One of the better known (to foreigners) examples of a compound Hungarian term. In Hungary it can be understood as

  1. cheers (as in to your health)
  2. bless you (when you sneeze)

An explanation of this word is a good example of the agglutinative tendency of the Hungarian language.

Basically, the root of the word is egész, which generally means "whole", even "decimal place".
Add the suffix ség - egészség means "health", or "well-being"
The suffix ed means "you" or "your"
The suffix re means "to"
Therefore, egész+ség+ed+re "to your good health"

As for pronunciation, don't let the length of the word put you off. Hungarian words are pronounced syllable by syllable (so it is always possible to recognise the word roots), and most letters closely approximate a recognisable English language equivalent. Bear in mind, however, that the "r" sound in Hungarian is rolled with the tongue in all circumstances. The "sz" that you see is one consonant and is pronounced like an "s". However, the "s" in Hungarian is pronounced like an English "sh". If you're not confused yet, try learning some Polish words, where the pronunciation of these consonants is reversed.

eg - IS - SHE - ged - re

Not the easiest thing to say at the best of times.

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