I typically heard my family pronouncing this closer to "Hállok"... has anyone else heard that? Maybe I'm wrong or it's a certain dialect/accent?
Speakers of the Palóc dialect pronounce a short "á" instead of an "a". This dialect is used in Northern Hungary and in Slovakia. Maybe your family is from that region? :)
Interesting thanks! My grandfather was born near Győr so that would make sense.
Around Győr the Transdanubian dialect is spoken, but they use the short "á" too.
Would "I listen" be acceptable here? I don't know if I should report.
Perhaps not worth reporting, MaerskBuddhapest, because there are two different words - hallani = to hear and hallgatni = to listen. I'm no expert though, still learning too. Perhaps a native speaker could confirm for you.