"Hogy vagy?"

Translation:How are you?

July 1, 2016



As I understand it, my great grandparents (on both sides) were the first to come from Hungary to the United States many years ago, so by my parents' generation, the family was speaking Hungarian less and less. Still, it was the first language both of my parents learned, and they remembered enough by the time I and my sister were born to teach us some simple phrases for when we visited with older family members, like my grandfather, who I remember greeting many times beginning with "Hogy vagy?" This simple phrase is the first of too few I remember learning all those years ago, and I thought it was such fun to say. It makes me feel so sentimental now learning it again here. I miss my grandfather, and I think he would appreciate that I'm studying Hungarian. It's bittersweet, because as far as I know I'm the first in my generation in my family to be learning it again, but I look forward to practicing it with my parents, my aunt, and whoever else will listen, to help them remember the language that, despite so many years of so little use, I am sure they still remember.

Sorry... I didn't expect to write so much. But I'm legitimately holding back tears as I write this just because of this simple phrase. Maybe that's silly... but really I am just so happy that I am finally getting the chance to study this language, my family's language, after all these years. Thank you so, so much to everyone who has helped make this a reality. Please know your efforts are appreciated and mean more than you can imagine.

July 8, 2016


Thank you for this story. I an not an Hungarian, nor an European. I'm from India. But recently I visited Budapest and I fell in love with the language. My walking tour guide lady said it's not related to any of the languages of the European nations surrounding Hungary. "We are an island in the Slavic sea!", were here exact words.

I love those announcements in the trams and métro trains. Beautiful sounding language. I decided I'll it shot now. :)

March 1, 2018


Have fun with the language! :)

February 26, 2018


Damn, I'm on basic phrases and I already know this is gonna be a tough language XD

July 6, 2016


Hi there! I just want to warn everybody, that if you ask Hungarians "Hogy vagy?", they will tell you how they are. Literally. Even if you don't care. This is not a simple greeting, we take it seriously :).

January 11, 2017


So this is what my grandfather said to me the other day! My mother's side of the family is Hungarian, so they sometimes speak to us in their native tongue without realizing that we don't understand it. He asked me this question in Hungarian I just thought, "What? What are you saying?" and I was confused for the rest of the day.

I am very happy that I am taking this course.

July 9, 2016


Do you not pronounce the "Y" letter in Hungarian?

July 1, 2016


To expand on what negyvenketto said, in words such as "hogy" and "magyar" the "gy" is actually a digraph and represents one of the 44 letters in the Hungarian alphabet. This therefore means it has its own distinct sound to the letters "g" and "y". There's a few other digraph and trigraphs in Hungarian with their own sounds e.g. "dzs", "sz" etc.

July 1, 2016



February 19, 2019



February 19, 2019


hungarian rarely uses "y" on it's own (the exceptions are mostly old family names). here it makes a sound together with the "g" before it. listen to it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiced_palatal_stop

July 1, 2016


Interestingly the |ɟ| pronounced by the voice sounds completely different from the |ɟ| that's in my native tongue... is it pronounced correctly here?

July 2, 2016


Yes, pronounced correctly here.

July 3, 2016


Perfect pronunciation. Actually, the audio seems really high quality throughout the course. So it is very reliable.

It is not easy to teach a foreigner how to make this sound. The best example I could come up with is how the French say "di" in "mon dieu".

Or try to say a reeeeaally strong "yyyes" (stress on the "Y"), from a position where your tongue starts up actually touching your palate and then opening up.

July 4, 2016


I believe that the Hungarian audio is a recording of a native speaker, not a computer voice.

July 6, 2016


Yes, I think you are correct.

July 6, 2016


It sounds like the Chinese j as in 家 [jiā] (home) if I heard it correctly.

August 13, 2017


Y always belongs to a another letter because we use it only as diphthong with another letter

May 7, 2018


FYI - the term in English is "digraph". A "diphthong" is two vowels sliding into each other.

May 7, 2018


If anyone here speaks Czech, the gy in Hungarian is pronounced like the palatalized d in děkuji. The IPA symbol is ɟ

November 19, 2016


Or ď of Slovak :)

I believe that Slovak Hungarians would pronounce "hogy vagy" exactly like hoď vaď (their "short A" sounds like a shorter version of "long A" rather than changing its pronunciation as it does in most of Hungary).

November 19, 2016


Can confirm this, I am half Hungarian (from Slovakia), Half Welsh, and the Hungarians in Slovakia speak a distinctive dialect of Hungarian known as Palóc. As I am not Slovak nor do I live there or speak it, I had to put " hoď vaď " into google translate to hear this, and we do pronounce the 'a' differently. Althought this is not due to the Slovak interference.

January 6, 2019


I took a semester of Hungarian, spent 2 months in Budapest and Szeklerland, and am 1/3 Hungarian....and still can't manage to make the "gy" sound!!! Any tips for me? I really want to (finally) get this sound right.

July 8, 2016


It's a d or g sound (g as in go) but with your tongue in the position of the "ee" vowel sound (i in Hungarian). Another way to look at it: say d or g with the blade of your tongue on your hard palate. Same principle applies to the ny and ty sounds, but with n and t/k respectively.

July 13, 2016


Or look into how the Spanish (or Latin American Spanish?) can say the "y" sound sometimes. One way of saying it is like the English "y", and the other way is very close to the Hungarian "gy".

