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Must-Watch Hungarian TV Series to Improve Your Hungarian

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Watching TV shows is a great way to learn a language, and Hungarian is no exception. For some people, it’s rather hard to find the motivation to sit down at a desk and open a language book. If you happen to be one of them, you’re going to love this article. We’re presenting you with the best Hungarian TV shows to help you study the language in a highly efficient way, without feeling like you’re actually studying. Sometimes tricking your brain is the way to go.

With the help of Hungarian TV series, you’ll be able to pick up slang words and detect any slang that’s being used in a conversation when you’re visiting Hungary. Of course, it depends on the kind of show you’re watching, but most of them use shortened language (slang), i.e. how people of a given nation actually use their language in their daily lives.

For this reason, it might be a bit challenging to improve your Hungarian by watching TV shows as you might come across words that aren’t in the dictionary. Instead, in such cases, you’ll have to rely on your instincts and try to master “reading from context” so that when you guess what the characters are saying, you actually succeed. We’re not going to lie: it takes practice. But the good thing is that practice here means watching Hungarian TV channels.

Watching TV shows of a given language is not only helpful for learning new phrases and vocabulary, but also for picking up expressions. For example, you can easily start to detect how Hungarians use body language and facial expressions when speaking. Do you see any gestures they’re often making when they say a certain sentence? Do they get angry or happy if they hear a given word or phrase? Do they articulate much or murmur under their nose? How does their face change when they say specific words or phrases? You can learn so much by watching Hungarian TV!

Okay, okay, but what are the best TV shows to learn Hungarian? Well, we’ve got you covered. We’ll introduce you to ten of the best Hungarian TV shows, and will even tell you how to stream Hungarian TV (legally, of course).

We hope you’re ready to study the fun way. Take a look at what we have for you and decide which show interests you the most.

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Table of Contents

  1. Animations
  2. Sitcoms / Dramas
  3. Talk / Reality Shows
  4. HungarianPod101.com Gives You the Best Ideas to Make Studying Fun

1. Animations

Show #1: Mézga család (The Mézgas) — 1968

Family of Four Watching TV

If you’re interested in old Hungarian TV shows, this is definitely worth a watch!

This show follows the Mézga family. Their thirteen-year-old boy, Aladár, is a genius. He creates gadgets and machines that make even time travel and travel through space possible. His family, however, often gets into trouble because they don’t know how to use these machines properly. Thus, Aladár always has to save his family.

His best friend and constant companion on his journeys is his dog, Blöki. Other members of the family include his stubborn and strict father, Géza Mézga, who doesn’t really approve of Aladár’s machines. His mother, born Paula Rezovits, often faints on their exciting journeys due to her poor nervous system. Aladár often fights with his not-so-bright sister, Kriszta, who has a pet cat named Maffia.

The story is built around these six characters and their spectacular journeys, though some episodes feature their angry neighbor, Máris. It also features, in speech only, Pisti Hufnágel, who used to be one of Paula’s past lovers. She often voices her regret of not marrying him instead of Géza.

This is one of the best Hungarian TV shows, though it’s not aired anymore. For this reason, you can only stream it; you can’t catch an episode of Mézga család if you’re watching Hungarian satellite TV. Since this Hungarian series is rather old, you’ll find that the slang the characters use is a bit outdated. This can be both a positive and negative aspect of watching this show.

Through watching this series, you won’t learn lots of slang, but rather the usual way that Hungarian works. Also, given its time of creation, you’ll probably be able to understand the speakers better, as the characters don’t speak as fast as people do these days.

Recurring Sentences in the Show

  • Anya, szólj rá!
    “Mom, rebuke him.”

Kriszta says this when Aladár is annoying her.

  • Miért nem a Hufnágel Pistihez mentem feleségül?
    “Why didn’t I marry Pisti Hufnágel?”

This sentence leaves Paula’s mouth in every episode. In the Hungarian version, the a (meaning “the” ) before the name Hufnágel Pisti is grammatically incorrect. You’re not supposed to say “the” before names, but that’s how people do it in Budapest and the surrounding areas, as well as in some Transdanubian places.

