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Lesson Transcript

Simone:Hi everyone and welcome back to HungarianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, season 1, lesson 16, Let’s Dispense with the Hungarian Formalities. I’m Simone.
Csaba:And I’m Csaba.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to learn how to ask someone if they’d like to switch to the informal language.
Csaba:The conversation takes place at Anne’s workplace.
Simone:And it’s between Anne and Mr. Szabó, her boss.
Csaba:This is a special lesson. They start formal and then change into informal.
Simone:Ok, let’s listen to the conversation.
Simone:All right, so what exactly is going on here?
Csaba:Mr Szabó asks for Anne’s permission to use the informal language. Normally it is the older or higher ranking person at the workplace who can initiate that.
Simone:So Mr Szabó is asking for permission...
Csaba:Because he is polite and Anne is a woman. It is polite to ask, even if you’re above the other person on those two factors.
Simone:And then Anne agrees and thanks him.
Csaba:Yes. Whenever you are offered the use of the informal language, it is polite to thank the other person.
Simone:I see. Can I initiate?
Csaba:Sure, teachers and other people who interact with others a lot do that all the time. The age difference doesn’t matter there, because everyone recognizes the need for simpler language in a classroom, or similar environment.
Simone:All right, let’s move on to vocabulary.
Simone:All right, what is the first thing we’ll discuss from this lesson?
Csaba:First a word from the last sentence: majd.
Simone:“Will” or “then.”
Simone:This verb means that whatever I say is going to happen in the future.
Csaba:For example: Majd hívlak!
Simone:“I’ll call you.” Repeat again.
Csaba:Majd hívlak. The second word is hívlak, which means “I call you.” Majd just adds the future element to the sentence.
Simone:All right. What else?
Csaba:We had the sentence: már egy éve itt van.
Simone:“You have been here for a year.” It is still formal here, by the way. Repeat again.
Csaba:Már egy éve itt van. Egy éve is “for a year.” These sentences are present tense in Hungarian, since of course there is no present perfect.
Simone:How do you say: “I haven’t eaten for a day.”
Csaba:Egy napja nem eszem. 2X Egy napja is “for a day.”
Simone:Actually, you can check a lot more of these time words in our lesson notes, right?
Csaba:Oh yes, that’s right. All the ready-made conjugated time words are there, with examples.
Simone:All right, moving on.
Csaba:We had a new form for saying hi, szervusz.
Simone:Repeat, please.
Simone:How is it different from “szia.”
Csaba:It is halfway between being formal and informal. We can say it this way: even if you’re on informal terms with your superior, you still want to show respect and not just bark szia at him in the morning. That’s when you use szervusz.
Csaba:See, from a conjugation point of view, there is only formal and informal, but other elements in the language might show more or less respect. The way you don’t say “’sup” to your boss in the morning.
Simone:Well, I do!
Csaba:Ugh, I gotta talk to you later about this then.
Simone:(laughs) All right, let’s go to the grammar now.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to talk about how to ask for the informal switch.
Csaba:Yes. Not only will there be examples, but also a guide on politeness - when and how to use them.
Simone:Where do we start from?
Csaba:With Mr Szabó’s sentence: Tegeződjünk. Megengedi? The first half is the verb tegez, or “use the informal language with someone.” In the dialogue it is already conjugated first person plural and imperative.
Simone:Repeat again.
Simone:When do I say this.
Csaba:You only utter this if you are older and you rank higher at a workplace. See, even Mr Szabó added megengedi? or “may I/ do you allow?”
Simone:I see. So this may not work all the time.
Csaba:A little bit more polite is the question: Tegeződhetünk?
Simone:“Can we tegez?”
Csaba:Tegeződhetünk? Starting with “can we” instead of “let’s” makes this more polite. Teachers very often start the course saying this.
Simone:All right, what else do we have.
Csaba:Tegezz nyugodtan!
Simone:“You can tegez me.”
Csaba:Tegezz nyugodtan! This is directed towards younger people, maybe teens, or if the age difference is big. The elderly might say this one. Literally: “I allow you to tegez me.”
Simone:And then I thank them.
Csaba:Very good manners, yes.
Simone:What if I don’t want them to tegez?
Csaba:I have never heard an offer refused in my life. On the other hand, in heated arguments on the train or somewhere public, you may hear: Ne tegezzen!
Simone:“Don’t tegez me!”
Csaba:Ne tegezzen! This really is for arguments only. People also say ne tegezz, which means the same, ironically in the informal language. This is more of a joke, really.
Simone:Repeat that please.
Csaba:Ne tegezz. If you ever get in an argument with a Hungarian friend, throw this in for comedic purposes.
Simone:Ok, thanks for the tip!
Csaba:Well, we’ve had words, expression and culture as well. One last thing for now.
Simone:What is that?
Csaba:I just want to remind everyone that the conjugation for the formal language is the same as the third person conjugation.
Simone:Which means “formal you equals he/she/it”
Csaba:Right. Keep this in mind when you are going through the conjugation tables.


Simone:And make sure you go to the lesson notes for more content and the key to the last lesson’s exercise. See you next time.