Teach Yourself Hungarian: A complete course for beginners Paperback – 21 Jan 1993
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This double CD provides listening material which accompanies the book, Teach Yourself Hungarian (978 0 340 86689 4). The book and CDs are also available as a pack (978 0 340 90627 9).
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About the Author
ZSUZSA PONTIFEX was born in Hungary and has a degree in Hungarian and English from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. She has studied Russian and English literature in Moscow and in London. After three years teaching English and Hungarian in a Budapest secondary school she moved to Britain, where she worked for the Hungarian section of the BBC World Service.
Since 1990 she has been running Hungarian Language Services (HLS), a language school and translation/interpreting agency which teaches Hungarian to diplomats, businesspeople and private individuals. She also sets Hungarian language exams for the Foreign Office and the Institute of Linguists.
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Top Customer Reviews
The language in this book is everyday Hungarian - within the first few chapters, you have basic introductions, eating out, directions and shopping, all the really essential stuff - you won't starve on holiday with this book.
Useful (and interesting) sections on Hungarian culture, customs and manners. Invaluable.
The grammar is fairly well explained, although I have seen better.
No listening comprehensions. Reading comprehensions far too easy.
Grammar points explained one after the other, sonetimes as many as 10 in a chapter, with inadequate practice tasks.
Vocabulary thrown at the learner with little in the way of practice. To learn the vocabulary effectively, the student needs to devise his or her own activities, such as flashcards or memory games.
This isn't a bad language learning book, but it could be improved by adding a workbook for grammar and vocabulary practice. With little in the way of competition, TY Hungarian should be the first port of call for any learner of Hungarian. However, if you can afford it, Hallo, Itt Magyaroszag! by Erdos and Prileszky, used in conjunction with Hungarian Verbs and Essentials of Grammar by Torkenczy would be a much better option.
I've tried several books and this, accompanied by the audio CD is the business.
The CD is not amazingly practical, there aren't really any breaks and if you hit play it just flies through everything, so you need to be quite hands-on with pausing and back-tracking etc.
Otherwise it is a great product, teaching you some very relevant material for first time visits, and seeing as I have been to Hungary a few times now I've found what I have learnt in here very practical and even been able to hold me own in basic conversation with my partner's parents - she is proud.
There are a few minor mistranslations in the book, but nothing that will harm your practice of the language.
Get this book if you want to learn Hungarian. As it is a phonetic language, and ANY minor mispronunciation will make you impossible to understand to a Hungarian native, the audio CD is vital - you cannot learn the language without audio aid, I promise you.
It turned out to be a lifesaver - outside of Budapest, the bit of Hungarian we could cobble together was invaluable.
The chapters are split reasonably sensibly. The book starts off with basic words like please, thank you and "tessek" (which covers several different phrases in English and is used all the time in Hungary so is a really useful word to learn!). It then goes on with chapters in how to order at restaurants, how to use public transport and so on. Later on, the chapters go on to cover more complex things like different tenses and so on.
I just concentrated on the basic chapters, and they were very useful for most situations you'd find yourself in as a tourist. The language instruction is interspersed with information about Hungarian customs, which is also really useful.
However, there's no way round it - if you want to learn even a bit of Hungarian, it does take more time and effort than other languages. I did have to set aside time to study it before we left, and took the book with us to read on train journeys.
However, we found the little that we knew took us a long way, and it certainly helped loads when understanding what was going on around us.
I was pretty pleased when people I spoke to on holiday could actually understand what I was saying, which is the acid test of any language book - alright, we were only saying simple things like "two beers please" and "two tickets to Budapest", but this book enabled us to do that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice to have for our annual trips to Hungary. I'm actually not sure that it's all that useful, because Hungarian is such a difficult language. Read morePublished 14 months ago by ML
The audio is so fast that you have no time to process the sounds. I would have been better off saving money on the textbook only version. Read morePublished 17 months ago by ELG
Very good, but audio-content is not available (unless you buy it separately, which is disappointing).Published 18 months ago by Fabrizio Scisci
It does the job but frequently introduces topics or uses without explaining them and it also has far less audio than I'd like. Read morePublished on 2 May 2014 by Cusso7
This language course is a way into Hungarian that most people who approach this task can benefit from. What more can
I like this book.
There is hardly any other readily available competition for this Hungarian language book if accompanying recorded material is sought. Read more
I have purchased this book and cd's for my wife as a Christmas present. This is to help her learn my native Hungarian. She wants to learn the basic grammar properly. Read morePublished on 25 Dec. 2012 by Political Student
There's a great deal to like about this book. Hungarian is notoriously difficult to learn but this book puts that to one side and makes it feel achievable. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2012 by MrPete
I bought this package because I'm off on a short trip to Budapest soon. When abroad I like to be able to speak a bit of the local language to be polite and in case of problems. Read morePublished on 25 Oct. 2011 by Cheshire Tiger