Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Simone: All about Lesson 4. Learning how to pronounce the Hungarian Alphabet. In this lesson, we are going to show our take on Hungarian pronunciation with you.
Csaba: Yes we will have to get a good foundation that will set you on the right track.
Simone: From experience, I’d say one of the best ways to get Hungarian pronunciation down is to listen and repeat and listen and repeat.
Csaba: Yes just copy the sounds the native speaker makes like me.
Simone: And yes just like that annoying song you can’t get out of your head, one day Hungarian will get stuck in your head and you will be set for life.
Csaba: So make sure you repeat all the sounds I make today. That will get you on the road to speaking Hungarian.

Lesson focus

Simone: Yeah. So first learning about the Hungarian alphabet is going to help make things clearer.
Csaba: Yes let’s briefly repeat the characteristics of the Hungarian alphabet.
Simone: There are 44 letters in total in the Hungarian alphabet.
Csaba: 14 vowels and 30 consonants.
Simone: These letters are all pronounced exactly the same when they standalone as when they are in words.
Csaba: Yes at least most of the time. That was one of the pieces of good news back in lesson 2 when we talked about the alphabet.
Simone: Umm Hungarian writing is phonetic. Therefore we almost always pronounce what we see written on the paper.
Csaba: Screen, Simone, it’s 2011.
Simone: Okay, okay. Well why don’t you just start with the vowels already.
Csaba: All right. Like we said before, 14 vowels most of which are in short and long pairs.
Simone: Right. Let’s start with the ones that are really pairs, not only in writing.
Csaba: Okay we have I, Í, O, Ó, Ö, Ő, U, Ú and Ü, Ű See the first is short, the second is long. Again I, Í, O, Ó, Ö, Ő, U, Ú and Ü, Ű.
Simone: Sounds kind of funny in a list.
Csaba: Yeah I like to think that the listeners are standing in a crowd at subway just articulating.
Simone: That would be a spectacle.
Csaba: Any way like I said, there are two pairs of vowels left and they are not really short, long pairs but the alphabet treats them like one.
Simone: Yes and these would be
Csaba: A, Á and E, É.
Simone: Say them again a couple of times.
Csaba: A, Á, A, Á, E, É, E, É.
Simone: All right. That does it for the vowels. Like we said, once you learn to write them, they are always consistent. Consonants any one?
Csaba: Okay so we have labial consonants such as P, B, F and V. These are consonants articulated with both lips or biting down on the lower lip. Also in this group, you will find the nasal M and we also have alveolar consonants such as T, D and C, DZ and SZ, Z. These are the consonants articulated by moving the tongue against or towards the ridge that you feel right behind your upper teeth. Also in this group, you will find that you have R and L.
Simone: So far so good. Please continue.
Csaba: And then we have postalveolar consonants. The fancy name just means that you are moving towards the back in our mouth. CS, DZS and S, ZS. All right, we are halfway done. We also have palatal consonants NY and TY and GY. These are pronounced by softly pressing the tongue towards and against the palate. Also here is the ubiquitous LY, J and then we have velar consonants K and G. Only two honest consonants in this group. Finally a glottal sound H.
Simone: Well that doesn’t sound too difficult. Many of these sounds are used in English as well.
Csaba: Sure maybe I even over explained the sounds. There is one more thing people will have to get used to though.
Simone: Yes. You have to realize and understand that the length of consonants can also be important just like the length of vowels. Give us an example please Csaba.
Csaba: I will, but you don’t have to make it sound so serious. Here is a pair kasza and kassza. The first one means side. The second means cash registry. The difference lies in the length of the consonant.
Simone: Say it again. Just to start helping the listeners get used to it.
Csaba: Kasza, kassza, kasza, kassza.
Simone: And what you recommend the listeners do about this?
Csaba: Like you said, listen and repeat and you may want to pick up our pronunciation guide 2 where all these and a lot more will be explained in greater detail.
Simone: Yes and if we can learn, you can learn. One day, if you just keep on practicing, it will all click. We promise.
Csaba: You can trust us.


Simone: Okay. Phew! Done. So we know that it wasn’t that fun but it was necessary.
Csaba: What? I thought it was always fun learning from us.
Simone: Don’t flatter yourself. Now remember, one of the best ways to get Hungarian pronunciation down is to listen and repeat and listen and repeat.


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

Tuesday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What do you think of Hungarian pronunciation? Do you think it is easier than other languages?

Sunday at 1:29 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Szia Fay!

Thanks for your comment!

In fact, many people are facing difficulties with the "a" sound, it's actually one of the most difficult sounds in Hungarian!

Well, it is pretty difficult to find an equivalent in English but you can try an exercise: "a" is pretty close to the "aw" like law /lɔ/ without the w in English. So, try to say raw, awful etc without the w!

The "á" is more like the ai in /laɪk/ "like"

I hope this exercise will help you improve your pronunciation!

It really takes practice!

Sok sikert,


Team HungarianPod101.com

Friday at 3:33 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I fail to pronounce the difference between a and á.

Could you help me by putting these two sounds in international phonetics?


Monday at 11:48 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Oscar,

Thank you for posting!

We appreciate your comment and it will be considered. Actually in most of our lessons we already have a transcript for you to read along with the audio :smile:

The Absolute Beginner Series, for example:


We would also like to recommend you the following video series:


Let us know if you have questions.



Team HungarianPod101.com

Tuesday at 11:59 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I am Oscar, and really interested in Hungarian.

I agree with all the comments below here. I think you guys should create different part in the pdf of part that are spoken in the audio and part that is your additional notes for us, hungarian learner.

Anyway, it's still hard for me to pronounce and remember all the alphabet of hungarian, so wish me luck!

Monday at 2:22 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Karwan!

Hogy vagy ma?

Szép napot!


Team HungarianPod101.com

Wednesday at 3:28 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Team HungarianPod101.com
Saturday at 7:20 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Sara Jane,

Thank you for your comment! :wink:

Can you please explain which part of the lesson is confusing for you? So we can fix the issue.

If you have any more question, please feel free to ask us! :thumbsup:

Szép napot!


Team HungarianPod101.com

Sara Jane
Friday at 10:14 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I found this lesson very interesting, however, this lesson's notes are a little confusing as what was written in them didn't completely match up with the audio, particularly in regard to the consonant types. I think if you are going to include that information in the audio it should be written in the notes, because even though you have said you will not be covering them you have still mentioned them.

Friday at 1:50 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Szia Sonya!

Thank you for your comment!

I think the most difficult part of the Hungarian pronunciation are the vowels.

I am the Hungarian voice of the audio lessons and I am from Budapest. Maybe that's the reason why my vowels sound a little bit different from your husband's.

Where is your husband from? Which city?

További jó tanulást kivánok!

Gergő / HungarianPod101.com

Wednesday at 3:31 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

It's harder than English. Interesting to find Hungarian has the "ch" sound as "dich" in German. I like how you explain sounds' positions in the mouth and the rules. Perhaps, in the audio pop up, the speaker can allow a little more of a moment of silence between each one, as he sounds the alphabet, so we can repeat after him right then and there. I also noticed he pronounced the long e as in "bee" in English. I thought it's supposed to sound like long a in English as in "day". The reason I wonder is, my husband is Hungarian. That's how he says it. Maybe it's a regional difference. He's from the northeast area.