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Simone:Hi everyone and welcome back to HungarianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, season 2, lesson 17, A Secret Collection is Revealed in Hungary. I’m Simone.
Csaba:And I’m Csaba.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to learn to pluralize nouns.
Csaba:The conversation takes place at Balázs’s place.
Simone:It is between Anne and Balázs.
Csaba:And they use the informal language.
Simone:Ok, let’s listen to the conversation.
Simone:I know we have talked about language families and Hungarian, but just for the record, could you tell the listeners what Hungarian is related to?
Csaba:What seems to be certain is that Hungarian is related to Finnish. Actually, people who learn Hungarian will often think that it is really unique, when in fact a lot of its features are prominent all around the world.
Simone:Right, it might just be the fact that you don’t get many languages in Europe with something like the vowel harmony.
Csaba:For that feature, you have to go to Turkey or Finland. But in Asia, you get Kyrgyz and Kazakh, Mongolian and even Korean to some extent. And some say old Japanese had vowel harmony too.
Simone:So it is only unique in Europe.
Simone:All right, let’s move to vocab now.
Simone:All right, what is the first thing we’ll talk about here?
Csaba:We should start the vocab by teaching you to say “I had no idea.”
Simone:How is that again?
Csaba:Nem is tudtam.
Simone:Again, please.
Csaba:Nem is tudtam. Tudtam means “I knew” and you already know nem, or “no.” Is is there to give emphasis to the whole thing.
Simone:You should learn the phrase as a fixed expression.
Csaba:Exactly. Nem is tudtam hogy jössz.
Simone:“I didn’t know you were coming.” Again, please.
Csaba:Nem is tudtam hogy jössz.
Simone:Then we had a longish adjective...
Simone:“All kinds of, various.” Give us an example using this one. “Various people attended.”
Csaba:Mindenféle ember jött.
Simone:Again please.
Csaba:Mindenféle ember jött.
Simone:All right. I also remember hearing a question word, but in a somewhat unfamiliar way.
Csaba:Mik? Normally, for “what,” we use mi. This time, it has an extra -k in the end.
Simone:What does that -k mean?
Csaba:It marks the plural. Mik actually means “what things?” In Hungarian plurality is marked on question words as well as adjectives and nouns.
Simone:Use it in a sample sentence.
Csaba:Mik azok?
Simone:“What are those?”
Csaba:Mik azok? We also pluralized the demonstrative.
Simone:Well talk about plurality soon, don’t worry. In the meantime, one last vocab item?
Csaba:I’ll tell you that the question word ki, or “who” can also get this -k ending.
Simone:An example of that would be...
Csaba:Kik azok?
Simone:“Who are those people?”
Csaba:Kik azok? Almost identical, both plural.
Simone:All right, I think it’s time we talked about grammar in the grammar section, actually.
Csaba:Ok, let’s.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to start teaching you how to pluralize nouns.
Csaba:We’re going to start working on that, yes.
Simone:We had a lot of plural nouns in this lesson, so let’s start demonstrating how this works.
Csaba:Just one piece of advice before we do that. You have to remember that if there is a quantifier before the noun, you mustn’t pluralize the noun.
Simone:Can you give us an example.
Csaba:Hungarians say: “one dog” and “three dog.”
Simone:There will be no changes in the noun.
Csaba:Yes, you only say “dogs” if you say “the dogs left.” As soon as there is a number before the noun, you use it in singular.
Simone:So “one dog” is...
Csaba:Egy kutya.
Simone:And three dogs is...
Csaba:Három kutya.
Simone:The same noun. All right, if we do have to pluralize?
Csaba:All right. The first rule here: if the noun you want to pluralize ends in a vowel, you add a -k.
Simone:Please give us an example, with both the singular and the plural.
Csaba:Autó. Autók.
Simone:“Car, cars.”
Csaba:This is the first step. Add a -k to a vowel in the end. But if the vowel is an a or e, make it longer.
Simone:Examples, please, the same way.
Csaba:Kutya, kutyák.
Simone:“Dog, dogs.”
Csaba:Bögre, bögrék.
Simone:“Mug, mugs.”
Csaba:So far, we have covered pretty much all the nouns ending in a vowel. Now, if it ends in a consonant, you choose from -ok, -ek and -ök.
Simone:Yes, and as usual, you have to pay attention to the vowel harmony rules. Give us some examples please
Csaba:Ablak, ablakok.
Simone:“Window, windows.” How do you say apples?
Csaba:I see where you going there, but both windows and apple are used in English.
Simone:Awww... All right, more examples than.
Csaba:Ember, emberek.
Simone:“Person, people.”
Csaba:Eszköz, eszközök.
Simone:“Device, devices.”
Csaba:We have covered all three. Please check our lessons on vowel harmony if you aren’t sure why we choose a certain ending.
Simone:And you can also check the lesson notes. Ok, what else do we have?
Csaba:A disclaimer. With one-syllable words, the plural form is almost impossible to predict. A good Hungarian dictionary should contain all those. Even with longer words, the general rule doesn’t always apply.
Simone:So everyone, time to fire up the dictionaries.
Csaba:We had the word dolog in this lesson. It means “thing.”
Csaba:Well, the rules would suggest that it becomes dologok in plural, when in fact it loses a vowel and becomes dolgok.
Simone:I see, this is one of the exceptions.


Csaba:You’ll find some later, but a good dictionary should contain these. All right, next time we go on with more examples on how and when to use the plural. So, see you then!