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Lesson Transcript

Simone: Pronunciation Lesson 1. The pronunciation of vowels in Hungarian.
Csaba: So brush up on the Hungarian that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Simone: That’s what we’re here for. In this lesson, our focus will be the pronunciation of Hungarian vowels.
Csaba: A, Á, E, É etc.
Simone: Sounds very Hungarian.
Csaba: It’s the sound of uniqueness.
Simone: Absolutely.
Csaba: Now, though the Hungarian vowels are not something to be afraid of, some of them may need to be practiced.
Simone: Ok. Our goal is to help all of you listeners out there master your Hungarian vowels.
Csaba: That’s right. We will help you pronounce sounds properly in Hungarian. By the way, in this lesson we are going to refer to sounds as vowels. So whenever we say vowel think sound, don’t think letter.

Lesson focus

Simone: Ok, let’s get started.
Csaba: First of all, pronouncing Hungarian is only hard if you refuse to open your mouth.
Simone: Yes. This is something you might want to keep in mind.
Csaba: It really makes it easier for you if you make your mouth work.
Simone: Don’t hesitate to exaggerate the width of your mouth.
Csaba: Like this. Aaa! Wide open.
Simone: You might be in line at the bakery or driving your convertible right now, but we don’t care. Repeat after Csaba.
Csaba: We start with the first two, A and Á.
Simone: By the way, how many vowels are there in Hungarian?
Csaba: Seven pairs. Most of them are easily accessible to pretty much everyone.
Simone: In this lesson, we will only work on the ones that are easy.
Csaba: And the ones that are hard. I have faith in our listeners.
Simone: Alright. Let’s hear those first two again.
Csaba: A and Á. Most of the vowels come in long and short pairs, but these two are an exception.
Simone: That means that here the second is not just a longer version of the first.
Csaba: Yes, but I thought we should get these ones out of the way first. So the first one is A which sounds like the first sound in “obvious”. The second one is Á which sounds kind of like the A in “father”.
Simone: Ok, so can we have these vowels again, please, Csaba?
Csaba: A, Á, A, Á
Simone: Great. Next pair, please.
Csaba: E, É, Same thing here. Not really pairs, but kind of. E like in “bed” and the second one is É kind of like the word “hey” without the Y in the end.
Simone: Ok, so can we have those vowels again, please?
Csaba: E, É, E, É
Simone: Right. Let’s move on to the next pair. We’re almost halfway done, but remember that these are long and short pairs, unlike the last two examples.
Csaba: Alright, these ones are going to be easy now. I and Í. I like in the word “bit” and Í like in the word “need”.
Simone: Can we have those vowels again, please?
Csaba: I, Í, I, Í
Simone: Ok, let’s move on.
Csaba: The next two are going to be O and Ó. O like the English word “boy” without the Y in the end. And the second one is Ó like the word “more” or at least the first half of that vowel.
Simone: Ok, let’s have those again.
Csaba: O, Ó, O, Ó
Simone: Let me try the next two. These are Ö and Ő. Ö sounds like the Ö in “burn” and to get its long pair, Ő, just draw out this pronunciation. I’ll say those again. Ö, Ő, Ö, Ő Ok. Back to you, Csaba.
Csaba: The next two are U, Ú. And the examples. U like “ops” and Ú like “cool”.
Simone: And again, please.
Csaba: U, Ú, U, Ú Now the last two are really special, not only when you pronounce them but also when you write them.
Simone: Yes, just like Ö and Ő, the word process is [inaudible 00:04:27] the two letters going with these vowels.
Csaba: Ü and Ű
Simone: You just purse your lips when saying the word “híd”. The vowel instantly becomes Ű, the longer one.
Csaba: Yes. I repeat them again. Ü, Ű, Ü, Ű
Simone: Now let’s start from the top. And this one give us an example word. I’ll say the meaning.
Csaba: Everyone repeat after me because I’ll leave a silence after each word. Let’s go!
Csaba: hat, hat
Simone: Which means “six”.
Csaba: hát, hát
Simone: Which is “back”.
Csaba: egy, egy
Simone: Which is “one”.
Csaba: négy, négy
Simone: The number “four”.
Csaba: lift, lift
Simone: Elevator.
Csaba: híd, híd
Simone: Bridge.
Csaba: hol, hol
Simone: In English this is “where”.
Csaba: ló, ló
Simone: Horse.
Csaba: föl, föl
Simone: This means “up”.
Csaba: kő, kő
Simone: Stone.
Csaba: hun, hun
Simone: Like “hun” from the word “Hungary”.
Csaba: út, út
Simone: Road.
Csaba: süt, süt
Simone: Shine.
Csaba: tű, tű
Simone: “Needle”. Alright everyone, that’s it. What do you recommend the listeners do with these vowels though, Csaba?


Csaba: Keep listening and keep your ears open.
Simone: Always good advice.