There’s a stereotype of boorish Americans who, when they encounter someone doesn’t understand English, repeat themselves slowly and loudly. That this is actually helpful is one unexpected thing I’ve learned here (I suppose I should just say one thing I’ve learned here, since if I’d expected to learn it I could’ve just skipped ahead and known it)—repetition with a few seconds’ space between words is currently the only context in which I can follow almost all of a conversation.

I was reminded of this by that the few people I encounter here who don’t speak English, or at least who are uncomfortable enough with it to not switch into it quickly when we talk, are mostly at restaurants, and, surprisingly, there seems to be a negative correlation between the restaurant prices and my understanding of the Hungarian. (Except that the Napfenyes waiters are usually quite understandable, and that outlier probably flips the entire correlation, since the amount I spend on a meal there, at around $9, is about three times the prices of the other restaurants where I speak Hungarian.)

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