Hungarian has the “reputation” of being one of the hardest languages to learn. If you think about starting to learn Hungarian, I’m sure these questions have already crossed your mind:
Can I learn Hungarian? Am I capable of really doing this?
You’re no superhero, after all, just a regular, average language-learner with your ups and downs. Let me reassure you, these thoughts you’re having are perfectly normal. In fact, it shows that you really went over the pros and cons of learning Hungarian and considered every aspect of it.
Hungarian can be learned if you decide to go for it. It may take a longer effort than a language which comes from the same family of languages as English. English belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, while Hungarian is Uralic, but this linguistic distance doesn’t make it unlearnable.
Try to think about language learning in terms of travel for a moment. You will realize that if you travel from England to Germany, you will reach there quite soon. However, if you travel from England to the Ural Mountains, that can take a longer period of time. Are the Ural Mountains beyond your reach? No, they aren’t. You just have to travel more.
As a lot of tourists travel great distances, hundreds of foreign students learn Hungarian each year. Some of them achieve fluency in a short period of time, others don’t. Do you know why? Because they give up. Anything that requires a prolonged effort in time is “hard” to do. It’s hard to learn to play the piano, it’s hard to climb a mountain, it’s hard to learn to dance salsa. But wait! Is it really so?
There is no universal measure of how hard learning a certain language can be. It is determined by the individual who learns. By other words: it is up to you. If you decide that you won’t let yourself be diverted because of hardship, that you will overcome the obstacles, then you can really do it.
It is up to you how you deal with difficulties in general. If you train your mind to have a “can do” attitude rather than a pessimistic one, you can achieve more.
Learning Hungarian can be easy:
- it uses the Latin alphabet, so reading it is quite easy
- it pronounces every syllable, so it is easy to understand
- stress always falls on the first syllable, so you don’t have to learn the stress-pattern of each word
- words can form sentences in any order, there is no bound word-order
- there are just 3 verb-tenses: past, present and future, you can forget about present perfect and such
- no grammatical genders (like der, die, das in German)
If you focus on these positive aspects of the language, you will achieve your goals easier. Every “difficult language” can and will be learned by somebody. Why not let that somebody be you?
Finally, take a look at this movie form 1978, Sylvester Stallone speaks Hungarian in it. If he can do it, you can do it!
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