Language learning

Is Hungarian really that difficult? (No.)

Why learning Hungarian might be difficult? I think because most of the time you can only practice speaking with native speakers, while it’s easy to find people speaking English language on the same level as you. You probably learned the same kind of vocabulary in school as well. It’s always way more stressful to talk with native speakers. They are not teachers, they don’t know what words to use for the level you are on. Of course you find it very difficult, it is. But not the language, the situation. And you’re a hero!

Finding resources to learn might not be the easiest either. But I think, when we think about materials to practice, we are usually looking for course books, videos, movies and podcasts. There are so many ways of learning besides that too. I’m going to share how I like learning languages and I hope it’ll inspire you to find what you like 🙂

My study tips:

These ideas can be used regardless of your level of knowledge. I’ll share what I like, and what motivates me, what I enjoy. But please keep it in mind, that only you know what motivates you the best, and what you like. And it might sound very easy, but I know how hard it can be to figure out what motivates you. This list took me years of trying. Be creative, curious and find what you like. Studying doesn’t have to be sitting down and filling in course books all the time (but as for me I like doing that too 😀 ). It can be:

  • doing a workout video in Hungarian
  • browsing IKEA, Ebay or Aliexpress in Hungarian
  • reading a recipe and trying to analize it 
  • choosing a song, and trying to translate the lyrics
  • doing karaoke on Youtube with Hungarian songs
  • watching a (Disney) movie you know by heart in Hungarian and make notes
  • trying to think in Hungarian for ten minutes, when you’re on the way somewhere (ex. Zöld a lámpa. Felszállok a buszra. Munkába megyek. Ott egy cica. Ma csak kettőig dolgozom, utána masszázsra megyek. The traffic light is green. I get on the bus. I’m going to work. There’s a cat. Today I only work till two o’ clock, then I’m going to have a massage.)
  • writing a few sentences, or recording them asking native speakers to correct it, or how it sounds on HiNative app for free
  • talking with a Hungarian on iTalki for free
  • creating a playlist on Spotify or Youtube for Hungarian songs. Listening to the same songs often helps remembering vocabulary.

  • My favorite polyglot YouTuber, Lindie Botes has a cool collection of online resources for Hungarian and a Hungarian song playlist as well. Click here to check it out and thank you Lindie! Köszönjük!
  • For conjugation you can use Cooljugator

Please feel free to share your favorite methods in the comments, let’s help each other 🙂

Lit. Hard work will bear fruit

How to practice speaking? 

  • Find a study buddy who takes learning your native language just as seriously as you. This is how I practice Polish and German every week. On Skype. For free. Drinking coffee in my pj’s (that’s how I like it). 60 minutes each language. It can be less, it depends on what you agree on. I didn’t give up till I found someone. Please don’t give up, I’m sure you can find a Hungarian who wants to learn your native language. It might take some time, but you either have to pay with time or with money if you want progress. Finding a Hungarian friend can be an amazing motivating factor. Here are some links, where you can keep looking: 

If you live in Budapest:

International:

Apps:

How to check spelling?

Here is an amazing site, the Hungarian Academy of Science’s spelling website. If you type a word here and click on ’mehet’ it’ll tell you if it’s correct or not and what is the mistake.

If you’re not sure if it’s written together or separately (külön vagy egybe), you have to type the two words separately here.

You can also choose: dátumok (dates) and számok (numbers) on this site on the left side.

“Minden emberi tevékenység – a művészeteket kivéve – az érdeklődés intenzitásától és a befektetett energia mennyiségétől függ.” [Aside from mastery in the fine arts, success in learning anything is the result of genuine interest and amount of energy dedicated to it.]
– Lomb Kató, polyglot

How to learn fast?

  • Don’t look for methods how to learn faster. Look for ways how to enjoy it more. The more fun you have with it, the faster you’re gonna learn. Enjoying is the best factor to make learning faster. Because you will constantly want more and more. Hungarian language doesn’t have to be the bill you have to pay each week. It can become your cheese cake you want to eat every day. (Insert anything else you like, if you don’t like cheese cake. Let my message go through 😀 . Thank you!) 
  • Be patient and persistent! Let go of the term ’fast learning’. You can’t. No one can. If it’s about a learning a language, plan for years. Yes, years. And doesn’t matter for how long you have been learning, if you stop for months, your knowledge will fade. The only thing you can do, is to accept these things. It’s not good, not bad, it is what it is.
  • Don’t underestimate learning for 10 minutes a day. If you don’t have more time, just write down a few sentences each day and ask someone to correct them. Just read a little bit. Just listen to a song. Anything. Just keep in touch with the language. 10 minutes is better than nothing. Nothing is not better than anything.
  • Be curious! Today’s technology is amazing, use it! There are so many platforms and apps you can discover. Don’t wait for others to tell you what to try and what to use. Google it, download it, try it. If you like it use it, if not delete it and keep looking 🙂

