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Lesson Transcript

Simone:All about Lesson 14. Top 5 Mistakes Not To Make When Speaking Hungarian. In this lesson, you will learn five of the most common mistakes people make when they are learning Hungarian.
Csaba:Let’s cut to the chase. We will give you the top five mistakes not to make and then go into little more detail later.
Simone:The top five mistakes you don’t want to make are
Csaba:Mixing up singular and plural.
Simone:Using pronouns too often.
Csaba:Incorrect definite, indefinite conjugation.
Simone:Mixing up the Digraphs
Csaba:And wrong pronunciation.
Simone:There is a lot of mixing up in Hungarian but don’t be scared. We don’t want you guys to get gun-shy or anything.
Csaba:Of course. These mistakes are not the biggest deal.

Lesson focus

Simone:In this lesson, we will just give you a heads up so you can be aware and it will make things a lot easier for you to know these few tips.
Csaba:Mistake 1, mixing singular and plural. For example három kutya is said incorrectly as három kutyák.
Simone:So this mistake probably arises from the English habit of putting the S after a noun when it is preceded by a number like three dogs.
Csaba:In Hungarian, the noun would only go plural in sentences like, the dog’s left.
Simone:So in Hungarian, dog is
Csaba: kutya, kutya
Simone:And three dogs would be
Csaba: három kutya, három kutya
Simone:So in English, that is literally three dog
Csaba:Yes a lot of foreigners make this mistake but it’s no big deal.
Simone:So what is the wrong sample sound like?
Csaba: Három kutyák. I won’t repeat it this time. It’s bad enough they heard me say it at all.
Simone:Great. Now what’s the second most common mistake not to make?
Csaba:Mistake two, using the pronouns too much.
Simone:This isn’t a very big mistake though right?
Csaba:No not really but if you don’t use them correctly it does change the meaning of the sentence a bit.
Simone:Let’s see in example.
Csaba:If you are asked a question, Mész a buliba?
Simone:Are you going to the party?
Csaba:The correct answer is megyek. This is a conjugated verb. We know exactly who you are talking about without adding a pronoun before the verb.
Simone:Like in the sentence Én megyek.
Csaba:Yes Én megyek. It has the pronoun there which gave an extra emphasis to you basically meaning something like I am going but someone else isn’t. The correct answer is Megyek. This is conjugated. So it has the idea of first person singular already. You don’t need to add the pronoun before the verb.
Simone:Like in the sentence Én megyek. Én here is not necessary.
Csaba:Yes Én megyek.. It has the pronoun there which gives extra emphasis to you basically meaning something like I am going but someone else isn’t.
Simone:Okay moving on to the third most common mistake conjugation.
Csaba:Yes and I believe, this one is a winner. People love conjugation.
Simone:Are you sure you remember correctly Csaba?
Csaba:Sure tables, lists, exceptions, cases who doesn’t like these.
Simone:All right. Get to the point.
Csaba:In Hungarian, verbs have to be conjugated in a way that they match the definite-indefinite distinction between the object nouns.
Simone:Simply put, if you want to say I see a dog, you use a different ending than if you say I see the dog.
Csaba:Let’s try it.
Simone:I see a dog.
Csaba: Látok egy kutyát. Látok egy kutyát.
Simone:And what about I see the dog.
Csaba: Látom a kutyát. Látom a kutyát.
Simone:All right. Let’s move on. Mistake #4 Mixing up the Digraphs.
Csaba:In the Hungarian alphabet, there are many digraphs that is a combination of two letters representing one sound.
Simone:And these are also treated as single letters in the alphabet. So you can’t separate them. Give us an example please Csaba.
Csaba:Okay. Think of the English letters S and Z. When written next to each other in this order, they count as one Hungarian letter pronounced s like in the word sick.
Simone:The problem with these is that very often, it is counterintuitive for English speakers because the letter S used in the English word sick in Hungarian has to be pronounced
Csaba: Sh. All you have to do is learn the digraphs and pay attention to those letters that look the same but pronounced differently.
Simone:Good. So moving on, mistake #5 Wrong pronunciation.
Csaba:We must introduce a term here diphthongs.
Simone:Diphthongs of vowels. When we are pronouncing them, our tongue glides from one vowel position to another within the syllable.
Csaba:Yes. I think first we should provide an English example.
Simone:Sure the word I, may, go all have such vowels.
Csaba:Now in standard Hungarian, there aren’t really any diphthongs. So when English speakers pronounce Hungarian words, they often try to force the diphthongs in.
Simone:So how do you say the very common name Peter in Hungarian?
Csaba: Péter, Péter
Simone:So where is the usual mistake here?
Csaba:Saying Peter, Peter Hungarian Péter English Peter.


Simone:Yes it is essential that you learn to pronounce all the vowels correctly.