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Poland vs Hungary for an expat?

2 Sep 2019 #1
I like both cultures but I prefer the way Hungarian modern flats look to Polish ones. Polish ones are usually too bland (white, Gray etc). Hungarian ones are more colorful colourful and look less industrial-like. But Polish summers are Iess hot (can't stand too much heat). Aren't the winters also colder though? I'm mostly interested in Krakow or Budapest. Second choices: Warsaw vs Debrecen.
2 Sep 2019 #2
I like both cultures

So do I.
But as a Polish speaker I would always choose Poland over Hungary.
Much as I love Hungarians, their culture, their history and especially their cuisine, their language kills it for me.....
OP Zzpla
3 Sep 2019 #3
Yeah, but the problem is I don't like how NEW architecture looks in Poland (and Czechia and Slovakia). While Berlin is building new-classical apartment buildings to catch up after the WW2/commie destruction, most Central European countries seem to have replaced commie flat--ugly with the new, soulless Scandinavian-inspired ugly.

I like to be surrounded by beautiful or at least colorful architecture (it helps in winter to look at something colorful!). Once you go out of the old towns in Poland, you see Scandinavian-inspired ugly new flat buildings in boring white or dreary colors like any shade of gray, or some combo. Meanwhile in Hungary, they like more fresh, summer-like shades like yellows and orange and less sharp edges:

I'm sorry, maybe it's because I'm used to things like these, but it seems like Scandinavian-based or inspired architects are ruining your cities as we speak!

This to me is worse, looks too industrial/office-like:

There's a reason people prefer to visit Krakow over Warsaw, it's the architecture. But I guess if all new flats look minimalist and sterile like Ikea, it's better to just visit as a tourist than work and live there. Maybe just quarters like Kazimierz and Saska Kepa seem to have avoided most of the ugly new buildings.
3 Sep 2019 #4
Compared with Poland, Hungary fared far better under their brand of "gulyas-communism" than most of Europe, this I will say!
Kadar and Nagy proved themselves far less authoritarian than either Gomulka in Poland, certainly than Rakosi, the head of Hungary's Communist Party immediately after the War. Economically of course, Hungary surpassed Poland considerably, even if the forint and the zloty were more or less on a parLOL

It's interesting to compare how these two countries approached the entire party line from Moscow, in contrast with the former East Germany. Although every Communist society had some form of State Police, Hungary's was more there for show than for shackles:-)
3 Sep 2019 #5
Lyzko, what do you think about Tito's Yugoslavia?

stick to the topic of this thread, please
3 Sep 2019 #6
Hungary fared far better under their brand of "gulyas-communism" than most of Europe

Absolutely, but it reminds me of the old Communist days joke of the Polish and Hungarian dogs meeting half way between their countries.
The Polish dog asked why The Hungarian dog was going to Poland.
"To Eat" was his reply.
So then the Hungarian dog asked the Polish dog why he was going to Hungary.
He replied.
"To bark".
OP Zzpla
4 Sep 2019 #7
Yeah I guess that explains the better customer service in Hungary. Anyway, I've lived in both Prague and Bratislava. Are Poles closer to the Czechs or the Slovaks in behaviour?
4 Sep 2019 #8
I would say Slowaks.Language too.
4 Sep 2019 #9
Yes, I've been told the same thing.

Regarding the ease as opposed to the difficulty in learning either Polish or Hungarian, I'd have to say that being an Indo-European language, Polish is somewhat more lexically "transparent' with numerous related root words and Latinate productive verbal prefixes than Hungarian, with its heavily Uralic word stock as well its frequent S + O + V structure.
OP Zzpla
5 Sep 2019 #10
I mostly struggle with grammar when learning a new language. My native language lacks cases. Slovak and even more so Czech seemed very difficult.
5 Sep 2019 #11
What is your native language, if I may ask? Except of course for the major Romance tongues, namely French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, Dutch, the three main Nordic Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, practically every European language has at least some case-driven grammar:-) Can't think of any which don't, except of course for English
5 Sep 2019 #12
every European language has at least some case-driven grammar

yes, even French and English have case driven grammars since case can be indicated by a) morphological changes to the nominal b) word order c) prepositions

There are languages that don't seem to be based on case (like Vietnamese, maybe Thai, maybe Japanese*) but they're not native to Europe

*topic and comment structure seems more important in those languages than case
5 Sep 2019 #13
However, Maf, English is considered by linguists an analytic language rather than a synthetic one, such as Polish, German, Lithuanian etc.
Upon thinking about it a little, I realized I posted precipitously, as our fellow poster might well be Asian:-)
5 Sep 2019 #14
English is considered by linguists an analytic language rather than a synthetic one,

which means that case is indicated by word order and/or prepositions... it's not like a language without the _idea_ of case (like Vietnamese)
5 Sep 2019 #15
Oh sure, I realize that. Although in English, as is proverbial wisdom, "the" is always "the", "book" will always be "book" cf. "das Buch", "des Buches", "dem Buch[e]" or even more, "ksiazka", "ksiazki", "kziazce", "ksiazke", "kziazka" (with a little hook under the final 'a'!), "ksiazko" - and this is only in the singularLOL

