My name is Gyula. I was born and raised in Hungary. I graduated there. I speak an advanced level of English. If you are an English speaker and you want to learn Hungarian or improve your oral skills do not hesitate to book a class. Hungarian is my mother tongue, and I teach it as a foreign language to people of every age and all walks of life. I have a lot of patience and I know that learning a language takes time. I love writing and reading, the smell of new and old books. I believe that a good way to learn a foreign language is to listen to someone, who is speaking or initiating a conversation with the new words, to memorize them easily.
Learning Hungarian isn’t something to be rushed, but rather enjoyed. Don’t focus on how easy or difficult it is, but on the experiences that it opens the door to: understanding the pun-based jokes that Hungarians love to make, watching heart-wrenching undubbed films, drinking pálinka with your newfound Hungarian friends…
You might consider Hungarian a minority language, but there are plenty of good reasons to learn Hungarian.
Szép (it’s a beautiful language): Hungarian words and phrases are not just melodic but full of puns, twists and turns that will make you fall in love with the language.
Logikus (it’s logical): When you learn a new language, you learn more about your own language. While Hungarian grammar is entirely different from English, it’s very logical.
Hasznos (helpful, friendly Hungarians): Hungarians are wonderfully helpful when they hear you’re trying to learn their official language. Practising Hungarian words with a native speaker is a pleasure.
Kultúra (Hungarian is culturally rich and diverse): Immersing yourself in the Hungarian language and culture is an enriching and rewarding experience you won’t regret.
Something’s difficulty is subjective, but why has Hungarian in particular got itself this reputation? Mainly it’s because it’s completely different from all its European neighbours. While most European languages belong to the Indo-European language family, Hungarian is a Uralic language. This means that apart from modern loan words, it has no similarity to any languages outside this family. People with other native languages encounter different levels of difficulty with other languages. An easy example is that Hungarian is not so difficult for someone who is Finnish. Likewise, if someone has studied Latin at school, the extensive use of verb endings and the relative absence of the use of pronouns in Hungarian is not especially problematic. Something else that is disingenuous is the idea that the Hungarian alphabet has 44 letters. Combinations of letters to make a consistent sound such as gy, sz and zs are in fact classified as digraphs, not letters. If this incorrect ‘alphabet’ notion were to be applied to English then the English alphabet would be expanded to include combinations such as th, ch, ph, sh and ng to name but a few. Hungarian has a unique grammar and vocabulary, which can be difficult for speakers of other languages to learn. For example, Hungarian has 14 verb tenses (compared to just 3 in English), and uses a lot of compound words (e.g.megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért” meaning “for your unforgivable sins”).
Hungarian also has a complex sound system, with many sounds that are not found in other languages. For example, there are 12 different vowel sounds, and 18 different consonant sounds. This can make pronounce Hungarian words correctly quite difficult for foreigners.
So, overall, there are several reasons why Hungarian is considered to be a difficult language to learn. However, with enough time and effort, it is possible for anyone to master this fascinating language!
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