How I am learning Hungarian

“My superpower is speaking Hungarian? You?”


“My superpower is speaking Hungarian? You?”

Hungarian is pretty darn hard… I’d say it is harder than any other language I am learning, putting it above Russian and Chinese. But it is not impossible, and here is how I am attempting to learn it:

Firstly, at the moment I am not receiving lessons from a teacher (though I will do in a short while).

So at the moment I am using the Duolingo Hungarian course. I find Duolingo to be very good for languages that have similar grammar to a language that you already speak proficiently because Duolingo doesn’t actually teach you the grammar or the conjugations etc. This is alright for languages that have a basic or similar grammar, but for Hungarian, which has such an alarmingly different grammar, Duolingo is not the best. For example, with Duolingo you would never know that the case endings depend on the harmony (vowels) of the word. Therefore I think that it is good to learn the vocabulary but not ideal for learning the language as a whole.

Mostly I am learning the language by talking to people in Hungarian.

The first words I learnt were out of necessity. Such as:

Police-Rendőrség    Ambulance-Mentők    Fire-Túz    English(language)-angolul

1    egy

2    kettő

3    három

4    négy

5    öt

6    hat

7    hét

8    nyolc

9    kilenc

10  tíz

11  tízenegy

I have already learnt phrases by talking to people and looking outside (mostly at shop signs).

Hol van a busz? Where is the bus.

van means is but is not necessary: En olasz – I am Italian – no need for ‘to be’ like in Russian. “a” or “az” before a vowel is the determinate in Hungarian.

The way I have learnt Hungarian means that I can not ask for directions or ask someone how old they are, however I can use an adverb in the comparative.

En jóbban beszélek magyarul mint te.  I speak Hungarian better than you.

Jó means good and is often used in greetings. Jó napot/ Jó estét. Jó or any other adverb can be made comparative by adding ‘bban’ or ‘bben’ as far as I am aware.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent (or lack of it) of my Hungarian knowledge.


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