DIY ~ Hungarian Scrabble®
September 22, 2014
Akarok Játszani = I want to play

Akarok Játszani = I want to play

We are always trying to find new ways of improving our language skills and this idea can be applied to a number of different languages. Playing this game helps me to make a connection with the letters and sounds and my vocabulary. We aren’t very competitive. It’s just fun to gain a little more confidence in Hungarian! We each used two tile racks to hold our 15 tiles each and we were armed with flashcards and dictionaries! We did not keep score but celebrated each time we were able to come up with a word! And we made flashcards with the new vocabulary!

Here is what we bought for the Hungarian version of Scrabble®:

* 2 games of Scrabble® at the local big box store [$8.00 each]
* 1 black permanent marker
* 1 piece cream colored cardstock
* double stick tape

Additional useful items for playing the game:

Hungarian/English dictionary
Homemade vocabulary flashcards

We did decide to invest in the two full games which provides a lot of tiles but we liked the idea of having extra racks (for additional players) or 2 racks per person with the idea of taking extra tiles to start to make the game a little more friendly for a beginner. In the end, I spent a little bit of time and less than $20 so I am happy to have the flexibility.

Here are our steps. Feel free to modify and tweak this set of ideas. We did not give points for the new letters (though that could easily be done) because we probably won’t ever keep score. There is enough challenge in playing the game and making the words!!!

Step One: Separate the letter tiles to each game on two different ends of the table to keep them straight.

Step Two: Set all the blank tiles aside [keep them blank] and also set aside the Q, W, X tiles as they are not true Hungarian letters.

Step Three: Cut card stock the size to fit over the Q, W, and X tiles from Step Two.

Step Four: Make 3 tiles that have CS, 2 with TY, 2 with SZ, and 1 with ZS.

Step Five: Leave one set of A alone and make a long accent mark on the other set. Do the same for the I and E.

Step Six: Convert the O and U tiles. Ours are as follows 6-O, 5-Ö, 3-Ó, 1-Ő, 3-U, 3-Ü, 1-Ú, 1-Ű.

If you have other ideas or suggestions, please let me know. If you need more clarification on any part of this, please ask–I may not have been very clear in my explanation. And if you take the time to make this item, we would LOVE to see a picture of you gathered around and playing a game!

Additional note: I have not completely sorted out how many we have of each tile but here is a suggestion from Wikipedia on Hungarian version of Scrabble®:

2 blank tiles (scoring 0 points).
1 point: A ×6, E ×6, K ×6, T ×5, Á ×4, L ×4, N ×4, R ×4, I ×3, M ×3, O ×3, S ×3
2 points: B ×3, D ×3, G ×3, Ó ×3
3 points: É ×3, H ×2, SZ ×2, V ×2
4 points: F ×2, GY ×2, J ×2, Ö ×2, P ×2, U ×2, Ü ×2, Z ×2
5 points: C ×1, Í ×1, NY ×1
7 points: CS ×1, Ő ×1, Ú ×1, Ű ×1
8 points: LY ×1, ZS ×1
10 points: TY ×1

DZ and DZS, which are fairly rare in Hungarian, have no tiles, nor do Q, W, X and Y, which are only used in loanwords, as part of the extended Hungarian alphabet.

Source: Wikipedia

I do think this idea can be used for most languages. I wish I would have thought of this for our son who struggled through 4 semesters of Spanish in college!

We enjoy making Hungarian a regular part of our vocabulary and hope you do too! Please see the Magyar Marketing website if you need Hungarian language learning materials or call us at 1-800-786-7851 if you would like to receive our catalog in the mail!

Magyar Marketing is a second-generation family business that began in 1988. Our mission is to provide you with resources and encouragement to discover, celebrate, and share your Hungarian heritage with friends and family! To receive our free product catalog or learn about our tours to Hungary and Transylvania, please email [email protected] or call us at 1-800-786-7851.

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