But could this also translate to "How is he/she?" ?? Or is there a different way to ask about a third person (singular)?
I believe it could, though most often I believe it would be clarified with who you are talking about. For instance, I might say "..and your daughter, how is she?" "...Es a lanyod, hogy van." or "Hogy van a lanyod." I'm sure it could happen that you would say "hogy van" by itself, but only if it is already obvious you are already talking about someone.
I guess you are right.. So.. he/she is possible, but more farfetched in this example. In the isolated sense as given, polite "how are you?" is a more logical reading. Thanks for replying!
This is the form used with "Ön", which is just the formal form, like "Vous" or "Sie". So it can be used with the elderly; on the other hand, it is also used with someone in authority.
The so-called formal you. It is the second person in reality, but grammatically you use the third person conjugation. And you differentiate between singular and plural. This is the "adult way of speaking". Mostly used with adults who are not family, friends or close acquaintences. Also officially and with our elders, yes.
So, if I am talking to you directly and ask "Hogy van?", I am respectfully asking how you are.
I think Spanish works similarly in this respect.
Now I'm thinking and appreciating Spanish as my native language more than ever. "Usted" and "Tú" seem so easy for me (and it's obvious)! Though I'm loving this new journey through hungarian.
Enjoy the journey! And I think you will find more than a few similarities between the Spanish and Hungarian ways that are different from English. I know I have! :)
If a foreigner forgets these rules and speaks to elders, or others, informally, would that be considered a terrible breach of conduct? Or are Hungarians generally pretty understanding about it?
I don't think it will be a problem at all. They will already be amazed that you speak Hungarian in the first place. That is still a very rare experience for Hungarians that a foreigner would speak their language. And it will be very obvious that you are a foreigner once you open your mouth. :)
The more informal way of speaking is spreading more and more anyway. Many people prefer being addressed informally. It means you are still young! :) And for the few who will be offended no matter what, you can always apologize.
I imagine once any English speaker tries to say gy it's obvious they are foreigners. heh
Pretty much. :) And a few more sounds that you have to master. Ty, c, a, ö, ü, etc. The C sound is a very easy and common one in Hungarian, and it is surprising that several major languages just don't have it. German and several eastern European languages do but it is missing from English, Spanish, Turkish, and probably many others.
I am not sure why Duolingo won't let me reply to Vvsey but, English does have a ts sound like the Hungarian c. Cats. for example. Whenever something is pluralized, a main way of doing that is to add an s sound. if the last sound is voiced than so is the s, example= dogs. GZ stop-fricative combo. English has a very large number of various sounds which just aren't used terribly often. Honestly though, the C in Hungarian is rather easy, the problem is indeed the GY which seems to mutate in a variety of circumstances.
No, that would be "Hogy vannak?" which also is the formal plural "how are you". formal you is a hell of a form.
Is this related to Lesson 3 in the tips and notes? I wasn't quite sure what it was to explain. Is this third person used for singular and plural questions? For second person? It was unclear to me.