Your opinion about the Hungarian language (and the country)

I'm just interested, how the people are think about the Hungarian language... for you, is it:

  • It sounds nice/ugly?
  • What you like/don't like something in that?
  • Is it strange/normal?
  • Would you study it?
  • Would you visit once Hungary?
  • [If you visited it], what's your opinion about the people? [I don't want to ask you about is it hard to study or not, cause I know the answer... ;) ]


February 22, 2017


It sounds nice/ugly? - It sounds beautiful. Honestly it's one of the most beautiful languages I've ever heard.

What you like/don't like something in that? - Sorry?

Is it strange/normal? - It's exotic for an American. I've never heard some speak it in person.

Would you study it? - I plan to and have a little bit already, but it is extremely difficult for a native English speaker.

Would you visit once Hungary? - Absolutely.

[If you visited it], what's your opinion about the people? [I don't want to ask you about is it hard to study or not, cause I know the answer... ;) ] -

I've never been so I can't really give an opinion on the people but I doubt they're much different than everyone else. Most countries' people tend to be very similar when you get down to the core of who they are.

February 22, 2017
  1. It sounds really pretty and unique- I've never heard similar language.
  2. I don't like those two letters- "ö" and "ő". They sound really weird for me.
  3. It's very unique so it may be a little bit strange, but I love it anyway.
  4. Yes, I learn it everyday.
  5. I would love to visit Hungary!
February 22, 2017

It sounds nice/ugly? It sounds nice. Its sound doesn't have any outstanding characteristics like for example the Dutch/Hebrew 'ch'.

What you like/don't like? I like that the grammar is logical and has few exceptions. I don't like words that sound like swearwords in other languages. The most striking one - szeretem (i love it) vs. Czech serete (you are sh*tting).

Is it strange/normal? It is completely normal but quite recognizable.

Would you study it? I do so already.

If you visited it, what's your opinion about the people? Friendly people like everywhere else, perhaps a bit more professional in hospitality than some other nations in the region. Maybe some people are too much obsessed with the past and should rather live now and think about the future.

February 22, 2017
  1. I think Hungarian sounds very pretty and unique.
  2. Like some other comments, pronouncing "ő" is difficult as an english speaker.
  3. It seems like a very logical language to me, not necessarily strange. It is completely different than english, which makes learning it interesting (but incredibly difficult).
  4. I am currently studying it.
  5. I have not visited, but would love too at some point.
  6. Like I said, I have not visited Hungary, but my boyfriend and a few of his friends are from Hungary and now live in the USA. Hanging out with them and his family has shown me that Hungarians are very tight knit, but also very kind, warm and welcoming. They are also straight forward and very honest, which I appreciate because a lot of Americans are not that way.
February 27, 2017

Some observations. I very much like the sound of Hungarian. I have also read some articles on its origins and linguistics. This makes it all the more interesting. I love the way a lot of stuff is very logical and that you can trace words back to word families and so on. Of course all languages have that to some extent but in Hungarian its very much more accessible and clear and its really because of Hungarian that I have started looking for these things in other languages too. So in that respect Hungarians is very much an eye opener.

Of course Hungarian contains lots of words that are not easily related to othr European languages so if you're European the vocabulary challenge is much bigger. But in terms of logics and the way it all fits together I'd say it's not exceptionally different. People ❤❤❤❤❤ about the grammar a lot but in my view it's a bit different but not fundamentally so.

I am learning Hungarian in evening classes, but am also using Duolingo just to freshen things up and for extra practice..

I have visited Hungary several times and have friends there. Budapest is a very beautiful city. If anybody is going there for the first time I would recommend reading up on it first. When I went there for the first time I didn't know much about Hungary and I missed quite a lot. The more you know these things, the more it all makes sense and it all comes together like the pieces of one giant puzzle (history, language, politics, stuff in Budapest, why Hungarians act in certain ways). having said that, the real fascination is out in the smaller towns and villages. This is where the real Hungary is alive.

