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Lesson Transcript

Simone: Pronunciation Lesson 2. The pronunciation of consonants in Hungarian. What are we looking at in this lesson?
Csaba: We will work on the pronunciation of Hungarian consonants.
Simone: At least some of those anyway since there are a lot.
Csaba: Sure, but many of those are very similar to English.
Simone: And some of them are similar, only spelled differently, but if you listen to our lessons on the alphabet you should be able to figure them out.
Csaba: Yes. In this lesson, we’re going to work on the hard ones.
Simone: Alright, where do we start?
Csaba: Why don’t I say some of these, then explain a bit, then illustrate with an example?
Simone: Sounds good. Go ahead.

Lesson focus

Csaba: Basically we have a lot of consonants that are the same in English and in many other languages like P, B, T, D, etc.
Simone: Yes. And they’re all spelled the same too, aren’t they?
Csaba: Sure, you can also add to the list F, V, J and H. These are all easy to get coming from English and even the spelling is the same.
Simone: Right. So then we move up one step in difficulty to sounds that are very common but spelled differently.
Csaba: Ok. We have CS which is spelled with an English C and English S in Hungarian, but sounds the same as the CH is “chill”.
Simone: And that one will have a voice pair as well, won’t it?
Csaba: Yes, it’s DZS, like in the word “hedge”.
Simone: With a bit of an awkward spelling in Hungarian. D, Z, S.
Csaba: Yes, three letters actually.
Simone: But still a familiar sound.
Csaba: Then we move to C which is pronounced like the consonant at the end of “hats”.
Simone: And in Hungarian , it is spelled with a simple C. How about the voiced counterpart?
Csaba: DZ like the word “heads” spelled with a D and a Z.
Simone: Ok, what next?
Csaba: Let’s move on to S and ZS. Both of these are in English too, just spelled differently.
Simone: S like in the word “shop”. It’s spelled with just an S in Hungarian, while ZS as in “leisure” is spelled ZS.
Csaba: Good. How are we doing so far?
Simone: I think they’re still awake.
Csaba: That means we keep going. We have SZ and Z.
Simone: These are familiar from the words “sue” and “zoo”.
Csaba: Exactly, but spelled SZ and Z, respectively.
Simone: Ok. Let’s get to the juicy stuff already.
Csaba: We have TY which is pronounced with your tongue pressed lightly against your palate. You allow a bit of pressure to build up, then release. TY, TY
Simone: Could you use it in a word, please?
Csaba: Sure. Tyúk, tyúk.
Simone: Which means “hen”.
Csaba: Say that a few times, everyone. Tyúk, tyúk.
Simone: This sound is spelled TY.
Csaba: The next one is very similar too. It’s a little bit tricky, but basically you pronounce it the same way, just voiced. GY.
Simone: GY, GY
Csaba: A good example would be gyalog which means “on foot”. Gyalog, gyalog.
Simone: And you spell this one GY.
Csaba: The last one of these tricky ones is spelled NY. It is also pronounced by pressing the tongue against the palate, but this time the airflow is through your nose. NY, NY.
Simone: So give us an example word for this one, please, Csaba.
Csaba: Nyak, nyak. It means “neck”.
Simone: Alright. What’s next?


Csaba: To be honest, that’s kind of it. I mean it really doesn’t take long to the through them all.
Simone: That’s wonderful news.
Csaba: I know, right? Most of the sounds are easy to find knowing English and the others just take a bit of practice.
Simone: I think the key to all of this is to get the alphabet down correctly.
Csaba: Yes, the Hungarian alphabet is a pretty reliable guide to all of this. At least it is much better than the English one.
Simone: Sounds good!