Every time you tell people that you are trying to learn Hungarian you are likely to receive a “shocked” expressions. People will immediately start discouraging you by saying that it is one of the the hardest things to learn Hungarian: www.learninghungarian.hu.
Before you panic or lose interest, know that difficulty is subjective. But the reason why people call Hungarian a difficult language is because of its origins. Hungarian belongs to Uralic language. It is significantly different from the modern loan words and has absolutely no similarity with the European language family.
Is it related to Finnish and Estonian?
Finnish and Estonian are two European languages that belong to the family of Uralic, so it would be right to say that these two languages are related by linguistic history to the Hungarian language. But regardless of being a part of the same family, Hungarian follows an entirely different path which shares no similarity with the rest of its cousins. The point of telling you this was that if you know Finnish and Estonian, it would be of no help to you.
Easy vs the hard parts of Hungarian
To learn Hungarian, you must be prepared for struggling with a grammar-intensive language. But if you are a person who finds it interesting to stare at the language charts, then you will find it easy.
Hungarian Conjugations and Verbs
Are they hard? Yes, they are, but the good news is that there are only a few rules that would ask for your attention and time. The indefinite and definite conjugations can confuse you a little in case of irregular verbs when you learn Hungarian. However, overall, they are easier than many other popular languages.
The conjugations of Hungarian language are unique and have a few rules by learning which you can quickly grasp the essence of the language. If it makes you feel better, the Hungarian language has only 2 tenses- present and the past (The past tense sometimes can also be used for futuristic expressions)- so it would be easy for you to rid yourself of continuous and perfect tenses. It also makes the conjugations less difficult compared to the other languages.
Vocabulary of the Hungarian language
To learn Hungarian is not like learning other languages of Europe. The words of this language would not really benefit those who have a Greek and Latin background. Greek and Latin language can be related to French, English, Spanish and Italian words, but in the case of Hungarian, you will find no similarity. There is a lot of vocabulary in the Hungarian language. The words are constructed with a combination of other words that stick further at the end. It can be intimidating for a few people to understand- but at the end it is all about learning the prepositions. The locals will scare you by saying the longest word in Hungarian that is 41 words long, but the meaning is obscure and never really used in the language.
Hungary being a much-used language in Europe borrows plenty of words from the Finnish and other European languages.
Plurals and Noun Genders
None of these are difficult in this language. You can now breathe lightly because there is one thing in this language that you don’t have to put much effort in. When you learn Hungarian, you would see that they refer a girl as “he”. Such changes may be difficult to relate to, but after a little while you will get used to of it. The plurals are simple, and the vowels have a certain accent that you need to learn.
The cases in Hungarian are mostly formed by the combinations of different suffixes added to the end of the word. It is difficult, as they can often add up to be as long as 35. Learning these cases is the core of learning this language. Learn Hungarian with the help of a chart to start easy and smart. Begin with the words that you find to be easy. Why is it easy? It is easy because some of the cases are easy to learn. For example, in the case of accusative, all you have to do is add the alphabet “t” in the end. The lack of plural and gender rules even simplifies the variations in cases when you learn Hungarian.
The Hungarian teacher:
What is the most important, when you learn Hungarian is that your teacher is helpful enough to guide you in the best way possible and is somehow able to relate it to your language. Every person has a different caliber when it comes to learning a language. Learn Hungarian from a teacher who is either native to the language or has experience of teaching the advanced course Hungarian. Learning becomes much simplified is you have the right guidance. So invest on the right course by the right teacher.