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  5. "Hogy vagy?"

"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.


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. :)


Island in the Slavic sea is picturesque but strictly inaccurate. More like an isthmus in the Slavic sea connecting, via Austria, the Teutonic bloc with the (eastern) Latin peninsula of Romania.


It is one of the Finno-Ugric languages. Finnish (including N.Sweden and N. Norway, Estonian and Magyar (and former Austro-Hungarian Empire bits like Transylavania.) They came from the Urals. The Magyar part came .c 950 via the Volga, over the Carpathians and along the Danube to establish the Christian kingdom of Hungary.


A little earlier than 950CE - more like 830-896CE. And the initial conquest was certainly not Christian - a political decision to curry favour changed the official alignment with St Stephen.


Have fun with the language! :)


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


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 :).


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


Yes, pronounced correctly here.


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.


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


Yes, I think you are correct.


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


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


Except when it is used instead of "i" in older names / like: Andrássy where the "y" at the end is pronounced as "i"


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.


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.


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".


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


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).


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.


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.


Oh I am so out of my comfort zone!


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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?


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.

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