National Song ~ Nemzeti Dal
March 15, 2020

March 15th is a national holiday in Hungary, designed to commemorate the events of the 1848-49 Hungarian Revolution. There are typically huge celebrations all around the country as well as all around the world. Celebrate wherever you live and learn a bit about what led up to the revolution. There are more resources listed at the bottom of this article.

Do you speak Hungarian? I practiced reading this in its entirety and it is tough for me. I can do the first verse with the refrain but I need to work on it a bit more so I can say it without hesitation. If you know someone who speaks Hungarian and knows the first verse by heart, ask them to say it. They might even know the whole poem. If you don’t live nearby, call them on the phone or have a video chat with them! Each verse is paired with the English translation below.

Nemzeti dal ~ National Song

Talpra magyar, hí a haza!

Itt az idő, most vagy soha!

Rabok legyünk vagy szabadok?

Ez a kérdés, válasszatok!

A magyarok istenére

Esküszünk,

Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább

Nem leszünk!

On your feet now, Hungary calls you!

Now is the moment, nothing stalls you,

Shall we be slaves or men set free

That is the question, answer me!

By all the gods of Hungary

We hereby swear,

That we the yoke of slavery

No more shall wear.

Rabok voltunk mostanáig,

Kárhozottak ősapáink,

Kik szabadon éltek-haltak,

Szolgaföldben nem nyughatnak.

A magyarok istenére

Esküszünk,

Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább

Nem leszünk!

Slaves we have been to this hour,

Our forefathers who fell from power

Fell free and lived as free men will,

On land that was their own to till,

By all the gods of Hungary

We hereby swear,

That we the yoke of slavery

No more shall wear.

Sehonnai bitang ember,

Ki most, ha kell, halni nem mer,

Kinek drágább rongy élete,

Mint a haza becsülete.

A magyarok istenére

Esküszünk,

Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább

Nem leszünk!

Whoever now his life begrudges

Deserves his death with thieves and drudges,

For setting his own worthless hide

Above his country’s need and pride.

By all the gods of Hungary

We hereby swear,

That we the yoke of slavery

No more shall wear.

Fényesebb a láncnál a kard,

Jobban ékesíti a kart,

És mi mégis láncot hordtunk!

Ide veled, régi kardunk!

A magyarok istenére

Esküszünk,

Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább

Nem leszünk!

The sword shines brighter than the fetters

It is the finery of our betters,

Of slaves and fetters we grow bored.

Leap to my side, ancestral sword.

By all the gods of Hungary

We hereby swear,

That we the yoke of slavery

No more shall wear.

A magyar név megint szép lesz,

Méltó régi nagy híréhez;

Mit rákentek a századok,

Lemossuk a gyalázatot!

A magyarok istenére

Esküszünk,

Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább

Nem leszünk!

Magyars, once more our name and story

Shall match our ancestors’ in glory

The centuries of shame and hurt

Can now be washed away like dirt.

By all the gods of Hungary

We hereby swear,

That we the yoke of slavery

No more shall wear.

Hol sírjaink domborulnak,

Unokáink leborulnak,

És áldó imádság mellett

Mondják el szent neveinket.

A magyarok istenére

Esküszünk,

Esküszünk, hogy rabok tovább

Nem leszünk!

And wheresoever we may perish

Grandchildren those graves shall cherish

Singing our praises in their prayers

To thank us that our names are theirs.

By all the gods of Hungary

We hereby swear,

That we the yoke of slavery

No more shall wear.

This poem was written by Petőfi Sándor and translated by Szirtes George.

For a brief overview of the revolution with some additional printables, CLICK HERE! And, if you want even more in depth information, check out this article from The Hungary Initiatives Foundation!

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