank i have to relook at my posts to name which one it was they only spoke French ie no Hungarian.

I pointed out how odd that is. She asked some of  her fellow Hungarian professors  abut this and they said how that is normal and they have seen that also themselves.

The guy at OTP that waits on us speaks 4 langues and well was able to ask us about Jello so it was not an english thing it is also about good service. So i was just trying to give advice.

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