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Lesson Transcript

Simone:Hi everyone and welcome back to HungarianPod101.com. This is Upper Beginner, season 1, lesson 25 - Best Laid Plans for Your Hungarian Future. I am Simone.
Gergő:And I am Gergő. Sziasztok
Simone:In this last lesson of the series, you will learn the functions of the past tense.
Gergő:This conversation takes place at the steakhouse.
Simone:It’s between Jenny and Uncle Béla.
Gergő:Because the age difference between them is big, they’re using formal language.
Simone:Let's listen to the conversation.
Simone:Well, let's hope this whole thing becomes a franchise now. Béla's steakhouse, with no legitimate cook.
Gergő:A minor detail. They worked their way up to the Forbes 100 hundred – Hungarian edition.
Simone:Which companies are at the top of that list?
Gergő:Well, now it would be hard to say any essentially Hungarian companies. Most of the big ones are subsidiaries of GE, Suzuki, Audi, Tesco. Then there are Korean companies, with Samsung and Hankook all having plants in Hungary.
Simone:So what are some big Hungarian companies?
Gergő:Two come to mind. One is called MOL, which is an oil company and has gas stations all around central Europe. The other one is a bank called OTP for short.
Simone:I remember seeing those here and there.
Gergő:Yeah, they’re in many places. They are also transnational companies now.
Simone:All right, let's see some vocab.
Simone:Let's have a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What is the first phrase Gergő?
Gergő:A végén még... means “in the end.”
Simone:It is often followed by some sort of unlikely statement that the speaker feels has a low chance of coming true. Like when a friend picks up the fiddle for the first time, you say...?
Gergő:A végén még megtanulsz hegedülni.
Simone:“You may end up learning how to play the fiddle.”
Gergő:A végén még megtanulsz hegedülni. Some people use it as a phrase of modesty, when you are talking about something that you might be able to do, even though you're clearly good at it.
Simone:Can you give us an example?
Gergő:Második lettem. Még a végén megtanulok vezetni.
Simone:“I came in second. I may end up learning how to drive.”
Gergő:Második lettem. Még a végén megtanulok vezetni.
Simone:All right, enough of this modesty, let's move on. When you say that something jár, the verb doesn't carry the usual meaning which is “go somewhere regularly” but it means that a person deserves a given thing.
Gergő:Here is an example: Nekem jár egy hét szabadság.
Simone:“I deserve a week off.”
Gergő:Nekem jár egy hét szabadság. Note that in Hungarian, the action is done by the thing, not the person who “deserves” it.
Simone:Give us another example. “I deserve some fun too.”
Gergő:Nekem is jár egy kis móka.
Simone:Again, please.
Gergő:Nekem is jár egy kis móka. The last one is kiderül, which means “to reveal itself.”
Simone:Again, in Hungarian this is not passive. An even better translation might be “come to light.” Can you say this now: “The name of the place was revealed.”
Gergő:Kiderült a hely neve. And then you just say the place. Kiderült a hely neve.
Simone:All right, let's see the grammar.
Simone:In this lesson you’ll learn the functions of past tense.
Gergő:Right. The easy answer is to use the past tense to describe past actions.
Gergő:That’s not all though. In Hungarian there are no continuous tenses and there are no perfect ones either.
Simone:This makes the use of past tense much easier, but the different circumstances where you use the past tense deserve a mention. What is the first example?
Gergő:Ha bejött, Béla bácsi, ébresszen fel telefonon.
Simone:“When you get here Uncle Béla, could you give me a call to wake me up?”
Gergő:Ha bejött Béla bácsi, ébresszen fel telefonon. The Hungarian sentence at the beginning of this explanation has a past tense word, bejött.
Simone:The sentence still refers to future though.This is the strange thing about Hungarian conditionals - past tense does not refer to actual past events, but to an event that will happen before something else that is mentioned in the second clause.
Gergő:All of this happens in the future.
Simone:Not even the past is sure anymore.
Gergő:Not in Hungary. Nice analogy. What you should take away from these examples is that even future actions can sometimes be expressed with past tense in Hungarian.
Simone:Ok, can you give us another sentence?
Gergő:Ha megetted, gyere ki.
Simone:“When you've eaten, come outside.”
Gergő:Ha megetted, gyere ki.
Simone:There are other difficulties stemming from the fact that there is no perfect and continuous. Namely that the following Hungarian expression can mean at least two things in English...
Gergő:...Felmentem Tamáshoz.
Simone:It’s either “I have gone up to Thomas' place,” or “I went up to Thomas' place.” Repeat the Hungarian, please.
Gergő:Felmentem Tamáshoz.
Simone:One thing helps a bit when translating to and from Hungarian. The prefix, as we have learned, often conveys a sense of completion. Therefore, when you want to translate “I was going up to Thomas' place, when...”
Gergő:...which is clearly not completed yet, the prefix must be used with care. That is, detach it. Épp mentem fel Tamáshoz amikor hívtál.
Simone:“I was going up to Thomas' place, when you called.”
Gergő:Épp mentem fel Tamáshoz amikor hívtál. These sentences often have the word éppen or épp which means “just.”
Simone:One more example, please.
Gergő:Éppen írtam le a számát, amikor elment.
Simone:“I was just writing down her number when she left.”
Gergő:Éppen írtam le a számát, amikor elment.
Simone:Ok, and this is where we finish this lesson, and this season.
Gergő:I think it was a lot of fun.
Simone:We hope you thought so too, listeners, and that you found it useful as well.
Gergő:Definitely. Don’t forget to leave us a comment at HungarianPod101.com if you have any questions or suggestions. And we’ll see you all in another series.


Simone:Thank you for listening everyone!
Gergő Sziasztok.