The Hungarian Course is Too Hard

Hungarian is already a difficult language. Why make the course super hard from the beginning? It's discouraging. They hit you with long complicated sentences every time, and the word order is way different in Hungarian. That would make sense further down the tree, but it happens way too soon.

It is the hardest course on Duolingo, in my opinion. Hopefully when they expand the tree, they can tone it down and include more easy material at the beginning as a confidence builder.

I really like the Pimsleur Hungarian course because you actually feel like it is possible to learn Hungarian. You learn a lot, but it doesn't overwhelm you. The problem is that they only have level 1 (30 lessons), so it doesn't take you very far.

Does anyone know any other good resources for learning Hungarian?

November 17, 2018


DL takes yo much further than Pimsleur - but at least with Pimsleur you get the chance to speak and reply to sentences.

Hungarian is hard. The vocab is different and how you need to think about words/sentences is different. It does start very easy though but rapidly gets hard - then harder.

But have you tried reading real Hungarian text? Even in woman's magazine the sentences are paragraph length with multiple clauses and sub-clauses.

It isn't just DL. You have to get your head around this stuff. Even professional linguists and translators I have met have complained how hard it is to learn. (Including one who had one-on-one lessons for months and lived full immersion)

But its worth it in the end. Ugye?

November 18, 2018

What is it really that is the most difficult aspect of learning Hungarian, technically speaking?

I've heard many say that cases is the biggest issue. However, people seemingly can't agree how many cases there are. I've heard everything from 18, to 35, and 1 787 987 511 cases. Then others say that it simply has two cases, and that for the rest, it is all about attaching prepositions to the end of words in consistent patterns.

Just curious!

November 18, 2018

Cases and conjugations in themselves are not a biggie. It is mostly logical. What isn't logical is the application of the cases with the verbs. Is it vmt, vmre, vmért etc? Then there are the pre-verbs. Some add completion (but you have to choose the right one) and some modify the meaning - not always logically.

When it comes to reading, my issue is the sentences are very long (the ones in DL are child's play compared to real examples). Okay, so look at the commas; find the verb. Then comes the issue of vocab - if you cannot recognize words it isn't always easy to know how the sentence comes apart. And did I mention Hungarian shares hardly any vocab with English apart from the Latin-derived words.

Once you have a word you can create associated words. There is a pattern - usually - but the subtleties can be important: társ, társadalmasítás, társadalom, társalgás, társalgó, not to mention társadalombírálat. So is the sentence about a lounge or social criticism? Is it a description (indicative) or a suggestion (imperative)?

So you have the inflections, pre-verbs (which can follow the verb), the post-positions, the vocab and now check the word order which can subtly shift the meaning. Oh, and watch words like "mégse" which will negate it.

November 18, 2018

I don't know about other texts, but texts in newspapers or magazines are generally difficult, in my experience. That is true even for English. So, I would recommend looking for some other source of text. Maybe children's or young adults' books. Maybe Hungarian translations of your favorite English-language books. There are lots and lots of them. Then you at least know what's going on, which will help you decode the foreign text.
There are thousands and thousands of books, classic novels and everything, translated to Hungarian. Take your pick.

Oh, and there is a large library or Hungarian-language books widely available in electronic format, free of charge. You should be able to find something that interests you (important!) and is at an acceptable level of difficulty:

I don't know.... how about Mark Twain?

Oh... And yes, it is definitely worth it!!!

Good luck!

November 22, 2018

I am forever recommending A Practical Hungarian Grammar by Szita and Görbe. Each (sub)topic has a page of theory and a page of exercises that gets harder and introduces vocab (you will also need a dictionary!) - and best of all you can mark the exercises yourself with answers in the back.

However, some of the grammar is slightly simplified and doesn't cover every exception. But it gets you 98% there.

November 18, 2018

I am struggling with Hungarian as well. It's so discouraging to have 27 lessons on one level. Also, there should be a button to listen to the sentence, word by word.

November 18, 2018

As I understand, that option is not available because it was a live person, not a robot, doing the audio.

November 22, 2018

I very strongly recommend the audio podscasts form "Let's learn Hungarian" as a starter. They are very good and teach useful vocab in a pleasant way with some grammar hints on the side. You can also download the PDF transcripts :

For greetings, numbers, days of the week, etc, I recommend Loecsen

That's how I started

I just finished the whole tree with at least two crowns on every skill. It took me 18 months. When it became very hard, I just slowed down to one lesson a day... but I did it !

November 22, 2018

My wife is half German, half Hungarian, and so it is really important to me to learn it so I can communicate with her family.

November 17, 2018

Hello sanderson1611, I can help via Skype.

November 19, 2018

I think it's fine towards the end, but I always had headaches at the start of the course. To be honest, I'm better off watching Hungarian football highlights than doing the tree now as I'm really getting into the language. In terms of resources, use native materials such as Hungarian songs and TV shows. Let me know if you want me to show you some.

November 18, 2018

Hi.I am Hungarian I am happy to help anyone to learn Hungarian for free. My skype: eszti255

November 19, 2018

Ok, Eszter, I will write you on skyper. Thanks!

November 19, 2018

I'm currently learning on HungarianPod101 (the actual website, not the youtube videos though they do supplement it) and using DuoLingo to supplement that learning as there is more opportunity to practice on DL.

November 20, 2018
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