Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Michael: How does formal Hungarian work?
Boglárka: And when is it used?
Michael: At HungarianPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following situation. Gabor Gulyas, a high-school student, meets the mom of his neighbor friend, Karen Lee. He says,
"Mrs. Lee, how are you?"
Gulyás Gábor: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Dialogue
Gulyás Gábor: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Karen Lee: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Gulyás Gábor: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Michael: "Mrs. Lee, how are you?"
Karen Lee: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
Michael: "Fine, thanks. How are you?"

Lesson focus

Michael: In this conversation, we hear Gabor Gulyas say,
Boglárka: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Michael: which means, "Mrs. Lee, how are you?", to which Karen Lee responds,
Boglárka: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
Michael: which means "Fine, thanks. How are you?"
Michael: You probably have noticed that when asking the question "How are you?" Karen and Gabor used a different word to say the verb "to be"
Boglárka: van
Michael: In Hungarian, both formal and informal language is used. In this lesson, we'll focus on how formal Hungarian works.
Michael: In Hungarian, politeness is expressed based on a three-tier system of politeness. The first is called
Boglárka: önözés.
Michael: This form not only shows respect towards the person to whom you’re speaking but is also often used in official or formal documents, legal texts, etc. This is the most common and accepted way of expressing formality in Hungarian and it is what you would most likely use when using Hungarian in an office or with older strangers.
The next form is called
Boglárka: magázás, magázódás.
Michael: It’s used to show a level of formality used especially in scenarios where hierarchy may be important, like between a boss and his or her employee. Although
Boglárka: önözés
Michale: and
Boglárka: magázás
Michael: might sound like the same level of formality, it’s better to keep in mind that
Boglárka: magázás
Michael: has a stronger power-distance nuance to it and some people might find it rude. Therefore, it’s better to be considerate before trying to use it.
Both of these utilize the third person when it comes to verb conjugation.
Michael: It’s also important to know a bit about the most informal register, which is
Boglárka: tegezés, tegeződés
Michael: or
Boglárka: pertu.
Michael: This is the most informal way of speaking. This can be used between friends and amongst close family members, or when an adult talks to a child or teenager. This is the form that you would most likely use when talking to a friend or a person of your age or younger.
Michael: Actually, there is a fourth tier as well, which is called
Boglárka: tetszikelés.
Michael: But we will talk about it later in this lesson.
As a language learner new to Hungarian, it’s important to know a bit about each of these formal and informal registers.
Expansion/Contrast
Michael: Let’s take a closer look at the dialogue.
Do you remember how Gabor Gulyas says "Mrs. Lee, how are you?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Jennifer as Gabor Gulyas: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Michael: You probably have noticed that when asking the question "How are you?" Gabor omits the pronoun to say "you."
The reason why is that the person is indicated in the conjugated form of the verb "to be,"
Boglárka: van.
Michael: This is not only the dictionary form of the verb "to be," but also the third person singular. If we don’t omit the pronoun, the question would be
Boglárka: Lee asszony, (ön) hogy van?
Michael: Literally, "Mrs. Lee, (you) how are?" However, in Hungarian, this would sound unnatural, as the person is clearly indicated in the verb.
Michael: In contrast, you can see in Karen Lee’s line "Fine, thanks. How are you?"
Jennifer as Karen Lee: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
Michael: She adds the informal "you"
Boglárka: te.
Michael: However, here it’s added to tag or refer to Gabor—something like "And how are you?" to reciprocate the question. You can see that the verb "to be" is conjugated in second person singular this time
Boglárka: vagy,
Michael: which would be enough to express that Karen Lee is talking about "you," but just saying
Boglárka: Hogy vagy?
Michael: would sound unnatural in this situation. If you want to reciprocate the question in a formal way, you can say
Boglárka: Ön/ Maga hogy van?
[Summary]
Michael: Let’s summarize what we have learned so far. In this dialogue,
Boglárka: te
Michael: is the informal way to say "you," and
Boglárka: ön or maga
Michael: are its formal counterparts.
Boglárka: Maga
Michael: is used less often as it might have negative connotations and you will hear the informal "you" more often in daily, casual conversations.
The verb conjugation refers to either pronoun.
Now, let’s look at some examples. Our first example is
Boglárka:
Te ültél itt? (enunciated).
Te ültél itt?
Michael: "Were you sitting here?" This uses the second person singular pronoun
Boglárka: te
Michael: and the the second person singular conjugation of the verb "to sit"
Boglárka: ültél
Michael: You could say this, for example, to your friend, your younger colleague, or a student.
A more formal version of this would be
Boglárka:
Ön ült itt? (enunciated).
Ön ült itt?
Michael: This uses both the formal "you" and the verb is in third person singular.
This can be used when you talk to a stranger at an event where you had mistakenly sat on someone’s chair.
Michael: The next examples won’t include the personal pronouns. Only the verb conjugation will determine the person. Let’s see the first one
Boglárka:
Hova mész? (enunciated).
Hova mész?
Michael: "Where are you going?" (Lit. Where go?) At the end, we see the second person singular conjugation or the verb "to go"
Boglárka: mész.
Michael: This can be used to ask your friend or family member where they are going.
Boglárka:
Hova megy? (enunciated).
Hova megy?
Michael: This uses the third person singular conjugation or the verb "to go"
Boglárka: megy.
Michael: A university teacher can ask a student this question when they leave in the middle of the class; or someone can ask you this, if you enter somewhere you are not supposed to.
Practice Section
Michael: Let's review. Respond to the prompts by speaking aloud. Then, repeat after the native speaker focusing on pronunciation.
Do you remember how Gabor Gulyas says "Mrs. Lee, how are you?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jennifer as Gabor Gulyas: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Jennifer as Gabor Gulyas: Lee asszony, hogy van?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jennifer as Gabor Gulyas: Lee asszony, hogy van?
Michael: And do you remember how Karen Lee says "Fine, thanks. How are you?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jennifer as Karen Lee: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Jennifer as Karen Lee: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jennifer as Karen Lee: Jól, köszönöm. Te hogy vagy?
Cultural Insight/Expansion
Michael: There is also the form called
Boglárka: tetszikelés.
Michael: This form expresses politeness between grandparents and grandchildren, for example, or perhaps between children and other adults other than their parents. The grammar is also unique in this situation. The helping verb
Boglárka: tetszik
Michael: "you like," is used to express formality. So if, for example, we would use
Boglárka: Hogy vagy?
Michael: which means, "How are you?" between friends, when a grandchild speaks to their grandparent, they may instead say,
Boglárka: Hogy tetszik lenni?
Michael: It’s important to remember that an older person or someone higher in rank might allow the other person to talk to them in an informal way. In this case, they will say:
Boglárka: Tegeződjünk.

Outro

Michael: Do you have any more questions? We’re here to answer them!
Boglárka: Viszontlátásra!
Michael: See you soon!

3 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What Hungarian language questions do you have?

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:05 PM
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Szia William Kemény!


Pontosan! 😇 Köszönöm, hogy írtál nekünk!

Sok sikert kívánok a magyar tanulmányaidhoz!


Üdvözlettel:

Levente

Team HungarianPod101.com

William Kemény
Sunday at 05:53 AM
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A kölömbség köst önözés és tegedzés tudtam ezellöt de nem tudtam hogy magázâs volt olyan szigorú. Hát jól tanultam.