Could be, maybe it's just me not hearing it. Some people also frown on it, although that might be caused by the English meaning and not really related to the Hungarian language. I've found it in an online dictionary as meaning both hello and goodbye, I may have to buy the official dictionary now...
First, I thank you for addind this language to Duolingo, great work. Through I don't like this beta course right now. It's way too difficult for a beginner. The new word are introduced several at once, and there are long and difficult. I passed 2 lesson, but had the point randomly, with nothing left in my memory. I'd prefer a first lesson with short word, how to say "a", "the", "boy", "girl", etc. "Szia" is very easy, but all other exercices from this first unit, is very difficult to me.
For instance, when you have the exercise "Jó éjszakát kívánok" which I know 0 words, when you click on the word, you have the global translation, and I don't know what each word means. I don't want to learn the sentences globally, like with a book method giving useful sentences for traveller, I'd like to be able to understand each words to reuse them in my own sentences. I know it's a beta, I hope you'll change a little the difficulty level, or order of the lesson, or explain more each word.
The hover hints include the (presumably Hungarian) words udvariasabban and búcsúzásra (in the English translations!) and the dictionary definitions include búcsúzásra and közvetlenebbül. What do these words mean? These words should probably be replaced with suitable English words to help new learners. My apologies if definitions are given in the Tips & Notes section, but unfortunately it is not possible to access the Tips & Notes until after the first lesson is completed.
Igen. Nehéz a megfelelő stílust eltalálni. Igen figyelemre méltó, komoly munka ez. Én is komolyan gondolom, hogy kívánatos lenne, hogy ez a sok érdeklődő nem magyar ember ne úgy hagyja abba a tanulást, hogy a magyar nyelvben nincs az igének jövő ideje, nincs felszólító és feltételes módja. Azt megértem, hogy a kötetlen szórend nagyon megterhelné a megoldásokat, de a függőleges ékezettel lehetne elnézőbb.
Nagy élmény volt! Köszönöm szépen.
In my experience, "szervusz" is mostly used by old/older people when they address younger ones or each other. Even in these cases it is mostly used to address boys/males, since older people talking to girls/ladies would use more formal and fancy phrases like simply "jó napot" or "kézcsók"+name and its variants like "kézcsókom/kezeit csókolom".
How do you know how people are pronouncing words when this is a written forum?
Whenever I hear someone say "szia," in the audio part of this course, or in a movie, it does sound like see-aw. The "aw" part is short, though, not a dipthong like it is in English. Also, it's not a schwa like it is in English (see-yuh :)).
Since you're not from the US, it doesn't matter much (sorry for the assumption!). In most regions of the US, the 'o' sound (as in 'not,' the 'aw' sound you referred to) sounds somewhat similar to the 'a' sound in 'father'. Not exactly the same, but from my perspective as someone who was raised in New England, they sound very similar. This is especially true when someone from the Midwestern US is talking, but I live in California now, and I often hear them pronounced similarly.
In New England, there's a strong distinction between the two vowel sounds. So that's why I wondered whether you were from there, too. Probably the New Englanders got it straight from the source. :)