Many people think that Hungarian is a tough language to learn. Some even say it is among the top 10 most challenging languages in the world. We do not know that for sure, but there are a couple of things that sure make Hungarian a hard language to master. There are diacritic signs or accents in our language, which are not typical for all languages, especially English; some of our letters are pronounced differently compared to many languages, and Hungarian is an agglutinative language. And because Hungarian is its own thing, your other language knowledge will not help you much. For now, we have collected a few videos in which people make valiant efforts to take up arms and tongues against Hungarian. Have fun!
When trying to speak Hungarian for the first time, many foreigners struggle with our double letters such as ‘sz’, ‘gy’, ‘ty’, ‘cs’. In Hungarian, how English people usually use ‘s’ like would be the equivalent of ‘sz’. But it is another case regarding the other three, as not many languages use these sounds, so these are hard for many foreigners to pronounce. When you start learning Hungarian, this might be the first and most formidable barrier to overcome.
For many foreigners, Hungarian is confusing. Trying to pronounce Hungarian words only from text is hard. It is partly for the same reason that we mentioned before. We have double letters, but in the case of some words, these just end next to each other. Even if you know how to pronounce it correctly, this is something to look out for. In some other words, two regular letters next to each other will produce a different sound to make pronouncing it more manageable. One example would be ‘bicikli’. The ‘k’ there is pronounced more like a ‘g’ like in ‘good’, than ‘k’ as in ‘kick’, but the extent of which can be different among Hungarian regions.
Aside from the Hungarian double letters that usually come up in the first or second words, foreigners try to learn about the vowels with diacritic signs or accents (á, é, í, ó, ö, ő, ú, ü, ű). Some languages use these types of characters or at least similar ones, but for many languages, some of those are hard to pronounce or even understand at first. But one should not be afraid of them.
If you would like to learn some Hungarian, we have many language lessons. You can browse them HERE, but if you already know the proper pronunciation, we have a wordplay article for you with similar sounding words between English and Hungarian. Hungarians have left their mark on many things in the world, for example on the English language itself.
Hungarian ‘r’ is also different from how some languages say it. In Hungarian, it is bolder than, for example, in British English. American English is closer, but how we make the sound is that we “flicker” the tip of our tongue rapidly. Already, compared to a few decades back, the times the tip of the tongue is oscillating has almost halved.
This Dutch girl tries to speak Hungarian for the first time in this ASMR video. To be honest, her pronunciation is quite good, even without considering that this is the first time she speaks Hungarian. If you decide to learn Hungarian, do not be scared of whether your pronunciation is perfect or not. Hungarians are very happy if they hear anyone attempting to speak their language; it makes us feel like we are not alone in the world anymore.
In this last video, you can see how much the Hungarian pronunciation of these Americans has improved compared to how they first sounded. Practised ears can easily tell where people are from based on their pronunciation of Hungarian or their general accent. Hungarian is hard to learn but maybe even more challenging to master.
Featured image: Youtube
Source: Daily News Hungary