Translators and Interpreters


Source Languages: English, Hungarian, German, French, Latin

Target Languages: Hungarian, English 

Helen M. Szablya, Consul General
Consulate General of the Republic of Hungary
President, Consular Association of WA
2901 NE Blakeley St. #500
Seattle WA, USA
Phone: 206-432-9767


Although we do translation and interpretation into English and Hungarian from all the languages shown on the letterhead, our main line of business is English to Hungarian, Hungarian to English, and Latin to English or Hungarian.  However, we also translate French and German (text may be in Gothic letters) into English or Hungarian, and, sometimes we accept translations where the target language is Latin.

In order to assure clear cut understanding, we often give explanations we call “translating ways of thinking” or “translating through the generation-gaps.”

We have wide background and experience in areas of subject mattr including, but not limited to, medical, legal, energy, environment, waste, business, marketing and advertising, economics, journalism, scientific, computer hardware and software, literary, including video translations and voice-over. We did books, manuals, specifications, software localizations, depositions, annual reports, videos, private and business correspondence, personal documents, etc.

We can notarize and authenticate documents: Helen is an Honorary Consul General of Hungary and a Notary Public for the State of Washington.

We worked with well over 100 agencies from all over the USA in the past years.

Please give us a call, or send an e-mail, if we can be of service to you and fax or e-mail a few typical pages of the source text.

We accept assignments only if we have the expertise to do a very good job.

We hope to hear from you soon.







Raised in a bilingual (Hungarian-German) family environment in Budapest, Hungary. Started learning French at age six, English at 12, Latin at 11, Russian at 16. Have lived in Canada and the USA since 1956.


Translated and interpreted for foreign guests from an early age. Her first major assignment was as a teenager acting as interpreter/translator for her father, president/owner of Hungary's largest drugstore chain and related industries, at a series of meetings with Elizabeth Arden in Paris, Geigy in Basel, and others.


Was translator for the Hungarian National Technical Library and the Technical University of Budapest. She is also an award-winning author and journalist in both English and Hungarian and has continued with translation/interpretation ever since she left Hungary. Longtime US citizen she was President of the Washington Press Association.


Helen Szablya is an Active (professional, voting) Member of the American Translators Association (ATA) since 1987, and founding member of both the Northwest Interpreters and Translators Society (NOTIS) and the Washington Court Interpreters and Translators Society (WITS). She and her husband authored several publications dealing with translating/interpreting, including a one-day workshop at the ATA Conference in Washington DC.




After the Szablyas had left Hungary, the Canadian Embassy in Vienna assigned them to act as interpreters for the Sopron University to be settled in Vancouver BC. They were the only translators/interpreters for 500 people initially. This involved work in all possible combinations in Hungarian, German, French and English. It also included completing way over 1,000 visa applications and other forms.


In Vancouver BC they continued their work with The University of British Columbia (where Dr. Szablya was appointed to the faculty immediately after their arrival), immigration, courts, schools, hospitals, etc., and private individuals.


Since settling in the State of Washington the Szablyas continued translating/interpreting. They worked with Washington State University, where Dr. Szablya was professor, and adviser to foreign engineering students, and Mrs. Szablya received her BA with Distinction in Foreign Languages and Literatures (Russian, German, French). In addition they have been translating/interpreting for schools, courts, immigration, hospitals, corporations, etc. Since their move to Metropolitan Seattle they have been actively involved in translation/interpretation. Involved languages are mainly English, Hungarian, and German, French, and Latin translations. They have been working with over 100 agencies in the past years. Their specialties include business, management, law, medicine, public relations, economics, and finance. They also do video translations, including timing and voice-over.


They have extensive experience in legal interpreting. They started interpreting for courts in Canada and have been doing so for Federal, State, County, and City courts in the State of Washington. They interpreted at many hearings, depositions, etc. They attended several courses offered by the Washington [State] Bar Association.





Helen M. Szablya is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Hungary, and also an American Notary Public.





