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Lesson Transcript

Simone:Hi everyone and welcome to HungarianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 2, An Exciting Day in Hungary. I’m Simone.
Csaba:And I am Csaba. Sziasztok.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to lay the foundation for systematic verb conjugation.
Csaba:Yes, a very important topic. This dialogue takes place on the phone.
Simone:And it is between Anne and Balázs.
Csaba:You know them already, they are good friends, therefore they use the informal conjugation.
Simone:Let’s listen to the conversation.
Simone:Seems easy enough.
Csaba:You’re probably the first one to say so. Hungarian has been called devilishly difficult, a novelty and crazy in presence.
Simone:Well, it definitely sounds somewhat jumbled and alien when you hear native Hungarian speakers talk fast.
Csaba:This is why Hollywood so often finds use of this language in Transylvanian vampire movies, where oddly enough, all the locals speak good English, except for the gnomes, goblins and other monsters, who scream in Hungarian. I’ve heard this happen.
Simone:Whereas in reality?
Csaba:In reality, all our monsters speak good English too. No, seriously, Hungarian is not more difficult than any other European language, just a bit less often heard. Unless you watch the Usual Suspects, Van Helsing or Blade Runner.
Simone:I’m sure it’s not more than a couple of lines.
Csaba:Of course, but they are all there to somehow give an exotic ring to the scene. They are almost always doing much worse in the pronunciation department than any of our listeners after just 5 lessons.
Simone:All right, all right, this isn’t your big shot at Hollywood. Let’s see the vocab section.
Simone:What is the first word you’re going to talk about?
Csaba:The first one is éppen. This word means “right now, at the moment.”
Simone:Listeners, please repeat:
Csaba:Éppen zuhanyozom. 2X
Simone:“I am taking a shower right now.”
Csaba:This word is very handy when you want to express the English continuous tenses in Hungarian. Since there is no such thing in Hungarian, using éppen is the closest you can to expressing that the action is going on at the moment of speaking.
Simone:How do you say this: “Thomas is sleeping right now.”
Csaba:Please repeat: Tamás éppen alszik. 2X
Simone:OK. What is the second word today?
Csaba:The second one is the beginning of a sentence. Na jó.
Simone:Please repeat again.
Csaba:Na jó. If you start your sentence saying this, that is like saying “all right” in English.
Simone:An example please.
Csaba:Na jó, kezdjük. 2X
Simone:In English, “all right, let’s begin.”
Csaba:Yes. Changing the tone a little bit, you convey reluctant agreement.
Simone:“All right, all right.” Like this? How would this sound in Hungarian?
Csaba:Na jó, na jó.
Simone:Let’s hear a full sentence. “All right, all right, I’ll do as you say.”
Csaba:Na jó, na jó, hallgatok rád. 2X
Simone:Right. One last word for this section.
Csaba:We heard the word mindjárt.
Simone:“Right away, soon.”
Csaba:Yes, it means exactly that. You may hear often: Mindjárt vége a sulinak.
Simone:Or school is over soon. But a slightly more practical sentence please. “I’ll be going in a minute.”
Csaba:Please repeat: Mindjárt megyek. 2X
Simone:All right, let’s move to our grammar section.
Simone:In this lesson, we’re going to talk about verb conjugation. We’ve done a couple of conjugation tables before, but that was more example-based learning.
Csaba:Whereas in this lesson, we’re also going to start teaching you the system of conjugation, which will later enable you to conjugate words without having to look them up in tables.
Simone:Now, this lesson is less about examples and more about rules. We promise there won’t be many of these in this season, but there are a couple of things we have to make clear for you. Csaba, why don’t you start explaining.
Csaba:The first thing is something we have mentioned before. In Hungarian, there is different conjugation for verbs depending on whether the following object is definite or indefinite. Not surprisingly, this is called definite conjugation and indefinite conjugation.
Simone:In practice, this will mean that the verb in the sentence “I see the dog” will be different from the verb in the sentence “I see a dog.”
Csaba:Right. You may remember this example from before. We will start by teaching you the indefinite conjugation.
Simone:How do I know if the noun is indefinite or definite?
Csaba:There are some clues. Indefinite nouns are often preceded by egy or “the.” Also, they can be preceded by a numeral, or a word referring to quantities, like sok.
Simone:Or “many.”
Csaba:And finally, some verbs like “sleep,” “come,” and “go” can’t have objects. These are normally conjugated indefinite.
Simone:All right.
Csaba:We are teaching you to conjugate indefinite, present tense verbs. Regular verbs, which is most of them, take the ending -ok, -ek, or -ök in first person.
Simone:So for example, the word tanul...
Csaba:will be tanulok. “I study.” We chose the ending -ok, this is determined by the vowel harmony.
Simone:Second person, or “you study?”
Csaba:Tanulsz. The ending is -sz.
Simone:Third person is always the dictionary form, therefore “he studies” is...
Simone:Let’s go like this. I say the full phrase, you translate, but you also say all the possible forms of the ending. “We study.”
Csaba:Tanulunk. 2X -unk, -ünk.
Simone:“You study?”
Csaba:Tanultok. 2X -tok, -tek, -tök
Simone:“They study?
Csaba:Tanulnak. 2X -nak, -nek.
Simone:All right, what you’ve just heard is the indefinite conjugation of the word study, which is a regular verb, in present tense.


Csaba:Right. Next time, we are going to practice conjugating other regular words in present tense, practice all this, and then learn a bit more.
Simone:We’ll take all this grammar nice and slow, don’t worry. Until next time, bye bye.