1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "Szia, jó éjszakát!"

"Szia, éjszakát!"

Translation:Bye, good night!

July 13, 2016



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.


Is Szia both Bye and Hello?


Chevalier, yes szia is both hello and goodbye.


Can this be a greeting too?


"Szia" can, "jó éjszakát" can't.


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.

Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.