“ A tanulás sohasem teher, hanem mindig kiapadhatatlan örömforrás.”
[Study has never been a burden for me, but always an inexhaustible source of joy.]
– Lomb Kató, polyglot

If you think Hungarian is difficult

My first advice is to stop making yourself believe Hungarian is difficult. It’s a language, just like the other 6500 ones. If you want to learn it, you will. Before you say how difficult it is, please think about:

  • Your motivation

If you don’t have any motivation, if you hate it, if it’s a must for some reason, I recommend working on finding something in it that you like, that you can enjoy. If you hate learning it, it’s not because it’s difficult. It’s because you hate it.

  • How much time you spend studying

If you don’t learn every day, or at least 5 times a week you can’t expect fast progress. If you want progress without hard work, it’s not gonna happen. Regularity is the key. Remember, 10 minutes is better than nothing.

  • How often do you practice speaking?

You think you have to work on your grammar and vocabulary for speaking. Actually you have to work on letting these thoughts go: ’I sound horrible’, ’I know I don’t speak correctly’ ’I will only say it, when I’m sure it’s correct’. Say everything in Hungarian what you can if you have the chance to talk to Hungarian speakers. You have to make yourself get used to how you sound in Hungarian. For me whenever you speak in Hungarian you sound amazing!

Language learning

Duolingo

Scroll down for English version.

Sokan kérdeztétek, hogy ajánlom-e a Duolingot magyar tanuláshoz. Összegyűjtöttem egy pár előnyét és hátrányát, és a galériában megnézhetitek a magyar tanulók által beküldött kedvenc példamondatokat.

Előnyök

  • Gyorsan lehet vele alapszókincset tanulni teljesen kezdőknek.
  • Webes felületen van nyelvtani magyarázat, átnézhetjük mielőtt gyakorolunk.
  • Mindennapi használatra ösztönöz. (Én kifejezetten szomorú leszek tőle, ha véletlenük kihagyok egy napot és nem dicsér meg a bagoly T_T)
  • Sok az ismétlés – erős alapokra lehet építkezni.

Hátrányok

  • Csak magyar-angol verzióban elérhető. Ha nem tudsz angolul, nem tudod használni.
  • Telefonos verzióban nincs nyelvtani magyarázat, csak webes felületen.
  • A példamondatok nem mindig túl hasznosak (lásd: galéria :D)

Használjam, vagy ne használjam?

Ez az a kérdés, amire nem tudok válaszolni. Neked kell kipróbálni, és egy nagyon egyszerű kérdésre válaszolni. Neked tetszik? Ha igen, használd, ha nem, akkor ne. Az a lényeg, hogy téged motiváljon. Próbálj meg olyan gyakorlási módszert találni, amivel szívesen foglalkozol, amit tudsz jókedvvel csinálni.

Én személy szerint jelenleg spanyolul duolingozom, és nagyon szeretem. Engem motivál, hogy egyre feljebb kerülök a Gold League ranglistáján (ma kapta egy üzenetet a bagolytól, hogy lecsúsztam három hellyel, és azonnal megcsináltam három pályát, nehogy visszakerüljek a Silvel League-be). Én szeretek sokat ismételni, és a fordítós módszert is élvezem. A hasztalan példamondatokat pedig felhasználom. Spanyol nyelven írok hozzá valamilyen megjegyzést, így magamtól kell mondatot alkotnom, és még szórakoztató is. Nekem.

De lehet, hogy neked nem. Egy próbát megér 🙂

A macskámmal? Komolyan? Biztos, hogy nem.

English version

Many people have asked me if I recommend Duoling for Hungarian learning. I have collected a few pros and cons and you can see the sample examples posted by Hungarian learners in the gallery.

Pros

  • Beginners can learn basic vocabulary fast.
  • There’s grammar explanation option if you use it from your PC or laptop.
  • It encourages you to learn every day. (It makes me very sad, when I skip a day accidentally, and the owl doesn’t praise me T_T)
  • There’s a lot of repetition, you can build a strong base.

Cons

  • It’s only available in English, so if you don’t speak English you can’t use it (then you’re probably not reading this)
  • There’s no grammar explanation in the mobile application
  • The example sentences are not always very useful (see the gallery :D)

To use it, or not to use it?

Personally, I currently do Spanish duoling and I really like it. It motivates me to move up the Gold League rankings (I received a message from the owl today that I slid down three spots and I completed three levels right away so I didn’t get back into the Silver League). I like to repeat a lot and I also enjoy the translating method. And I use useless example sentences. I write a comment about it in Spanish, which makes me build my own sentences, and it’s also a lot of fun. For me.

Might not be for you. It’s worth a try 🙂