Show #2: A nagy ho-ho-horgász (The Great Fisherman) — 1982

The persevering fisherman (horgász) and his best friend, Chief Worm (Főkukac), are the main characters of one of the best Hungarian TV series. There’s nothing better than sitting at the breezy waterside on hot summer days. Our protagonist does the same and, in the meantime, gets himself involved in unexpected adventures.

For him, it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. On cold days, he fishes from rooftops and chimneys, and out of bathtubs, aquariums, and even fountains. Nothing stops him and his little friend from having a good time fishing.

You can expect the same kind of language exposure from this show as you can from Mézga család. It’s an old cartoon, but one of the best Hungarian children’s TV shows.

Recurring Sentences in the Show

  • Én fogtam ki a világ legjobb szívű halacskáját! Ez is világcsúcs!
    “I got to fish a little fish with the biggest heart. This is a world record, too.”
  • Megőrülök! Ez még a maradék halat is elriasztja! Ilyen tehetségtelen csalival kell nekem horgásznom!
    “I’m going crazy. He scares away even the remaining fishes. And I have to work with such untalented bait.”

2. Sitcoms / Dramas

If you want to watch Hungarian drama online, RTL Most and TV2.hu are going to be your best friends. These are the sites to check out even if you want to watch free Hungarian live TV online. Your favorite Hungarian television shows are only a few clicks away.

Show #3: Jóban rosszban (In Good and Bad) — 2005

The story of this Hungarian TV show is set in Csillagkút, a village not far from the capital of Hungary, Budapest. Life in this little village suddenly becomes quite lively after everyone starts talking about the Csillagvirág Clinic and its mysterious director, Péter Pongrácz (played by Tibor Gazdag, a great Hungarian actor and composer in real life). All that the residents of the village know about him is that he left his perfect life in the USA behind to come home to Hungary and open a private clinic in Csillagkút.

Everybody is happy that the old castle has been transformed into a new hospital…well, almost everybody. Előd Várnagy had different intentions for the castle, but Péter beat him to it.

Love stories, cheating, betrayals: these are all parts of everyday life at the Csillagvirág Clinic. Although the characters are willing to betray and even kill each other—and they do—some of them are willing to support one another…in good and bad.

By watching this series, you’ll be exposed to all kinds of language. You’ll encounter healthcare terminology as well as everyday expressions, including day-to-day conversations and slang. Thus, this is the perfect Hungarian TV series for you if you love drama and are open to learning Hungarian in a fun way.

Important Sentences in the Show

  • Egyet jegyezz meg! A szerelem elmúlik… de a férfiak ostobasága soha!
    “Remember one thing. Love fades away…but the stupidity of men never does.”
  • A kudarc kell. A siker elkényelmesít, de a kudarc megtanít megbocsátani, és megmutatja, hogy kik és mennyire fontosak az életünkben.
    “Failure is needed. Success makes you too comfortable, but failure teaches you to forgive and shows you who the important people in your lives are, and how much.”

Show #4: Barátok közt (Amongst Friends) — 1998

This one is an oldie but a goldie, and is a must-watch for Hungarian learners who want to experience popular Hungarian TV shows.

The main characters of this Hungarian TV show are the members of the Berényi family. This show has been following their everyday lives, and that of those living around them, for more than twenty years now.

The story starts with a bunch of kids who become really good friends. Later on in their lives, they end up living in the same block of flats, which is something they never would have thought. Their aim is to create modern mansions and a good community in the building where they first met as children. However, betrayals, hook-ups, and other surprising events make this seem like a rather hard thing to do.

This Hungarian TV show is perfect for you if you love drama, complicated relationships, and excitement.

In some cases, you can access the episodes on Hungarian TV channels online. Barátok közt is one of them. Just go to RTL Most (RTL Now) and you can stream all 20+ years’ worth of Barátok közt episodes right away.

Popular Quotes from the Series

  • Az emlékek megszépítik a múltat.
    “Memories make the past seem more beautiful.”
  • Nincs szeretet elfogadás nélkül.
    “There is no love without acceptance.”
  • Akár aggódsz, akár nem, az a dolgokon nem változtat.
    “Whether you worry or not, that does not change things.”
  • Egy férfinak minden helyzetben kell, hogy legyen terve.
    “A man must have a plan in all situations.”
  • A szerelem vak, és ez csak addig közhely, amíg a saját bőrünkön nem tapasztaljuk meg.
    “Love is blind and it is a cliché only until you experience it on your own skin.”

