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Quick Tips For Learning Hungarian





So you want to learn Hungarian? Welcome to one of the most beautiful languages in the world with the friendliest people! 




BEST WAYS TO LEARN HUNGARIAN

Do what you naturally enjoy
One of the best ways to learn a language is by doing something you enjoy, but in that new language.


Whatever you're obsessed with and can stay up all night doing, carry on doing it but in Hungarian instead. Here are some examples:



Listen to music


There's no other way to say it, Hungarian music is cool! You're extremely lucky that the European language you've picked to learn is Hungarian because quite frankly, most other European music is not great. 

Download some Hungarian music and listen to it 24/7 - in the car, on the bus, whilst you're making dinner, whilst you're working out. Boom you've just incorporated a whole load of language learning and cool music into your day. 



Our personal favourites include Halott Pénz, SuperStereo, Boggie, WellHello and Magashegyi Underground. 

And as with all language learning, make sure you check out your favourite Disney song in Hungarian - Disney songs are irritating and catchy; you'll be fluent in no time. 


Watch TV shows and films
Think of TV shows and films you know so well in English that you basically know them off by heart: for me that's Friends, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Shrek (lol). Now watch them in Hungarian - if you can find it, feel free to use Hungarian subtitles as well, but don't use English subtitles - you already know what's going on and you don't need them.



Read (fun) books














Similarly to films and TV shows, read books in Hungarian which you already know off by heart - this saves a whole load of looking up words in the dictionary time. And is a good language skill - a lot of learning a new language is using logic to work out the words, not looking them all up in a dictionary.

Shout out to my new best friend Martin for lending me Harry Potter in Hungarian :D 




Watch YouTubers


We're biased of course, but we recommend you check out our struggles with Hungarian on YouTube :) we are learning it from scratch with the help of some lovely Hungarians. 

If you want to watch some Hungarian YouTubers who are actually good check out Csill és Luuroyalszabi and Chabinho!




OTHER QUICK WAYS TO LEARN HUNGARIAN

Find a Hungarian buddy
All the progress we've made with our Hungarian is thanks to our Hungarian friends, they're very proud of their beautiful language and happy to help you with it. 

How do you find Hungarian friends? Obviously we recommend visiting Hungary. Budapest is our favourite city in Europe.

[Find out more 10 Reasons You Must Visit Budapest]

But there are ways to make Hungarian friends without leaving your country, or even your house!

Essentially - meeting them online

There are lots of apps nowadays ready to connect you with foreign friends who are happy to swap language skills with you. As you are a native English speaker (or at least someone who can speak English well enough to read this awesome blog post), you're already in a great position: knowledge of English is one of the most valuable language 'currencies' - almost everyone wants to learn English or improve their English. 



Back to the apps. We personally like Travel Pal - it connects you to people who speak Hungarian (or any language you want). You can download it here  on Android or Apple or read our full review of the app here: Travel Just Got Social with Travel Pal! Make friends, learn Hungarian, teach someone else English - what more could you want?


Make donkey bridges

When you're learning new words, the best way to learn them is by making an 'Eselsbrücke'. This is a German word that literally means donkey bridge and refers to when you make a little story behind a word to help you remember it efficiently. Here's an example:

Mouse in Hungarian is egér. 

Egér (to me) sounds a lot like egg-ear

So my 'donkey bridge' that takes me from mouse to egér is this: I think of an egg in my ear, and inside the egg is a mouse!

Now this may sound like a pretty longwinded way to learn words, and of course it's hard to think of a bridge sometimes, but trust me this is the best way to remember words over time. - I have never forgotten that Wecker is alarm clock (a word I never use) in German because: an alarm clock weck-ers (wakes) you up!! 


Learn the right words 
I'm a big believer in only learning words that interest me or that I'd use in everyday conversation. We're not learning Hungarian to pass an exam or to read an newspaper, we're learning it to chat to our Hungarian friends, make YouTube videos and to get around Hungary a little easier. 

In English you only need to know about 3000 words because these cover about 95% of common texts (source). 

So basically you don't even need to know all the words, so make sure the ones you're learning are useful to you!

Starting with these words
Here is a list of 500 Hungarian words you should look at today. Why? Because they are very similar, if not the same, in English. 

If you know some German you're even luckier - there are lots of German words that come from Hungarian or Hungarian words that come from German (not 100% sure which way round that is). 


Conclusion
So there you have it, our quick tips for learning Hungarian. Basically like everything in life, gravitate to those things that you're passionate about and everything else will fall into place (wow deep life advice there). 

And don't just stop at Hungarian - when travelling the world the least you can do is learn how to say thank you in different languages you can make someone's day with this simple word (and bonus: it can be your new party trick to say thank you in as many languages as possible). 

What's your best language learning tip? Let us know by leaving a comment below! 




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ABOUTME

We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same! We also want to make it clear that we sometimes use “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

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