Helen M. Szablya

Translator, Interpreter, Writer

Consul General of Hungary

Past President, Consular Association of WA

Past president Washington press association

Active Member, American Translators Association

2901 NE Blakeley St. #500, Seattle WA, USA
Phone: 206-432-9767, Fax:206-432-9774, E-mail:




B.A. with distinction (equivalent to summa cum laude) Foreign Languages and Literatures (Russian, German, French), Washington State University.  Other languages: English, Hungarian, Latin.

Diploma in Sales and Marketing Management (forerunner of Executive MBA), The University of British Columbia, Canada.



Several legal credit courses offered by the Washington State Bar Association and courses sponsored by Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Commerce.



1993-present  Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Hungary for the States of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho

1990-1993     Publisher and editor of Hungary International, monthly newsletter on business with Hungary. Won two awards from Wash. Press Assoc. (WPA).

                     Lecturer (won first WPA prize).

1989-present  Owner - President, Szablya Consultants, Inc., translation agency and trade consulting.

1987-1989      Inquiring Mind Lecturer, on Hungary, Washington Commission for the Humanities.

1987-1988    President of the Washington Press Association (WPA). "Presidents' Award" from National Federation of Press Women. "Communicator of Achievement", the highest award given by WPA.

1985-1986    Coauthor and project director of the play "Hungary Remembered", won several national and international awards, incl. George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation, Voice of America transmitted releases in 42 languages.

1984-present  Hosted and organized lectures, concerts, as well as publicity, for visiting writers and other celebrities.

1980-1991     Weekly column in Trinidad, West Indies, a developing  country.

1974             "Energy and Culture" lecture at EUROCON '74.

1967-present  Writer, columnist, lecturer, translator: four books, a play, and over 700 articles in English.

1965-present Writer with over 700 articles published in English, others in Hungarian and German, two books, one play, several translations.

1957-1963    Assisted with resettling a Hungarian university at The University of British Columbia, in Vancouver B.C., Canada.

1949-present Simultaneous and consecutive interpreter, and translator: Court, legal, medical, literary, technical and scientific texts, books and videos; e.g. Larry King Show on CNN, AT&T, Berlitz, etc.




American Translators Association (ATA), Active (professional) Member

Northwest Interpreters and Translators Society (NOTIS), Founding Member

Washington Court Interpreters and Translators Society (WITS), Founding Member.    


AWARDS (partial listing)


‘Spirit of Liberty Award” Ethnic Heritage Council, 2011

Presidential Order of Merit from the Republic of Hungary, 2005.

First prize for the book "Fall of the Red Star", Washington Press Association (WPA), 1996, First prize National Federatio of Press Women ((NFPW), 1996.

"Special Articles", WPA 1992, in tie with The Seattle Times.

"First Place for Speeches: Translate Ways of Thinking!" WPA, 1990.

"Community Woman of the Year", American Business Women's Association, 1990.

"Excellence in Journalism" - Editorials, Society of Professional Journalists, 1990.

"Public Service Group Achievement Award", National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), 1989.

"First Place for Columns in a Weekly", WPA, 1987

"George Washington Honor Medal", Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, 1988.

"First Place in Editorial Writing", National Federation of Press Women (NFPW), 1988.

"Senator Tom Martin Memorial Award for Literary Achievement in the Field of Social or Political Commentary", Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, 1979.


LISTED WITH (partial listing)

Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Hungarians in America




©2000 Dr. John F. Szablya


The Hungarian language is not related to any of the Indo-European languages. It is a Ural-Altaic language. The grammar and structure of Hungarian differs basically from almost all other European languages. In Europe only the Finn (Estonian, Lapp) language(s) is related to the Hungarian language (so say the linguists).


