23 September 2015

Dabbling with the Hungarian Language

I've been to Hungary three times now. For the most part, I have been staying in Budapest. And every time I visit the city, I learn something about the Hungarian language.

See, Hungarian is perhaps one of the most enigmatic languages spoken in Europe nowadays, since it is not part of the Indo-European language family. That means, that my knowledge of German and English won't help (unlike with Dutch), and I cannot recognize words the way I do in Spanish, Italian, and French. Words are totally different. And therefore every time I am there, I always get the wow-I-am-in-a-foreign-country feeling.

Slowly, though, I am recognizing patterns. Mostly the things I know are at the word level. It seems I know how to break down words into smaller morphemes now. The syntax is still a mystery to me, but there are things I do know. I know that there is no grammatical gender, and transitive verbs have to be inflected depending on whether the object is definite or indefinite, in addition to indicating person and number.

For the most part, I now have a lot of things I know about food. Perhaps enough such that if someone gives me a Hungarian menu, I would know what is in it. I know my leves, my tyuk, my csirke, my hus, my kacsa, and other things. Enough to survive, but not enough to engage in conversation still.

Oh well, it'll get better, hopefully, with more exposure.


  1. I just... nope, this one is not for me. Respect!

    1. Zhu,

      Haha, it is indeed a difficult language. But the fun starts when you the outsider starts getting it!