Which quote is your favorite?

Show #5: Válótársak (Divorce Buddies) — 2015

Bálint, Dávid, and Joci are best friends. Not only do they live together in their mancrib, but all three of them are going through a divorce. The show follows their lives through this process.

Bálint has cheated on his wife, Zsófi, so she files for divorce. Bálint is trying to get Zsófi back and ruin her forming relationship with his brother. However, Bálint can’t restrain himself and keeps cheating on Zsófi with other women.

Dávid, a rich entrepreneur, has been dumped after six years of marriage because his wife, Tamara, found him boring. Dávid gets a heart attack because of this, and he soon falls in love with his doctor, Dalma. While trying to win Dalma over, he’s in constant war with his ex. However, the stricter and harsher Dávid is with Tamara, the more she finds him interesting and wants him back.

Joci and Szonja have been trying to have a child for ages, but couldn’t succeed. As soon as they decide to break up, Szonja gets pregnant with twins. Joci is trying to escape the father role, so he even hires a lawyer, Leonóra, whom he soon starts to date and build a new relationship with. But Szonja isn’t going to let the love of her life be anybody else’s.

This is definitely one of those Hungarian TV programs that you can’t miss if you want to have a good laugh. It’s quite popular in Hungary, largely due to the fact that one of the main characters, Bálint, is played by the famous Hungarian actor András Stohl.

Regarding the language of the show, you might want to be careful, as this series is explicit and features intercourse and similar 18+ (or 16+) content. So, there you have it: if you want to learn Hungarian curse words and slang while having heaps of laughter, this is definitely the show to watch.

Famous Quote from the Show

  • Csak az első hiba számít, a többi az következmény.
    “Only the first mistake matters. The rest is the consequences.”

Show #6: Jófiúk (Good Boys) — 2019

This comedy is one of the newer TV shows in Hungarian and is a big hit nowadays in Hungary, alongside Válótársak.

Jófiúkis is a Hungarian TV series about a group of clumsy policemen who cause more problems than they solve. Gyula, a very unmotivated policeman, and his team are mistakenly relocated to the most ructious part of the city. On their first day, the team has already had to deal with a dead body, meanwhile Gyula and his family struggle with the new neighborhood.

This series is also explicit, but very funny at the same time. So, the same “rules” apply to this one as to Válótársak. If you want to have a good laugh and study Hungarian slang, you might want to consider watching this Hungarian TV show.

Famous Quote from the Show

  • Szolgálunk és védünk.
    “We serve and protect.”

This is the slogan of the Hungarian police.

Show #7: A tanár (The Teacher) — 2018

Old Teacher in Front of a Blackboard

This series gives an inside view of the lives of high-schoolers and their community. The episodes feature social issues such as adoption, search for identity, and rivalry amongst students. Each episode introduces the life of a student and their problems.

The main character is Szilárd, a chemistry, physics, and P.E. teacher (played by Ervin Nagy, who is rather famous in Hungary and also appears in theater plays). He tries to help the children in the school in his own way, which often puts a humorous spin on the show.

This series is worth watching for its interpretation of social issues and their take on them. The channel that airs this Hungarian TV show is RTL Klub, so if you’re interested in it, and you’re all for streaming Hungarian TV, you can easily watch this series on RTL Most.

Preparing for a Hungarian language exam is really no different than preparing for any other language exam. However, in the case of Hungarian, you might want to pay special attention to spelling, as the way Hungarians write and pronounce words differs greatly at times. Therefore, you might want to do as many mock tests regarding Hungarian grammar as you can. And we think A tanár is a great way to experience this first-hand.

Famous Quote from the Show

  • Isten hozott a birodalmamban.
    “Welcome to my empire.”

This is the first sentence, with which the main character, Szilárd, greets his students.

Show #8: 200 első randi (200 First Dates) — 2018

This is one of the best TV series for learning Hungarian.

It’s a witty, funny, and emotional story that follows the everyday life of a thirty-year-old woman, Luca, who’s a bit clumsy and disorganized.

