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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 April 2005
Well, I am a native speaker of Hungarian myself, so I was quite curious to see this book.
For the most part, I found it very good.
The main part of the book, the phrases are quite good and natural - it really shows that they had native speakers check it.
The phrases cover all sorts of issues from shopping to visiting a doctor or even dating and having sex!
The boxed texts on culture are also quite good and often amusing.
It has only 12 pages on grammar, but that's quite spot on.
It does include a box on present tense verb conjugation (taking vowel harmony into account!), and has even devoted a whole page to conjugating four common, but irregular verbs (come, go, eat, drink). Another box conjugates "to be" and yet another shows the suffixes for possessions. I guess it's quite OK for the space.
The 2000 word dictionary at the back is quite comprehensive.
A weaker point is the "phonetical transliteration" system used - Hungarian is written fully phonetically in its original form (thankfully also presented here), but the phonetical transliteration provided here for English-speakers may result in blank looks in many cases - you could always choose to ignore it.
The intro contains useful facts about the history and roots of the language, though the map showing where Hungarian is supposedly spoken might raise some eyebrows in neighbouring countries! ;-)
The layout is attractive, with color illustrations.
I even like the cover (different from what is shown on Amazon)- certainly better than a kitshy horseman or traditionally clad dancer could have been! ;-)
Overall: RECOMMENDED.
If you are planning to spend any time away from the major cities and tourist areas, you will find it VERY useful!
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on 13 April 2009
Very useful little book- light and easy to fit in a bag or pocket and carry around all day. Found every phrase and word that I needed and people understood what I said so the phonetics must be good (that or people were just being kind!)
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on 12 March 2009
A very useful phrasebook, full of lots of useful stuff. It is also quite good fun to read.
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on 22 November 2011
We are visiting Budapest shortly and I purchased this to supplement the less than adequate (and expensive) "Complete Hungarian". It's reasonable enough and to quite an extent plugs the gaps. The "essential phrases" in the front cover are useful as are things like "directions", "meeting people (basic)" and "language difficulties". But it is too long, and I would much have preferred the Magyar equivalent of the Lonely Planet "Fast Talk" which I have for Spanish.

I also think it's too ambitious. Phrase books are simply not appropriate for things like "beliefs and cultural diffences" (or, I suspect, sex). Also, the dictionary at the back contains words like superstition and scoreboard, but not please or thank you.
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on 22 July 2011
We are due to move to Hungary for 1yr and I purchased this after reading the reviews. I know I will never learn the language grammatically as it is too difficult but hope to get by conversationally and this book is brilliant for that. We were in Hungary last month and I took this everywhere with me, as the words / sentences are also spelt phonetically I was able to make myself understood, albeit with a smile from the person I was talking to. Recommend this little gem.
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on 1 August 2010
Easy to use and has some pearls in it that make Hungarians wonder where you learned to say something. Impressed my inlaws, so gets 5 stars...
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on 20 July 2005
Excellent book even for the complete beginner with grammer help also, i found it easy to use and very helpfull even funny in parts with some words that have another meaning in english !
Some words are hard to pronounce so maybe some audio (cd ) would help to start .
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on 6 August 2010
Handy book for beginners. Has everything you need for a short stay in Hungary plus a few comical extras.
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on 24 April 2013
well, my book was soiled when it rrived and had to clean the cover with warm soapy water to get rid of the suspect stain... however, once i opened it i found it very interesting in parts, although my hungarian friend tells me the book is quite formal language in parts and perhaps not entirely practical in getting a feel for REAL hungarian speaking, but as a holiday resource probably not bad
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on 10 June 2011
I bought this for my (English) boyfriend to finally teach him some Hungarian, and he loves it. Good start for someone who has an aversion to some laborious and didactic method, but likes to have something that he can immediately use and play around with.
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