ESL Students’ Issues: 7 points Hungarian students should mind when essay writing
Students from Hungary who attend colleges in countries that primarily speak English may have difficulties in their writing, even if they already know some English. This is because English and Hungarian are from two very different language families. English is a Germanic Language, while Hungarian is a Uralic language. This major difference makes the two languages wording, grammar, and phrases have major differences. Some of these main differences and what to do about them will be discussed in this article.
1. Words Aren’t Always Spelled as They Sound
While not all words in Hungarian are spelled as they sound, many are. However, hardly any words in English are spelled as they sound, which can be a major problem for many new ESL students. It is important to keep this in mind while writing papers. However, if you are using a program with a good spell checker, like Microsoft Word, you may be able to correct your spelling easily. In this case,
if you don’t know how a word is spelled, spell it as it sounds, and the spell checker should be able to give you the correct spelling, so long as you are close enough to the correct spelling.
2. Learn Prefixes and Suffixes
English has more prefixes and suffixes than Hungarian does. Both of these types of affixes add to a word, and they often change the word’s meaning. This is why is important to know what an affix means and how it is spelled. Click here to see a list of some of the most common prefixes and suffixes in the English language. Commit these to memory, and both your spelling skills and general vocabulary are sure to expand.
3. English is NOT as Flexible as Hungarian
Hungarian has what is called a “flexible word order.” This means that sentences can be ordered in different ways and still be grammatically correct. However, this is not the case in English. For example, “I like my cat,” is grammatically correct, but “My cat, I like.” is not, even though it can be easily understood by English speakers. It is important to know the correct word order in English.
In most sentences, the correct work order is SVO, which stands for Subject, Verb, and Object. However, not all sentences have objects, and some may appear like they do not have subjects. To learn more about word order in English, read this article.
4. Learn Different Letter Pronunciations
While Hungarian and English share some of the same letters, some of the letters they share (while they look exactly the same in print) are pronounced differently when spoken. For example, the letter S is one of the letters that are pronounced differently.
By watching this video you can get a good idea of how certain English letters are pronounced in American English.
5. Words Are Stressed Differently
In Hungarian, the first syllable of a word is always given the most stress. However, this is not the case in English.
Words can be stressed the most in the beginning, middle, or even on the end. It all depends on the word.
This does not affect writing much, but it can be used in conversation and oral reports, so it is important to note the difference.
6. English Is Similar to German
Since German is one of the most common languages spoken in Hungary, and one of the languages most often taught as a second language in schools, it can be helpful to note that English and German have many similarities. For one, they are both Germanic languages, so they have many of the same root words and English words often have similar spellings and pronunciations. For example, the word “hund” and “hound” are both words for “dog.”
While German is similar to English, it can also be noted that most Americans do not know how to speak German. German is often taught as a second language in schools, like in Hungary, but it is not stressed as much as other languages. Most Americans instead learn how to speak basic French or Spanish in middle and high school.
7. Schools Are Similar
Schools in Hungary are structured in much the same way that they are in the United States.
School begins around the same age and ends around the same time. The same basic subjects are also taught at both schools. So, even though there are language barriers, you can expect your English-speaking peers to be on par in every other educational realm. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that you can write about any common subject you learned in school in Hungary, and it should be easily understood by an American audience.
There are many differences between English and Hungarian, but through careful study of the differences between these languages, you can learn how to write a professional academic essay with someone’s help.
By following the tips in this paper, and using the resources linked within, you are sure to improve your English writing and speaking skills.