Her sister’s engagement came as a great surprise to this single lady, and their mother makes bitter remarks on the fact that her sister will marry sooner than Luca, and that she’ll probably go to the wedding without a partner. Because of this, Luca swears that she will find The One in 200 days, meanwhile trying to live up to the expectations of her boss at work. Whether she succeeds and love finds her or not, and whether she manages to find herself, will be revealed in the sixty episodes that this Hungarian TV series has.

You’ve found the perfect show to watch if you fancy a good love story, and if you feel like you can relate to the main character. The dialogue is composed in a witty and funny way, so you won’t be bored for a second.

This series reflects on everyday Hungarian life, so you will find some slang in the show—but not teenagers’ slang. The pace of speech might be a bit too fast for beginners, but practice makes perfect. If you don’t hear something clearly, just rewind the episode a bit. This is one of the best aspects of watching Hungarian TV shows online!

Famous Quotes from the Show

  • Ahogy a nagymamám mondta, a dolgok legyenek áttekinthetőek, a csoki pedig jó tömény.
    “As my grandma used to say, things must be clear and chocolate high in cocoa.”
  • Mindig a jók mennek el… meg Félix.
    “Always the good ones go away…and Félix.”

3. Talk / Reality Shows

Show #9: Heti Hetes — 1999

This Hungarian TV show is different from the ones we’ve gone over so far. This almost works like a talk show, and it used to be aired once a week on Sundays (up until 2016). Seven people got together and talked about social issues, everyday life, the news, etc. It was very amusing as every guest was able to give their own perspective and take on the topic.

You’re not very likely to come across any slang—or maybe just a few slang words—in this series, as the guests are mainly middle-aged or elderly. The pace of speech, therefore, is normal, not usually too rushed. We have to admit, though, that you’re most likely to enjoy this show if you know more about Hungarian culture and news, as the topics are linked to current issues in the country.

This Show’s Theme Song

  • Politika, botrány, bulvár, pletyka, sztárhegyek. Ez a Heti Hetes, a feketeleves.
    “Politics, scandals, tabloids, gossip, mountains of celebrities. This is Heti Hetes, the black soup.”

This used to be the theme song of the show. “Black soup” in Hungarian refers to something unexpected and unpleasant. This reflects the controversial nature of the show, as the guests aren’t afraid to convey their real opinions, even if those opinions aren’t in favor of the government, for example.

Show #10: Való Világ (Real World) — 2002

Való Világ is one of the most-watched Hungarian reality TV shows.

There are thirty-six candidates, selected by a jury based on homemade videos, who will compete with each other to win over the viewers who can get them into the villa by a call or an SMS. Every day, there are three candidates at a time, and only one of them can get in. Once they’re all in the villa, the voting begins to eliminate each of them until there’s only one left inside—the winner.

There have been nine seasons so far, with a new season coming out roughly every two years. In each of the seasons, there’s always something new.

You’re going to love this Hungarian TV show if you’re all for reality shows. As all realities, this one is vulgar and explicit. In this type of show, the only thing you’ll hear are super-easy and short sentences—the very basic everyday Hungarian dialect, swear words, and slang.

However, you might want to double-check every expression before memorizing it, because the people in these shows are usually not the brightest and they often make grammar mistakes or simply use phrases or words the wrong way. This may be a good test for more advanced Hungarian learners, to see if you can spot the mistakes the candidates are making.

Important Quote from the Show

  • Itt a lét a tét.
    “Here ‘being’ is the stake.”

This is the motto of the reality show.

4. HungarianPod101.com Gives You the Best Ideas to Make Studying Fun

Wow, it was just like reading a Hungarian TV guide, right? Did we miss any good Hungarian shows you know about? If so, leave us a comment below and share your knowledge with fellow Hungarian learners!

Now that you’re familiar with the best TV shows to learn Hungarian, the major Hungarian TV stations, and how to watch Hungarian TV online… We wonder if there’s anything left to teach you.

You know now that RTL Most and TV2.hu are the best places for streaming Hungarian TV. All you need to take into consideration at this point are what genre you’re looking for, what you want to achieve or learn, and your current level of Hungarian. And you’re all set for a fun way of learning a challenging language.

With HungarianPod101, the learning never stops! There’s always something we can present to you or help you learn, we promise. Sign up, and become a part of our family.

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