The following presents some of the major differences:


o To start with, the Hungarian language does not have the verb "to have." One can say in Hungarian "it is mine", "it is my property", "it belongs to me", but the concept "to have" does not exist. (Try to speak for five minutes without using the verb "have.") By the way, it takes a long time to make a Hungarian fully comprehend the concept of "to have" when he/she first learns an Indo-European language.

o Hungarian makes compound words galore. E.g. "file name," a word used extensively today, is "fájlnév" in Hungarian.

o The Hungarian language uses prefixes and suffixes. For example, "I love you" is one word in Hungarian: "szeretlek" which includes "love", "I", and "you" and expresses the relation between the three. Or the eight words "they may have let him/her play the role" is only one in Hungarian: "szerepeltethetnék."

o By using compound words, prefixes and suffixes the number of words is less in Hungarian (usually between 20 to 30 percent less) than for the same text in English. For the same reason, the average word length is longer in Hungarian by approx. 35% (7.5 character per word in Hungarian versus 4.5 in English). The combination of the two results in a Hungarian text which is usually longer (has more lines/pages by about 5 to 10 percent) than its English equivalent, but its number of words is less (by approx. 20 to 30%).

o Hungarian has only one present, one past, and one future tense. Phrases like "has been", "have been", etc. do not exist. Or "I am eating" can be translated only as "I eat". If this is not sufficient, it has to be circumscribed e.g. "I still eat." Furthermore Hungarian uses present tense for future tense most of the time and uses future tense only when it wants to emphasize that the event will occur in the future.

o There is no passive structure in Hungarian. "I was told..." can be said only as "They told me..." (another feature of Indo-European languages that Hungarians have to struggle with when learning a foreign language).

o The verb "to be" is omitted in many Hungarian sentences which means that there are sentences without predicates (verbs). E.g. "She/he is beautiful" in Hungarian is "szép" ("he/she[2] beautiful").  Explanation given in grade school : it is obvious that she/he is beautiful, why say it then.

o Consider a sentence which includes a numeral, or any term which indicates amount, like "many," in conjunction with a noun e.g. "six eggs." In this case singular is used in Hungarian: "hat tojás" i.e. "six egg." Grade school explanation: if it says it's more than one, why repeat the plurality. (Languages have their own rules which many times defy common logic.)

o  If the letter "t" is attached to a noun it indicates that the word is a direct object. Consequently, the direct object can always be identified in the sentence and, therefore, the order of words (which in English is: subject, predicate, direct object, modifiers) do not have to follow any pattern.

o As a consequence of the preceding, the order of words plays a significant role in the Hungarian language. The same words put into a different order can mean something considerably different. E.g. "Tudunk temetni" means "We know how to bury (the dead)" but in reverse order "Temetni tudunk" means something different "How to bury people - that is one thing we really know"[3].

o There is one feature which makes the Hungarian language easier to use: it has no gender. In third person it distinguishes only between a person (ő) and not a person (az). Again, it is difficult to learn for a Hungarian that, particularly in German and French, and to some extent even in English, objects have a gender (country and ships are "she" in English).


The above is by no means a complete listing.

All these indicate why it is by several levels more difficult to translate from/into English into/from Hungarian than it is with German-English, French-English, Spanish-English, etc. language pairs.

In closing, for the fun of it, an R rated example is presented:

To do (something) is "csinálni." However, with prefixes the word will have considerably different meanings.

"Megcsinálni" = to do and complete it, also to repair (that's not too far from the original meaning).

"Becsinálni" (verbatim: "do into") = to wet your pants.

"Összecsinálni" (verbatim: "do together") = not just wet your pants but No.2 also.

"Lecsinálni (verbatim: "do down") = shit onto someone (Sorry, I warned you...).

"Felcsinálni" (verbatim: "do up") = to make a woman pregnant[4].


And that's not all, but probably enough for today.



1 Hungarian does not have gender. See last bullet.

2 The Man Who Loved Numbers (book) by Paul Hoffman, Hyperion, New York, p.62.

3 Frequently used slang.



Phone: 206-432-9767, Fax:206-432-9774  E-mail:

[1] We have programs that can read and convert text generated with almost any word processor.

[2] Hungarian does not have gender. See last bullet.

[3] The Man Who Loved Numbers (book) by Paul Hoffman, Hyperion, New York, p.62.

[4] Frequently used slang.