The aim in translating the song texts has been a clear rendering of the sense rather than indulging in effects or rhythm or vocabulary. Line for line, the English text follows the Hungarian, and any necessary amplification or explanation has been put in brackets. In all folk songs there are many untranslatable colloquialisms, plays on words, and passages complicated by obscure symbolism or as a result of the age-long process of oral transmission. In such cases, wherever possible, a suitable English idiomatic equivalent has been used. Within the limits of stylistic unity, the translators have tried to keep the individual flavour of such passages, and so convey some idea of the linguistic variety of the original.

Hungarian pronunciation may briefly be indicated as follows: The stress is always on the first syllable. Unaccented vowels are short, and accented as in pleasur, cs = ch, y softens the preeceding consonant and is pronounced together with it (e.g., egy (one) = edge).