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Lesson Transcript

Simone: Pronunciation Lesson 3. It’s double or nothing with Hungarian consonants.
Csaba: This lesson is a continuation of the second lesson, which was about consonants.
Simone: Yes. In this lesson, we’re going to introduce a new term.
Csaba: It’s something you may have never heard of.
Simone: When is this going to end, Csaba?
Csaba: The new term is “geminate”.
Simone: No, that does not ring a bell.
Csaba: It is a fancy way of saying double consonants.
Simone: Couldn’t you just say that?
Csaba: Then they pay me less if I do. Anyway, what we’re trying to say is that in Hungarian it is very important to make a distinction between short and long consonants.
Simone: Or single and double if you will.

Lesson focus

Csaba: I will. Let’s see an example.
Simone: Ok. Start with an easy one.
Csaba: Ok, but the whole thing is less complicated than we made it sound. Here’s a pair of words. Kasza and kassza.
Simone: The first one is “scythe” and the second is “cash register”. Say them again, please, in this order.
Csaba: Kasza, kassza, kasza, kassza.
Simone: This is obviously a big difference, but it doesn’t seem like a big deal to learn.
Csaba: Just make sure you practice them a bit. Basically the whole point is pronouncing consonants audibly longer than, well, normal.
Simone: Can we do this trick with all the consonants?
Csaba: Pretty much.
Simone: Ok, let’s see a few examples. Maybe the harder ones.
Csaba: Ok. I hope everyone remembers the TY sound we learned in the last lesson which is spelled TY.
Simone: Sure, we had tyúk last time, meaning “hen”.
Csaba: Ok. Now say this kátyú.
Simone: Which means “pothole”.
Csaba: And hattyú.
Simone: Or “swan”. Say those again.
Csaba: Kátyú, hattyú, kátyú, hattyú.
Simone: Ok. Let’s hear one with GY which is spelled GY.
Csaba: Ágyú and faggyú.
Simone: “Cannon” and “suet”. Say them again in that same order, please.
Csaba: Ágyú and faggyú.
Simone: Alright. Finally, let’s go for NY.
Csaba: Anya and könnyű.
Simone: The first is “mother” and the second means “easy”. Again, please.
Csaba: Anya and könnyű.
Simone: Great. So what else is there to say about this?
Csaba: Maybe just two things. First, there isn’t really a Hungarian consonant you can’t double.
Simone: Ok, and the second?
Csaba: It’s just a tip to help your spelling.
Simone: Sure.
Csaba: When doubling the consonants, you write the given consonant letter twice.
Simone: That is shocking, Csaba.
Csaba: Thanks. And when it’s a diagraph, you must double the first letter and just add the second letter.
Simone: So “cash register” from your first example would be…
Csaba: Kassza, K-A-S-S-Z-A.
Simone: Spell it out in Hungarian too, just for the kick of it.
Csaba: K-A-S-S-Z-A


Simone: Great. That’s it for today. My mouth hurts a bit from all the pronouncing though.