Top positive review
73 people found this helpful
Excellent New Hungarian Phrasebook!
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! ;-)
If you are planning to spend any time away from the major cities and tourist areas, you will find it VERY useful!