Here is the version of the Common Table Prayer in Hungarian we used in our home as I was growing up:
Kedves Jézus légy vendégünk
áldd meg amit adtál nékünk. Ámen.
Dear Lord Jesus, be our guest.
Let this food by thee be blest. Amen.
I taught this to our four children (ages 4-12) as a surprise to my mom when we met for an extended weekend in St. Louis a number of years ago. Even my husband jumped in on the fun. My mom was very surprised when we sat down to dinner at a restaurant and said the blessing in Hungarian. This was the same way we had said it in our home growing up and I didn’t even know there were other versions until years later.
There are other versions that begin just a little differently:
Édes Jézus – Sweet Lord Jesus
Jöjj el Jézus – Come Lord Jesus
We grew up saying this prayer at meals, but I had only learned it by repeating it. I was an adult before I had actually seen it written out. I am always surprised at what I think I hear and how I see it spelled. Have you run into that with Hungarian? Or even English?
If you think about it, growing up around those speaking Hungarian affords you the natural opportunity to hear the language–even if you never learn how to actually read or write in it at least the sounds of it are lodged in your brain. I am not illiterate when it comes to Hungarian but I am not great at reading and writing in it either. I can listen and get the gist of some simple conversations but if you ask me to answer a question with proper grammatical form, I get very nervous. My strength seems to be in random vocabulary words that have stuck in my mind throughout the years. And when I can see a word — oh my! That is so helpful to me! I think I am a visual learner, which is why it helps me to write out my Hungarian homework instead of only listening and repeating. The act of writing it out helps me quite a bit.
The key to learning and sharing the Hungarian language is to find what helps you and do it! If you speak in Hungarian and your child only ever responds to you in English there may be quite a few reasons for that but if they respond to you appropriately, then you know the basic comprehension is there.
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