Should I give up?

I really don't understand Hungarian... I would like if someone who is level 10 or more in Hungarian, told me, how much time did it take for you to learn some basics and was it hard? I'm seriously thinking about giving up! =(

September 18, 2016

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Never give up. After all, any foreign language is hard for a non-native, right? What was your motivation when you started? You have to keep your dreams. If you can imagine, you can achieve, and you can do. Lépésről lépésre meg kell tanulnia - You must learn step by step :) The Hungarian grammar is complex but logical, once you get the hang of it. I can't really say how difficult it will be for you as I don't know your background. It definitely helps to be used to cases :) As soon as you know the alphabet, you are basically able to read out anything.

September 18, 2016

Yes, but I can generally learn languages much more easily, especially if it's the Germanic one. I live in northern part of Serbia, and there are many Hungarians here. My English teacher (who is half Hungarian) inspired me, because I was so amazed when I heard her speaking Hungarian with her students. She unfortunately moved to Budapest now, but that doesn't matter now. Thank you! I hope I'll have enough energy and motivation to know the basics.

September 18, 2016

If you really want to learn this language, you might want to try Memrise and take a few courses there and see if it helps. (I test drove Hungarian when it was first released, and the problem I had with it was that since there aren't individual recordings for the words, I couldn't really wrap my head around the sounds and so on. I don't know if that's the problem you're having, but a Memrise course with audio would have helped a little.)

September 18, 2016

I spoke Hungarian as a kid in Canada and lost it slowly after I came to the states when I was seven. I am re-learning it now as an adult and it IS hard. What is even harder is that some of the translators on here (or however it works) make it even harder by not accepting correct translations ie. you have to do it their way and unfortunately it's not consistent. It's been frustrating but I think if you stick w/it you'll eventually learn. Luckily I have Hungarian relatives to bounce this off of and they encourage me. They say it's one of the hardest languages to learn.

September 22, 2016

You can report correct answers that Duolingo rejects.

April 23, 2017

Thank you all! You guys really motivated me! I'm not going to give up, but I'm not going to work on Hungarian on Duolingo until I get the basics. I think I should practice on MemRise for now. Again, thank you! All of you deserve a lingot! =D <3

September 20, 2016

You deserved, too :)

September 20, 2016

Don't give up! I'm not level 10 but I've seriously been trying to learn for a really long time and am determined to do it (or at least highly improve) this time with Duolingo. The problem is there is really not that many people to practice with. My father is a native speaker so I'm determined.... keep it up. If you practice every day you are bound to pick up the words until you eventually understand what's being said.

September 20, 2016

I think that you should give it a try. I started the course with almost no knowledge of Hungarian vocabulary and grammar (I was just familiar with pronounciation, that's all I knew back then). In the beginning, I felt it was impossible to memorize the words because of the totally distinct vocabulary. So I wrote some important words on a big piece of paper, followed by their Czech translation (it worked for me to also compare the language to my mothertongue). When the paper was full I made an excel-spreadsheet and categorized the words in verbs, adjectives, nouns, etc. After say 20 days of having to look up everything, suddenly I could use a whole bunch of those words. And after 40 days I managed to complete the tree.

It is not an easy language, but I was many times surprised by how logical the grammar is, and how intuitive some features of the language are (e.g. vowel harmony).

September 18, 2016

No, you should not give up! You should persist! It's a beautiful language with a lot of logic to it that you can actually really make a lot of progress with fast, once you get the basics.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is the right place to learn the basics, at least not right now. This course is haphazard, full of frustrating typos and other mistakes, and leaves out too much important stuff (including any of the explanation that would make the logic clear). Find a good book or audio course that will get you a solid foundation and then maybe Duo's Hungarian is worth something.

If you're confident enough with English to use a Hungarian-for-English Speakers book, then I really recommend the book Learn Hungarian by Banhidi et al. It's thorough and yet really well-paced.

September 18, 2016

It is a difficult language for sure, but beautiful, poetic, musical and linguistically very interesting (and from a socio-historical-cultural perspective too).

So do not feel discouraged because that is just the way it is.