July 19, 2016


Ah, the infamous "gy". We meet at last. I can only pronounce it because it's the same sound as a slender "g" in Irish.

December 17, 2016


Oh I am so out of my comfort zone!

December 24, 2017


Hi! Hogy vagy? :) My father's side of the family is Hungarian, and now i am just beginning to learn the language. Thank you all. I am happy to learn. I still have some far relatives, but we don't see each other very often, i am familiar to the way it sounds, though i don't understand at all.

March 30, 2017


How are you (after last night)? How's your 'hogy vagy'? LOL, don't judge me for how I remember things!

December 19, 2017


this is so difficult to pronounce, even with all the explanations i am reading, i can't even understand how to pronounce this...

January 20, 2018


Think of the beginning of "during" - that is your "gy" sound (approximately)

May 5, 2018


At first I was pronouncing this as a "gh" because I thought that was what I could hear - a couple of days ago I read that this "gh" dipthong should be pronounced as a "d" as is "during" and it seems like a more correct pronunciation. HTH.

March 9, 2018


What happened to the little rabbit button that slowed speech down? They always say the difficult sounds super fast!

August 12, 2018


None for Hungarian as it is real speech. (And this short phrase isn't fast)

August 12, 2018


The sound is certainly pronounced too quickly for me to get a good hearing. And real speech can easily be slowed down. Is to be contrary the only reason for your response?

August 12, 2018


No. The other languages use computer generated speech which is easily slowed down programmatically. To do this with real speech required an extra file for every phrase (even is the slowing is generated rather than re-recorded). The speech is actually much slower than normal conversation and is just two words.

August 12, 2018


Should this not be 'how are you'?' how is she' is 'hogy van?'

August 21, 2016


You are correct about that meaning, but it also has another.

Hogy vagy? = How are you? (informal you)

Hogy van? = How is she/he? (no formal/informal distinction) or can also mean the formal version of 'How are you?'

Conjugation of verbs for the formal 'you' usually match the third person singular conjugations in Hungarian, which is why it may be included here since the English sentence can be used in both formal and informal settings.

August 27, 2016


How can I say in a formal way, without be this sentence?

September 2, 2016


"Hogy van?" is the formal version but is rarely used, see below. There can be multiple other versions without the verb "be", not sure why you would want that. eg. "Hogy szolgál az egészsége?" meaning "How is your health?" or literally "How is your health serving you?"

Like others mentioned, this is not a greeting in Hungarian, it is really asking about the health of someone, which you wouldn't use in formal unless you are a doctor.

February 2, 2019


Is there somebody who would like to learn with me? I am from hungary and i would speak with somebody who can speak english. If anybody interested it my snapchat : nagyja

December 11, 2016


I certainly would, but I have no idea how old this comment of yours is.. I only recently started learning HU myself.

May 21, 2018


This is a fun language, although, is it just this lesson or is everyone in Hungary sick or not well?

February 23, 2017


How do I say How are you (in a formal way), What's up, and How are you going in Hungarian?

March 26, 2017


How are you? (formal) is "Hogy van?" - but is rarely used as it is quite invasive. "How are you" is not a casual question in Hungarian - it expresses an interest in how someone really is. For those you would use the formal grammar for you would not really ask it - except maybe if you see an elderly person after some considerable time.

May 5, 2018


Well, in formal speech, I am not sure "how are you" would be used a lot. It would be "Hogy van?". The "how are you doing" could be translated to this as well. What's up would be "Mi újság?", same in formal and informal.

May 10, 2017


This... Is ... madness... I learned english 10x faster...

December 31, 2017


Anyway, I try to use also google.translate for some words...And I can't understand where is the true. Well, when I translate words or phrases from English to Russian (my native language), or from Russian to English, it shows me synonyms, or idioms...is that the same thing with Hungarian language? Is that good idea to trust google?)

July 8, 2018


I do not speak russian and I havent really tried that so far. What I know is that X -> hungarian can be weird so I mostly just ask google to translate a 3rd language into english and i can do the hungarian translation from there.
What I can tell you about this is that this current sentence is about asking "how do you feel", "how are you", "what is up with you", it is like a greeting someone who you have not seen for a while.

July 10, 2018


Oh, okay I see. And one more question, in most of english-speaking countries it can be used not only with people you know, for example in shops, or other places...In Russia we use form of "how are you?" - only with friends, and what about Hungarian ?

July 10, 2018


Apart from the hogy vagy vs hogy van - the issue is you only use it if you want an honest answer. It is not a meaningless questions as in English - where the answer is expected as "good thanks" not a detailed list if health issues and the death of your spouse - the Hungarian expected answer!

July 14, 2018


In Hungarian this form is informal and it is intended mostly for friends, family, children, just the way you described.

The formal version where you want to show politeness towards a total stranger would be: "Hogy van ?" ( And a possible confusion here is that this is the exact same translation for "How is he / she / it ?")

July 10, 2018


That is true, but we would not use the formal version. If you use formal speech you are probably not that close to the person and wouldn't ask about their health, which is something we do mean in Hungarian when we say it. There might be a few exceptions, for example older generations use formal speech with old friends or neighbours sometimes even while knowing eachother more closely.

February 2, 2019
Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.