What many conservative languages do in order to establish meaning, especially Finnish, Lithuanian, Estonian or Icelandic, also Welsh/Cymae, is to utilize morphological endings, whereas English, for example, uses word order by adding words to indicate grammatical shifts, along with prepositions to show relationships.
OP Zzpla
6 Sep 2019 #16
My native language is Bulgarian. Analytic language but with mostly Slavic words. A true outlier in the Slavic family. Therefore I think it's maybe easier to learn a completely different language than one from a similar group that is, however, quite distant? I found even Slovak hard but Czech more so than learning German.
6 Sep 2019 #17
Albeit slightly off topic, I read once in a US journal of comparative linguistics that Bulgarian is nearly the only Slavic language which has fewer aspectual distinctions and more verb tenses, compared with, say, Polish or Russian. Is this true?
OP Zzpla
7 Sep 2019 #18
^^To be honest I have no idea lol. We use less tenses than there are. Usually past simple, past continuous, present and future simple.
As for new flats, seems like the otherwise not so popular cities and towns in Poland have more fresh/colorful designs. Like Lublin:

Lublin also surprised me as having so many trees, something that will be good in the increasingly hot summers. I hope its population starts growing as it looks like a wonderful place to live unlike the very industrial-looking Rzeszow where the population is growing.
9 Sep 2019 #20
I am sure you will find some more examples of decent architecture in PL if you scratch the surface a bit...
9 Sep 2019 #21
So then the Hungarian dog asked the Polish dog why he was going to Hungary.
He replied. "To bark".

Sorry, you got it wrong. It should be reversed - Polish dogs went to Hungary to eat. I did it in 1981 and the difference between Polish and Hungarian shops was shocking.
9 Sep 2019 #22
Sorry, you got it wrong. It should be reversed

You are right, I got it the wrong way round.Apologies.
9 Sep 2019 #23
I did it in 1981 and the difference between Polish and Hungarian shops was shocking.

I did it in 1982 and it was simply marvellous. Hungary seemed almost like Heaven. A heaven to such an extent that Budapest seemed to me a finer place than London which I visited a year earlier, in 1981. A wonderful city with a wonderful majestic river running right through it. A river that London could only dream about ...

The first thing each of our student group did when we reached our camp site on the Danube was buying half of a big watermelon (a luxury in Poland of the marshal law) at a local open-air market and eat it all immediately on the place. I remember that it had cost me twenty forints and to this very day I remember the Hungarian phrase for it (húsz forint). Then, after seeing Budapest, we ventured on our trekking tour around the western part of Hungary.

Et in Arcadia ego ...
9 Sep 2019 #24
... not to mention those sexy Hungarian women... ;-)
9 Sep 2019 #25
Budapest is perhaps still the most physically beautiful capital city in Europe, including Paris, Prague, and Barcelona!
The Houses of Parliament (Az Orszaghaz) are truly breathtaking, as too the Hosok ter, nearly as majestic as Vienna's Heldenplatz:-)
9 Sep 2019 #26
Vienna is not a too distant 2nd IMHO...
9 Sep 2019 #27
Budapest though, when compared with either Polish cities I've visited namely one, or photos I've seen of Warsaw or Cracow, has a special charm, seemingly untouched by the bombings during WWII! Vienna was not that lucky.

Probably things have changed since the late '90's, but when I was there for my third visit since 1990, people noticing that I was a foreign tourist, would address me across the board only in German, rather than in English. I found this amusing, if at the same time completely understandable:-)
18 Apr 2020 #28
I think Polish and Swedish women are hotter. But yes, Budapest is probably the most beautiful European capital. Poland got most of its cities destroyed, Germany too, both of them as well as UK, Sweden, France and BeNeLux built ugly modernist and brutalist buildings in the 60s to 80s. Seems like Hungarian ones look less ugly for some reason. For a bad example see the Slovak Natiinal Gallery in Bratislava.

However what makes Hungary special apart from the exotic language and Budapest is it's the sunniest country in Europe together with Ukraine that is not part of the Mediterranean or the Balkans (Romania is kinda Balkan!).

Curiously Ukraine and Hungary also it have chernozem, a very rich and fertile soil found mostly in Ukraine, Northeastern Bulgaria (Dobrudzha), and strangely very small parts of Serbia and Romania. In fact Szeged area gets *more* of this soil and sunshine than most of Romania and Serbia! It's the best soil for agriculture. So with fertile soil and more sunshine than most non-Mediterranean and non-Balkan European countries, parts of Hungary must have a certain Southeastern European feel I assume, is it true?

I certainly need sun but not of the Spanish or Greek kind (way too hot in summer!). I can't stand too much heat like in Spain or North Africa but I dread overcast days. I was disappointed to find Stockholm of all places to have more sunshine hours yearly and also in winter than Tallinn and Warsaw!
27 Apr 2020 #29
It seems that Hungary is more accommodating for EN speakers until you learn the local language. At least if we look at the Postal service websites. is in both Magyar and English but Poczta Polska is in Polish only. But here's a breakdown of things:

Language: Polish is slightly easier.
Nature: Poland is more varied (mountains, sea) but Hungary has the better soils and less pollution
Climate: Hungary
Food: Hungarian is more varied but PL is better than Czech and German!
Women: Poland no contest
Architecture: Hungary
Salaries: Tie?
Economy: Poland
Friendliness: Magyars? Poles seem more reserved. Hungarians feel closer to me.
Poland is less centralized which is good if you don't like Warsaw that much. Hungary's all about Budapest, all jobs are there!

Commie/retro coolness: Poles had the Reksio cartoon, the cool Nysa van plus the Warszawa sedan and Fiat 126p. But also uglier commie flats and PRL architecture. Hungary produced better commie architecture but didn't make cars until the 90s. It made the cult Ikarus 280 buses though. Nu pogodi (Zayac i wolk)'s main theme song is Hungarian. Budapest appears briefly in Dire Strait's "Money For Nothing" video.

Hungary doesn't have its variant of PolishForum though. :)
18 Jul 2023 #30
In the meantime, there's nothing to compare. Orban's Hungary almost openly supports Russia. Poland supports Ukraine to the best of its ability and this will not change even if the opposition wins.

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