Getting Started with Hungarian Part 1
August 1, 2022
Hungarian Living
Getting Started with Hungarian Part 1

Episode 58

Hello hello! It’s another icipici edition of the Hungarian Living podcast. This time we are focusing on learning Hungarian! Even if you are currently studying Hungarian, we will cover some interesting material, so stick around!

Hungarian is such an interesting language. I grew up hearing it around all around me in church, when my mom was on the phone, at Hungarian events, when people stopped over to visit, and events where there were other Hungarian speakers.

In preparation for a semester long trip to Hungary in 1973, I went to Hungarian summer school in Ligonier, Pennsylvania at the Bethlen Home. I have bumped into a number of people through the years who attended this very same program, but not during the summer of 1973. I wonder how many years they had this summer program.

Anyway, I have been around Hungarian all my life but was never forced to speak it fluently. It makes perfect sense. While they were both very active with the language, and knew how to speak, read, and write in Hungarian, they knew that just because one knows how to speak or speak read and write in Hungarian it doesn’t mean that they know how to teach it. I think they knew their limits and this was just not where they chose to put their energy. Even though I am currently studying Hungarian, I support their decision!

I never thought anything unusual about Hungarian being such a part of my life. It just was just there in the music, in the little songs we sang, in the conversations, in the names of the foods we ate, in the prayer we said together at Sunday lunch, and in the books around the house.

I have the sounds of Hungarian in my brain and over the last 15 years or so I been intentional about learning more.

In this series of Icipici podcasts, I am going to give you some simple ways to get started or refine your Hungarian language journey! There are so many resources out there and it is difficult to wade through what is most helpful. To start this series, let’s think about your goals for learning Hungarian.

Grab a notebook, start a document on your computer, and answer the following question:

Why do you want to learn Hungarian?

I am going to list a variety of scenarios. You might find that you have several reasons. Knowing your reasons will help you stay motivated!

Do you want to be able to decipher genealogy records or correspondence from relatives that are in your stash of goodies?

Do you want to communicate with relatives that only speak Hungarian?

Are you looking to keep your brain sharp?

Would it be helpful in the work you do?

Do you have memories of Hungarian being spoken around the table and you trying to figure out what was being said?

Do you know some little songs or rhymes your grandparent said and you want to know what they were about?

Do you plan to travel to Hungary, and you just want to know a few phrases so you can be polite?

Do you want to honor your parents or grandparents by exploring the language?

Do you want to pass the language portion of your dual citizenship test?

Are you comfortable speaking the language but, essentially illiterate and want to know how to read and write and understand the finer points of grammar and vocabulary?

Have you adopted someone who speaks Hungarian, and you want to connect with them more deeply through language?

Or do you have a thing for logical languages? Because, really, you don’t have to have Hungarian heritage to study Hungarian!

I have mentioned a lot of great reasons to study Hungarian, but I am sure there are more! What are your reasons? I would love to know. You can send an email to [email protected] and tell me why you are interested in learning Hungarian.

And if you are interested learning Hungarian, you are in luck because we are starting language lessons again! We have over 100 students learning Hungarian in small groups that meet for one hour at a variety of times during a week and at a variety of levels. Classes will start up again in August and will run for 14 weeks. Our students range in age from 25-80+ and, truly, that is a part of the fun! There is more information at The Hungarian Store But hurry! Classes are starting soon!

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