Names in Hungary

Names in Hungary

Names in Hungary

The way Hungarian give and write their names can cause some confusion: Hungarians write their names the other way around: First Family name, then Christian Name (or: „First“ name).

Let´s take an example: 

Hungarians are often called Molnár (English: Miller). A frequent first name is László (Ladislav).

This person´s name would then be in Hungarian: Molnár László. Everywhere else (I heard only the Japanese do the same, but I am not sure about that): László Molnár.

Clear so far?

But that was only the beginning. Now we come forward with the variations for women, particularly the married ones.

A Hungarian girl or lady might be called Ibolya (Violet) by her „first“ name. Familiy name could be  Lakatos (Locksmith). In Hungarian she would be called Lakatos Ibolya. Everywhere else: Ibolya Lakatos.

Now it starts getting complicated: She gets married to Mr. László Molnár. If she chooses to use her name the traditional way, she becomes: Molnár Lászlóné Lakatos Ibolya. The „né“ stands for „wife“, so Mr. Molnárós wife Ibolya (maybe you remember the wife of Michail Gorbatschows was called  Raissa Gorbatschowa. The Russians have their „a“ at the end of the name, the Hungarians their „né“). 

If Mr. Molnár uses a doctor-title, this becomes: Dr. Molnár Lászlóné Lakatos Ibolya. 

If Ibolya also uses a „Dr.“ it becomes:

Dr. Molnár Lászlóné Dr. Lakatos Ibolya. 

No joke. And since in Hungary everybody who finished law faculty or faculty of medicine it admitted a „Dr.“, there is an inflation of „Dr.“s and a tremendous number of „double-doctors“(This „Dr.“ has nothing to do with a „PhD“!).

„Double-doctors“ can still often be found among the older generations of jurists, particularly femal judges – who are often married to lawyers or other judges.

Still everything clear? Then you are a lot faster than I am – for me it took years to understand this.

If with these explanations I have not managed to solve all your problems in Hungary, you can contact me here.

Dr. Donat Ebert

Ügyvéd - Rechtsanwalt (HU, D)

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