I am just in the process of learning it too so all i can advice you is to go easy perhaps, do not set a very high daily goal, go over lessons again many times if you want to (this should not be a race to finish the tree after all), TAKE NOTES (it really helps), do not let a lesson break you (if it is getting too up the hill, cancel and go back to what you did before, and then try it again, next day) TAKE NOTES

Hope it helps and best of luck to you :)

September 19, 2016

Nikada, Stefane! Izabrao si mađarski, to znači da ga voliš i dobro ti ide, nemoj da odustaješ. Čak i da ti ne ide dobro, nemoj nikada da odustajem. Samo nastavi da vežbaš i biće super.Odličan si! :) No, you should not give up! Just believe in yourself. :)

September 19, 2016

Try FSI Language-Hungarian on Live Lingua Project. You'll learn everything basic and more. I've learned 95% of my Hungarian there. It's long, but really productive.

September 25, 2016

Gonna check it out! Thank you!

September 25, 2016

I don't learn Hungarian but Turkish, which is also an agglutinative language. If you haven't learned a similiar language before, it is quite challengeing. But as everybody keeps telling you, I wouldn't give up either. It is basically a question of motivation. Why do you want to learn Hungarian? Do you have native speakers around? They could help you with the language. Or you could look for a tandem partner on skype.

September 19, 2016

Wow, look I am a native Hungarian (so like level 200 :D) and let me tell you, you just entered the doors of hell by deciding to learn Hungarian. This is one of the hardest languages in the world :D But definitely don't give up! At least you know, that if you master Hungarian, you are capable of doing anything in this world, there is nothing that can stop you. And the other thing is, that the average number of languages spoken in Hungary is 1.5/person, which is the lowest number in the whole EU, so we really need foreign people to speak our language if we do not want to be more isolated. So I really support you, good luck, and do not give up!

September 19, 2016

Hello! I'm curious about something in Hungary.
Do most people there speak english fairly well? I know you said the average is 1.5 per person, but I wanted to study abroad in Hungary, and I'm hoping that there are not a lot of english speakers there xD

September 22, 2016

Well, generally there is a huge difference between Budapest and the countryside. In Budapest, people speak generally well, especially young people. If you come here, you are going to love it, the night life and the student life is amazing here and there are also many foreign students. And by living here, I can tell you, that you have no interest in talking to people who don't speak English. I know many people who has lived here for years now without any Hungarian, but in fact, we appreciate very much if we hear someone talking in our language :) like I said, it is the hardest language on the planet... :D

Update: Hehe, I just found these sweaters in google, I've never seen them before, but actually it is pretty good

September 22, 2016

haha that sweater is funny! I really want to go to hungary, but I don't know if I can!

I've heard people say that finnish is actually more difficult than hungarian though

September 22, 2016

I don't know why, but I can only reply here, not at your last comment :D So in the rural areas, there are several cities- Szeged, Pécs, Debrecen for example where there are a lot of universities, so there are a lot of young people and they generally speak good english I'd say. In western Hungary, like at the city of Győr and Sopron they speak mostly german as the 2nd language because the Austrian border is close and a lot of people just come and go to Austria on a daily basis. But generally I'd say that younger people mostly speak English, the problem is, that all of them go to London and now Hungary is only full of old people :P

September 25, 2016

Hahaha, Serbia is the same! =D

September 26, 2016

That might be true in some aspect, as both are Uralic languages, but the vocabulary is totally different because they separated very long time ago. But still, we like to say that this is the hardest language, because historically we've been repressed for very long times by other nations, and it's like "at least we have the hardest language, so we got that for us", you know :)

September 23, 2016

haha I understand. Do a lot of people speak english in rural areas??

September 24, 2016

Never give up. My parents are Hungarian so I learned it when I was young. I can help you learn if you would like.

September 25, 2016

Woow, that's awesome! I would! I'd really appreciate it! =D

September 26, 2016

Ok if you don't know or understand something that you are learning. Come here and tell me I will try and help you understand.

September 27, 2016

OK, thank you very much! =D

September 27, 2016

your welcome

September 28, 2016

I would take jsiehler's advice and get a good foundation with Bánhidi's "Learn Hungarian", and then Duolingo is just what you need to practise what you have learned.

April 26, 2018


How did things go? I hope you didn't give up

July 5, 2018

Hi! No, I didn't give up. =) I'm actually going to Budapest for high school in a few weeks. The lessons are not in Hungarian, though I will be surrounded by Hungarian everywhere I go. I've been taking some private lessons, and I still find Hungarian way harder than other languages, though I will surely continue with it. So nice of you for asking that! =)

August 12, 2018

That's awesome to hear!