In terms of the people in Hungary, I feel they are very much a mixed bag. Especially in places like Budapest I sometimes feel that everybody is out to cheat you and you really need to watch carefully, especially with bills in restaurants and on markets. Others have complained about the taxis, but I never had negative experiences there. The more touristy the area, the more you need to be careful. If you go out into the suburbs, that sort of negative thing doesn't happen as much, if at all. On the other hand, Hungarians, once you know them and they become your friends are very generous and helping and completely trustworthy.

March 1, 2017

1 It sounds strange, and I find it difficult to understand. It doesn't sound particularly nice to me, that honor goes to Russian, French and Romanian.

2 I don't really like the vowel ő.

3 It's very different from any other language I've learned.

4 I've just started studying Hungarian even though it has the reputation of being extremely difficult to learn.

5 I have visited Budapest several times, and I would love to live there. Budapest is the sole reason I've started learning Hungarian.

February 24, 2017

I spent 4 of the last 6 months in Budapest. The language is hard at first, because we cannot often direct word substitution, which is we often tackle language. And of course for almost all learners there are so many words to learn and so few cognates. A big difficulty for me was how unforgiving the vowels are. In English we accept that people say the vowels differently, but in Hungarian - vowels matter. To me Magyar nyelv doesn't sound beautiful, but nor is it ugly. I went to operas sung in Hungarian and it sounded quite poetic. As for the people, I think they have good manners which I appreciated. However my time there confirmed something about Hungarians that I noticed from people I've known... they are not always reliable and can change their minds without realising how this might affect others.

May 15, 2019

Actually i disagree with these comments on vowels. I'm not claiming any high level of expertese but one thing that is quite easy to recognise in my opinion is that from one region of Hungary to another, the way the vowels are pronounced can vary quite a lot. So, for example, depending on where you are the a ( without accent) can be anything from an open a to a flat o to anything between. My experience is that especially (some) people from Budapest have a tendency to mock or look down on people who pronounce vowels differently than they do, but they do understand them. So actually if you don't get the pronunciation quite right, people still do understand what you want. So in terms of vowels, the Hungarian language is actually quite forgiving, I have also come across people in rural parts who pronounce consonants differently than how your textbook might say, for example pronouncing the v more as an f, or the t more as a d. So for example hetven sounds more like heddffen. But when I mention this to my Hungarian friends, they say no, nobody pronounces it like that. So maybe it's a question of how you hear and interpret things as a foreign speaker. So all in all I would says there is quite a broad range of tolerance within Hungarian pronounciation, but it's generally good to seek to imitate the official pronounciation first of all if you're a foreigner.

May 15, 2019

Thanks for the reply. That's interesting. I asked friends in Budapest about whether the vowels change in different parts of the country. Their opinion was - not very much. However your answer is reassuring and what expect, because all language have a little shift between the regions. Anyway, for sure we English speakers must pay more attention to vowels when learning Hungarian compared to other languages I've studied.

May 16, 2019

My teacher says that there is an area, actually one of the ethnic Hungarian enclaves in Slovakia, where the a and the o sounds are virtually interchanged with regard to Budapest pronounciation,. She says one of her past pupils was actually once asked if she came from that region. So I guess it's a huge complement if people think that rather than immediately spotting you're foreign.

May 16, 2019

Another thing. My teacher also recommended going to Transylvania to learn as (she said) the pronounciation there is clearer. Other Hungarians I asked have denied this, so maybe it's a question of perspective. But i did go there and went on a one week intensive course in Csikszereda and really made huge progress in that one week. Although I couldn't put a finger on any differences in pronounciation, i did have the feeling that I picked up more of what people on the street were saying and it was easier to have simple conversations with random people than it is in say, Budapest. And the Csiki beer there is better too :) , although I've noticed you can get it in Budapest too these days :). But I think part of the problem in Budapest is that people are quick to swich to English so its better to seek out areas where people don't speak much English. That typically means villages and small towns. Such places have the additional advantage that people aren't as much in a hurry so you have time to put together your sentences, and they appreciate you coming to their village and being a tourist there. and thus have a lot of patience and understanding.

May 16, 2019
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