Németül, magyarul, oroszul...

I have a short question about the -ul/-ül sort of suffix, we come across in earlier lessons, for example in combination with példa "example".

Do I get it right that -ul/-ül conveys some kind of "as/for..." meaning, similar to the German "als, in Funktion von..."? So "például" would be "for example" and "barátul" "as a friend"?

But if it has this meaning, why do we say "magyarul" with the meaning of "in Hungarian"? And is the only way to express "I speak Hungarian" "Beszélek magyarul"? —> "Milyen nyelveket beszélsz?" [I hope it's ok to say it like that] "magyarul, németül és oroszul!"

No possibility for "magyart, németet és oroszt" stating it out as a simple accusative?

Thank you for you time and help :)

August 19, 2019


-ul turns an adjective into an adverb - ie "in the manner of". How do you speak? In the manner of Hungarian.

Accusative is not an option because you are not doing something to the magyar - you are not speaking the Hungarian person like you bite the Hungarian or love the Hungarian. You are speaking like a Hungarian - not object - just an adverb.

August 20, 2019

I found this short explanation that might helpful:

August 19, 2019
  • 403

"magyart, németet és oroszt" -> Saying "beszélem az angolt" is possible, and people will understand it, but it is not as elegant as saying "beszélek angolul / magyarul"

I found some examples: (from online articles)

Az angolt beszélik a legtöbben. (English is spoken by the most people. (Context: In Hungary))

Melyik angol nyelvet tanuld? - Which English should you learn?

Hol beszélik most az angolt? - Where do they speak English now/ Where is English spoken now?

Sure, with "melyik", you are kind of forced to use "angolt" instead of angolul.

August 20, 2019
  • 403

Ok, this is not really related, by when I was looking this up, I found some statistics.

I put this version here, because of the nice pictures:

A report from 2012 says: 65 % of Hungarians do not speak a foreign language (sad)

20% speaks English, 18% speaks German, 3% speaks French

August 20, 2019

We found when we were there last year, that in the center of Budapest most everybody spoke English and when I got into a conversation with a lady on the bus who didn't speak English, several people in the bus chimed in to translate us to each other! However when we road the bus to the outer areas of the city, we were lost. Nobody spoke English, not even the bus drivers. GOOGLE TRANSLATE helped us out!

August 24, 2019

As somebody with latent (i.e. unused) learned vocabulary, it's more fun when people don't speak English. Really forces me to pull those words out. And then of course it feels great!

Susan, when are you there next? I'm back to Budapest in November for 7 weeks, and determined to be better than last time.

August 25, 2019

I don't know!!!! Next time we go to Europe we will START in Budapest! But I don't know when that will be.... We are currently saving for a trip to Cuba!

September 4, 2019
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