Just be kind and patient with yourself - Hungarian isn't quite as difficult as people say, it just takes a bit more time.

So, whilst there are few words with cognates that you may recognise - the language is a very logical one and you can figure out a word meaning (or at least get an idea) from it's root word. So, learn one word, and you do get several free - the cost of that one word may be higher at the start, but it does pay off over time.

For me, learning to focus on the vowels when speaking really helped. I think being an English native speaker, who is exposed to many dialects, you listen for the consonants - things turned a corner for me when I focussed on vowels more and people began to understand me better.

There are lots of little tips and tricks with language and with Hungarian - that's just mine. You're Serbian, so that tip may not work for you - just be patient and you'll figure out what works for you.

The one thing that works for everyone - practise, practise, practise! Try to use what you have as often as possible.

Also, do try to spend time getting away from places where there are lots of tourists and people who speak English (or Serbian). Hungarians in the city can be a bit more jaded than those in regional areas. Those in smaller cities and towns are more interested and have more patience for foreigners who speak a small amount of Hungarian.

Good luck with it - with a little patience, you'll find yourself having a lot of fun and adventure as well as meeting some really great people.

August 12, 2018

Yes, you can do it! This is a very good way to get along with us and with our language. ;) Don't be shy, dare to make mistakes, and you'll find a helpful bounch of friends outta here. Ralphi_K's suggestions are great, keep'em in your mind. And even the pronounciation will be way easier for you than for an English or German or French. And you can always msg me here, I usually up once or twice a day to check out DL and do some practicing. I am living in a small town near Budapest, but if you need a personal help, even that may be available. If you're a Tolkien fan, it is even easier, we have a strong and helpful community here ;) :D

August 13, 2018

Try learning Esperanto! It's easy, and it helps you learn other languages.

April 23, 2017

It is hard. I find it difficult to remember because it's unlike other European languages. The Duolingo course is designed with long sentences no one would ever actually say. I need a course with short sentences so I can build up to more complex ones. Does anyone know where I can find such a course?

June 24, 2017

I am Hungarian so my opinion is absolutely biased and your problem is almost unknown (let's take the fact that we face almost the same problem when we learn your languages :D )

I'd say keep learning, do not give up! The most important thing is to get somebody to practice with. IRL is the best, but online is a close second. If you learn a language with somebody together (but not in a big group—it is better with one or two other people) there can form a kind of friendly and helpful competition. Don't underestimate this!

Don't give a sheet to the mistakes! If you make yourself understood, you win. When you can work out the replies, when you can ask easily where is the next bus stop with a ticket machine or a söröző [kinda pub] where they have side dishes, then you can start to be anxious about grammar and other mistakes. But don't overdo that! Actually Hungarians think that our language is one of the three hardest language on Earth (that is wrong, there are way harder languages!). Therefore they will be very pleased if they get know that you learn Hungarian and they will be very helpful. You can ask them to neglect your mistakes or correct them and they will do their best to find out what do you want to say. There are exceptions of course, everybody may have a bad day, but in general you will be welcomed!

It is a well-known fact (in Hungary) that if you speak slowly, well-forming your words, and extremely loud, everybody will understand you. :D There is some truth in it: you will better understand them :) Also the long and complex sentences that LaExtranjera mentioned is rather typical to Hungarians. It is a kind of cultural heritage, we like over-complicate things if we can show our intelligence, knowledge, or any of our qualities by it. Or whatever. A really excellently educated Hungarian often forgets the beginning of their sentence by the last fifth of it. ;) (Is it crazy? Well. Yet it has some historical reason. We call it eloquency ;) ) But you don't have to speak that way, and most Hungarians will take things simple if they find out that you understand them easier. So: communicate! ;)

(I coudn't even deny that I am Hungarian, even my English sentences are too long and complicated :D :D :D )

Get the "music of the language". Every language has one, and if you find out, you're in the cabal. (The next one is the mouth and tongue position. It is different for different languages. But that is a higher level, don't try at your home. Er... Even contrary, try it at your home!) Listen a lot of music on your studied language and try to sing along (avoid instrumental works!).

June 27, 2017

It took me some time. Hungarian is really difficult, and this course is constantly improving. Actually, if it's ever too much for you, I suggest quitting for a while and doing something else, then coming back when you feel a bit better.

September 29, 2018
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