"Szia, jó éjszakát!"

Translation:Bye, good night!

July 13, 2016

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What sound does the letter "j" make in "éjszakát"? I feel like I'm only hearing the "sz"...


The same sound as in .


Okay. I figured... it just seems a little harder to detect.

From what I have been told, Hungarian is similar to Spanish or even Japanese (and unlike English!) in that "what you see is what you get," specifically, that letters always make the same sound regardless of the word. So, "j" always makes the same sound as in , for example. Would you agree with that? It sounds almost too good to be true!

Thank you again, by the way, for all your helpful replies!


There is a difference between the sound of é (which is very "level" and constant-sounding) and éj (which glides into a 'y' sound at the end). It may be more or less audible depending on where in a word it occurs. American English pronunciation hardly ever uses the pure é sound - if you are a native English speaker then probably the way you pronounce the verb "bake" or the name "Amy" would be transcribed by a Hungarian as "béjk" and "Éjmi," not "bék" or "Émi." You'll naturally make the éj sound and have to pay some special attention to pronouncing words like lé, pék, fék, kém, and so on that don't have the y-glide at the end of the vowel.


If i understand you correctly, "éj" could be described as a dipthong, no? I have sung in many choirs, and the distinction between a "simple" vowel like "é" (which you're right, is rare in English) and a dipthong ("two vowel sounds in one vowel space" as one choir director described it) like "éj" was something monolingual English singers often struggled with. I will be sure to watch for it in Hungarian, too - köszönöm szépen!


Yes, that sounds accurate. American choir directors have to work hard to get young singers to stop making every vowel into a diphthong when they are singing, for example, Latin!


You are right, I'd add one more thing - diphtongs sound so folksy and uneducated in standard Hungarian that eventually, amy and bake would still get transcribed AND pronounced as Émi and Bék with flat é's. (Just like how I write ímél for email - this spelling made it into the standard too, actually.)


That's true. :) Or almost true. The only exceptions are consonant clusters which would be difficult to pronounce, so one or more consonants change in some way to make it easier ("j" and "sz" after each other don't fall into this cathegory). Some examples:

  • színpad (stage) -> "szímpad"
  • költség (cost [noun]) -> "kölcség"
  • otthon (home) -> "othon"

But you shouldn't worry about this, as I said, it's only to make pronounciation easier and I think these will come naturally.


Köszönöm! I remember having to learn all sorts of tricks to be able to recall proper pronunciation and spelling in English. It's wonderful that it's so much more intuitive in Hungarian.


Just as a fun thing… you pronounce j and ly the same way.

For example, jó and lyó are pronounced the same, but there is no such thing as “lyó”.

One of my favorite words containing both is “jégpálya”, which means “ice rink”.


If you're used to diphthongs (like English speakers may), then the "éj" might be heard as a single vowel with a glide, like in "pay" (but with a bit different "e"-sound). If so, you might not hear the "j" because you consider it being part of the "é".

If you're also used to English "j" being /dʒ/ or French "j" being /ʒ/, then you might not be used to the Hungarian "j" being /j/, which is a weaker sound, making it harder to spot.

Add these two factors together, and that could explain why it's hard to hear "j" in "éj". But you'll eventually hear it when you get used to how the language sounds.


It's only a soft "y" like in "yes".


Is Szia both Bye and Hello?


Can this be a greeting too?


"Szia" can, "jó éjszakát" can't.


Chevalier, yes szia is both hello and goodbye.


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


Hey, first Hungarian lesson here ✋✋ I'm in love with the language. My question is- what is the function of the word jó here? Because before I was presented with this sentence the 'jó' was always 'hello' or 'hi'. I'm a little confused because I don't understand what part of the sentence it stands for. Thank you in advance for reading my question and good luck to you all :]


just means "good." You see it in greetings like Jó napot which literally means "(I wish you a) good day!" Best to translate that into English as "Hello" or something similar, though, since we don't usually greet each other with "Good day!" in English these days.


I'd assume "jó éjszakát" can be used as a getting during the night, even if people here would disagree.

People would also disagree that "good night" and "god natt" (Swedish) can't be greetings shee either; but that's wrong, those are greetings.


I've never heard anyone use "jó éjszakát" as a greeting.


And if you ask a Swede, they'll probably never heard anyone using "god natt" as a greeting either ... until you turn on the radio at night, and they greet you with that term.


But that's a very specific situation. It's similar to saying good morning as a joke to someone who just woke up from an afternoon nap. It doesn't make good morning an appropriate greeting in the afternoon, just like how some radio shows' habits don't make god natt or jó éjszakát greetings. Of course it's possible that these habits will spread in the future, but until that happens, it's incorrect to say that these phrases are greetings.


Saying "good morning" after an afternoon nap would be incorrect (wrong time of day), and not a proper comparasion to what I said.

However, just because it's a specific situation doesn't make it wrong.

My theory is that "good night" was a greeting, just like all "good time of day", but turned into what it means today. So I don't expect it to go back.

"50 000 000 people can't be wrong", yes they can.


I consider it a good comparison, because both are used by a minority of speakers.

And you're right that it's not wrong, it's just not standard. And on Duolingo there's no other choice but to only accept what exists in standard language. For no other reason than to keep it practical and useful.

It's possible that that's what happened. The important thing is how it's used today -- by the majority of speakers.

And no, when it comes to language, noone can be wrong. I accept that some people might use "jó éjszakát" as a greeting (though I still have to meet one who does), but (sorry for repeating myself) the majority of native speakers don't, therefore it's not a greeting in standard Hungarian, therefore it won't be taught as a greeting on Duolingo.


No - greeting at night would be "jó estet" (good evening). "jó éjszakát" means you are off to bed - ie "goodbye"


Just wondering when people ever say "hello, good night?"


"Szia" is not actually "hello". It is an informal greeting that is used both when you meet and depart. As it says at the top, it is best translated as "Bye, good night".


Why on earth do you have hello, hi, and bye all together as options for a sentence that contains szia? This could very easily trip someone up


Because szia can mean all of them. But hey, I am sure this wasn't all that difficult to figure out.


Because it is used that way?


Ez lehet elköszönő szia és köszönő szia is tehát nem nagyon értem hogy honnan kéne tudnom hogy melyik


A jó éjszakát elköszönéshez használjuk, emiatt a szia is mint elköszönés szerepel itt. Persze lehet, hogy viccesen odamegyek egy barátomhoz és így köszönök majd elköszönök, de nyelvtanulós lecke esetén ez általában nem játszik.

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