Hungarian is a beautifully complex language. Many foreigners are staggered by this very complexity at first, but do not fret! Continue reading to find out the best way to begin your Hungarian language learning journey!
There is no getting around it: without a firm knowledge of the alphabet, you will run into difficulties further on. In addition to studying the alphabet, learn to pronounce each letter as well! This learning hack does not apply only to the Hungarian language. All languages require a firm understanding of basic fundamentals The following video from Hungarian Pronunciation might be handy.
#2 Learn the number in Hungarian
It is important to know the numbers, even if only at a very basic level, no matter which language you study. Do not worry, compared to many other languages’ complex numerical systems, you will get the hang of the Hungarian way of counting in no time! Here is another video from Hungarian Pronunciation that helps you master this facet of the language.
#3 Understanding agglutination
This is where Hungarian linguistics turns confusing. If you are a beginner, you should not try to grasp all the morphology of the language overnight. The main point is to have an idea of what agglutination is. The Glossary of Linguistic Terms defines it as such: “An agglutinative language is a language in which words are made up of a linear sequence of distinct morphemes and each component of meaning is represented by its morpheme.”
At its core, Hungarian expresses the time, location, relation, and various grammatical functions through gluing together affixes.
While in English you might say “I ate it.” in Hungarian you can express the same with a single word: “Megettem.”
#4 The word order
One of the most interesting aspects of our language is its sentence structure. Instead of being defined by the subject-verb-object principle, speakers can zero in on the emphasis of the sentence. Even if Hungarian is a more topic-oriented language, that does not mean it can defy linguistic rules. HungarianPod101 published an excellent article on this, delving into the subject more thoroughly.
#5 The most frequently used Hungarian words
Before reaching our last point, here is one that will most certainly improve your knowledge of Hungarian in no time. All languages have a certain list of words that most commonly appear in that given language, Hungarian is the same. Learning some core words can really get you far. Core words refer to the language that we use most frequently in our day-to-day communication.
Last, but not least, is the importance of immersion. Take the term immersion in an all-encompassing sense; be it the linguistics, history, culture, or people of a given language, immersing ourselves in these is one of the best ways to improve our language skills. After you studied some grammar, why not look up key events that influenced the language? While you are at it, exploring the culture and tradition of the people of Hungary can establish a more personal connection with the language. And of course, actively speaking the language, preferably around locals, is key!
We hope that you found this short list inspiring to dig deeper to the riches of the Hungarian language. Happy learning!