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Student’s guide to learn the Hungarian language

Student's guide to learn the Hungarian language

Tarek Floyd

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Hungary is a European country also known as Hungary. It is a member of the European Union. Its capital is Budapest. Its area is 93 thousand km². With a population of about 10 million people. Its official language is Hungarian.

Hungary is a destination for the discerning tourist who is looking for what civilizations that have passed through them have produced and left the imprints of their artistic, engineering and architectural monuments in its various cities and towns, which are rich in cultural and artistic heritage.

With regard to university education, Hungary’s universities are one of the oldest and best universities in Europe and perhaps in the world. Hungarian universities have repeatedly been in the list of the top 100 universities in the world, including Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Szeged University and Ötvös Lorand University.

There are also famous private universities, including Budapest University Metropolitan Hungary’s presence in the EU gives its university degrees more value than those of non-EU countries

Hungary has also become a destination for students looking for education abroad, as it offers distinguished scholarships and receives a large number of international students annually, so if you want to apply for these scholarships and visit Hungary or live in it, you must learn the Hungarian language.

Student's guide to learn the Hungarian language

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The importance of learning the Hungarian language:

  • Hungarian opens the doors to life or travel in Central and Eastern Europe. While it is the only official language in Hungary and one of the official languages ​​of the European Union, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Austria recognize it as a minority language as well.
  • Hungary is a country rich in history and culture and the language will help you get a taste of it in an authentic way. Hungary has produced some of the best poets, writers, and composers of the past centuries.
  • Pop culture in Hungary is extensive and manifests itself in contemporary music, novels, poetry, filmmaking and much more. It goes without saying that language is the key to all of these.
  • If you want to get a scholarship in Hungary, your knowledge of the country’s language will increase your chance of being accepted and help you to get along with students at the university faster and easier.

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The main characteristics of the Hungarian language:

Hungarian is a non-Indo-European language:

This is what makes the Hungarian language so different from most widely studied languages. Most European languages ​​(English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, etc.) belong to the Indo-European language family, the only exceptions being Basque, Finnish, Estonian and Turkish. But even languages ​​like Hindi, Urdu, and Persian are Indo-European languages, which means that English technically have more in common with them than Hungarian.

Hungarian belongs to the Ugric branch of the Finno-Ugric grouping of the Uralic language family

The three most well-known Finno-Ugric (and Uralic) languages ​​are Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian. Honestly, we’ve never heard of any other language from this family, but a quick search on Wikipedia will give you the Komi, Udmurt, Moksha, and Arzya languages. Since they are in different branches, the Hungarian language in its application has nothing to do with Finnish or Estonian. Maybe like English with Albanian for example. Both are in the same language family but in different branches. Long story – the Hungarian language is isolated.

Hungarian word order:

Another factor that distinguishes Hungarian from other, more common languages ​​is the prominent sentence structure of the subject. In Hungarian, word order is not determined by the components of the regular sentence (subject, verb, thing) but rather by the communicative intentions of the speaker – what the speaker wants to emphasize.

You will often hear that the Hungarian language has a flexible word order, but this is not true. It follows rules other than most languages ​​and the word order relates to the subject in question and not to the grammatical components of the sentence.

Does Hungarian have anything in common with other languages?

Despite the uniqueness of its language, Hungary is an industrial country in the heart of Europe and is nothing but an isolated country. This is also evident in the language, which means that Hungarian has borrowed a lot of international words that it incorporates into its everyday use. If you take a look at all the international words in the Hungarian language, you will find that you already know more than you think.

Student's guide to learn the Hungarian language

The nature of the Hungarian language: stacking

We can also call stacking the core of the language – it’s one of the distinguishing elements that make Hungarian so Hungarian. Stacking is related to glue and is the process of gluing all those prefixes and suffixes to the beginnings and endings of words, thus expressing time, place, relationships and everything else related to grammar.

This is how insanely long words appear – instead of being in our house (3 words in English) Hungarians say házunkban (Our house is in) and use only one word.

Other popular agglutinative languages ​​are Turkish, Korean, and Japanese.

In contrast, English is an analytic language. Instead of affixing directly to words, it uses auxiliary words (such as prepositions) to express relationships.

Hungarian Alphabet and Pronunciation:

Hungarian uses an extended version of the Latin alphabet. Hungarian is officially a fully phonetic language which means you say and write everything based on the alphabet and the pronunciation of its single letters. This is true for written Hungarian but in reality, everyday spoken Hungarian often deviates significantly from its formal phonetic character.

The alphabet consists of 44 letters, some of which are numeric graphics and there is also a triangle font plus you will see a lot of diacritics. Remember that each letter – regardless of its unfamiliarity and funny strokes – represents one sound and no more.

Consonants come in the form of single letters (b, c, d, f, etc.), digraphs (cs, gy, ty, etc.), or the triangular shape dzs.

All vowels have both short and long forms – what the diacritics indicate is a longer pronunciation of the vowel in question.

It is not as complicated as it seems and you can learn and understand the alphabet in less than an hour.

How to learn the Hungarian language:

  • Learn the alphabet: and learn it correctly. We already touched on this above but we want to stress this time and time again. It’s so tempting to skip that, print out the cheat sheet and move on to the more fun stuff, but you’ll never understand the Hungarian language if the alphabet doesn’t become your lifeline. It’s best to understand this at first, but it’s never too late. After getting a basic overview of each letter and its corresponding sound, you need to understand how these sounds behave in words. Since spoken Hungarian can be anything but verbal, you need a solid foundation for that to be able to follow up on a conversation later.
  • Learn Numbers Numbers are everywhere and the most rational among us would argue that you can explain the whole world with them. Although I’m not sure about that, dealing with numbers is something you won’t find your way into easily. I won’t lie, this isn’t going to be the most fun activity on your Hungarian trip but understanding how counting works in Hungarian is generally an easy win.
  • Get ready and start learning the 500 most common Hungarian words: While you don’t need to know all of them before you go ahead, the next critical step after learning the alphabet and numbers is to start learning the 500 most common words and make this part of your pre-set study routine
  • Learn to introduce yourself and make complete sentences.
  • Learn Grammar and Grammar.
  • Start by listening and understanding.

The most important references for learning the Hungarian language:

Platforms:

Other sites:

  • The Cooljugator : Pairs nearly 3000 Hungarian verbs for you in one click, in every form, showing both definite and indefinite conjugations.
  • Foro: to pronounce. All pronunciations are recorded by native speakers (male and female) so you can get a good feel for all the nuances a word can sound like, depending on the speaker.
  • Wikiszótár: A great monolingual dictionary. Comes with pictures and multiple example sentences for each word. It explains the multiple uses of the word and also highlights suffixes and prefixes. Fortunately, it works well with Google Page Translate. A powerful resource for getting to know a word in its context.

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