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Lesson Transcript

Simone: Hi everyone and welcome back to HungarianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, season 2 lesson 24, Are You Trying to Skip Out on your Hungarian Cleaning Duties? I’m Simone.
Csaba: And I’m Csaba.
Simone: In this lesson you're going to learn the last formal way to address someone.
Csaba: The conversation takes place in Anne’s apartment complex.
Simone: It is between Anne and a janitor.
Csaba: They use formal language.
Simone: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Simone: Those good old Hungarian janitors...
Csaba: They sure get annoying. Hungary has been the home of aggressive janitors and doormen for decades now and the end of this tyranny is still a long way away.
Simone: (laughs) It can’t be that bad.
Csaba: Doormen are proverbially aggressive and uncouth. At the same time, though, they are quite competent and respond favorably to sweets and cakes. But I’ll let you figure out the rest for yourselve.
Simone: So why the fuss in this lesson?
Csaba: Most of the bigger residential complexes assign cleaning duties to all the residents. I guess Anne must have forgotten. After all, she’s only been with us for two seasons.
Simone: Haha. It's alright, I'll give her a pass.
Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is...
have the habit of
clean up, tidy
I'm sorry.
And last…
Simone: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Csaba: The first word we'll look at is... szokik, which means "have the habit of" or "usually do."
Simone: Let’s hear an example.
Csaba: Szoktam pingpongozni.
Simone: “I play ping pong.”
Csaba: Szoktam pingpongozni. Literally, it is something like “I have the habit of playing ping pong.”
Simone: So it's actually a first person singular past tense verb plus an infinitive.
Csaba: Right. In the second person, if you’re asking someone, you say. Szoktál sportolni?
Simone: “Do you play sports?”
Csaba: Szoktál sportolni?
Simone: And how do we answer?
Csaba: The short answer is szoktam. Szoktam sportolni.
Simone: “I play sports.”
Csaba: Now, we also had the word bocsánat in this lesson.
Simone: Say that again.
Csaba: Bocsánat.
Simone: “I am sorry.”
Csaba: We’ve had an expression meaning “I’m sorry” before, it was Elnézést. Bocsánat carries more weight so to say it expresses deeper regret. You use elnézést when you step on someone’s foot on the bus, but bocsánat when you run over his dog.
Simone: Well explained, Csaba. Okay, on to the grammar.
Simone: In this lesson, we're learning about formal language one last time.
Csaba: Right, this is the last occasion for some time. Don’t worry.
Simone: All right, so what is the key sentence here?
Csaba: Maga takarít?
Simone: “Do you do any cleaning?”
Csaba: Maga takarít?
Simone: What is unusual here?
Csaba: We have a brand new personal pronoun here, maga. Maga is a kind of formal “you.”
Simone: In what way is it different from ön, which we have already covered?
Csaba: When you use maga to address others, it feels like you are trying to distance yourself from the other speaker. While it is not impolite, you do keep a respectful, non-friendly relationship.
Simone: Can you illustrate it a little bit more?
Csaba: Maga kit keres?
Simone: “Who are you looking for?”
Csaba: Maga kit keres? Also, consider this: Ön kit keres?
Simone: “Who are you looking for?”
Csaba: Ön kit keres?
Simone: And what's the difference?
Csaba: If you use ön, that conveys a neutral but very polite message. “I am here to help, who do you need?”
Simone: And with maga?
Csaba: If you use maga, it means "I'm willing to help," but more importantly, what are you doing here? If you wander into someone's office by accident and you are then caught, you'll definitely hear this respectful, but demanding explanation.
Simone: All right, I think I get it.
Csaba: On the other hand, your superior may say it to you and other coworkers.
Simone: Let’s hear another example.
Csaba: Maga is itt van?
Simone: “You’re here too?”
Csaba: Maga is itt van? Your boss just wandered into his surprise party and sees you. Maga is itt van?
Simone: Not unfriendly at all.
Csaba: Nope. One last comment. The verb conjugation for both ön and maga sentences is the same. Third person as usual.


Simone: Okay. That's it for this lesson. Make sure you check the lesson notes and we'll see you next time.
Csaba: Sziasztok.