I’ve just moved to Budapest, and I’m wondering if anyone is studying Hungarian. If so, do you have any favourite or recommended resources?

I’m actually probably not going to make much of an effort to learn Hungarian as I’m going to be very busy, and I may only be here a few months, but I’d still like to know if anyone knows of any good beginner resources.

I already have Colloquial Hungarian, although I haven’t started looking through it yet.

Also, if anyone knows of any good films or novels translated into English, please let me know. If I found something I really liked in Hungarian, that might inspire me to study the language beyond basic greetings.

Assimil Hungarian with Ease

(Oddly enough, I believe this is one of the very few “minority exotic” languages from Assimil’s range which is also available in an edition with English as the teaching language!)

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I have no idea with the Hungarian.I just want to say that I’m wishing you happiness in your new city :slight_smile:

Ok, Assimil is on the list.

So lucky, Budapest is beautiful.

There’s a Hungarian novel, now a film, “Sorstalanság” (the English translation is “Fateless”); the film is in Hungarian with subs. It’s about the genocide of Hungarian Jews, so not the most cheerful, but both excellent pieces.

And since you already speak Japanese, Hungarian might come easily to you, similar post-position grammar systems.

I found the few chapters of Hungarian FSI that I did to be very good. Verb drills etc. Keep us updated.

maths, it is indeed a beautiful city. And thanks for the movie recommendation.

I agree that knowing Japanese will give me something of an advantage with Hungarian, but there are so many other things that seem difficult - like vowel harmony. Anyway, I haven’t looked into the language really at all yet, so I’ll look through some beginner material and then make a judgement about whether to have a go at it or not.


I did a bit of light study for about 5 weeks last year, a few hours a week with FSI materials. From what I know it’s usually the nouns/post positions that scare people off (again, the hard work has already been done if you know Japanese), but it’s super regular, and no genders. Also vowel harmony isn’t tough, the words just rhyme a little at the end : )

Verbs can get quite intricate, but again, pretty regular, I think it would be more about getting lots of vocab, rather than learning new mind-bending grammar for you.

Hungarians are usually happy and surprised to hear a few words from a foreigner and will want to hear more.

There are a lot of Hungarian short pieces here: Logos Library . Many have accompanying sound recordings, and quite a few of them show up translated into other languages on the site (for help understanding them). I have no idea if the quality is good, as I don’t know Hungarian at all, but the quality of the French recordings I checked was fine.

This site has samples of many languages, including some quite exotic ones (from the POV of a U.S. citizen, anyway): Quechua, Nahuatl, quite a few African languages, etc.

Ernie, thanks for the tip.

maths, cheers for the encouragement.

Hi Mark, I look forward to hearing more about your Hungarian adventures. Good luck.

Wow! Are you still going to go back to Mandarin?

Steve, cheers. It might not turn out to be much of an adventure, but we’ll see. There’s a chance I may move to Czech in September.

dooo, I will someday, but that day will be a little farther off than I originally thought.

If you are in Prague in October we could meet up. But I will not talk to you if you cannot speak Czech since I will be on my 5 days to fluency Czech only challenge. We could drink beer together, though, and use sign language.

Steve, if I move to Czech, I’ll most likely be living in a small city about 1.5 hours outside Prague. But I’ll be commuting into Prague once or twice a week for a teaching course that I want to take. If I moved there, I’d be there for at least 9 months, so I’d make a serious effort to learn Czech. I’d probably only be about a month into it when you got there, so unless you want to have extensive conversations about what my name is, and where I come from, and potentially what my hobby is, we’ll need a lot of sign language.


I would like to see the video with the sign language!!


I also wish you a good luck with Hungarian!

Several times I have heard a rumour that Hungarian language sounds ugly for those who don’t understand it. Mainly because of the stress on the firs syllable of word. Of course I can not judge it.
Please tell me the raw truth! Is it really?

I don’t personally find Hungarian ugly at all. I don’t find any languages ugly, come to think of it. Each has its different type of beauty.


I don’t know who would tell you that!
I honestly think Hungarian is one of my favourite sounding languages. Very different from Indo-European languages, with interesting rythmes. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s ugly : )