Hungry for more Hungarian? Let’s make 2016 a good year!

As we start the new year here at Hungarian Language Solutions, we can’t help looking back at 2015 and think of the amazing people we worked with and the goals we helped achieve. We worked hard and completed several important translating projects, as well as having continued our usual translation work involving official documents and specialised texts. Because we can provide certified translations that are endorsed by the Embassy, we are able to offer this translation service to those of our clients who are studying on our language courses in preparation for the Hungarian Citizenship Interview. Feedback from our clients shows that they are impressed with the flexibility with which we work, and it is convenient to have the whole package available from one service provider.
Since Hungarian Language Solutions began in 2009, we have helped numerous individuals prepare for successful citizenship interviews, which are part of the naturalization procedure. Hungarian citizenship is very close to our hearts: both of us have dual, British-Hungarian citizenships.       Hungry for more Hungarian - architecture
During a Hungarian Citizenship Interview, the applicant is required to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in the Hungarian language. Understandably, we are very proud of our clients when they clear this hurdle, for they have worked very hard at their language learning in order to be able to declare that they “understand and speak the Hungarian language”. For this reason, our Hungarian language courses are built on the communicative approach to language learning. Our aim is for our learners to be able to understand and respond to the questions or inquiries posed to them, and to be relaxed and confident enough to show that they are friendly, open individuals. All of them are excited about the possibility of gaining Hungarian citizenship, and of course very proud of their Hungarian origin and fond of the cultural ties. We want these things to be evident at the interview, and this is what we aim for as we work with our learners.    Hungry for more Hungarian - cakes
We have a number of learners who passed their Citizenship Interviews in 2015 and are now sitting tight waiting to be granted citizenship. 2016 started well: two of our lovely learners have just received invitations to attend their oath ceremonies and we couldn’t be more excited for them.

Hungry for more Hungarian - Christmas markets

 

Stepping into 2016, we are full of plans for developments, but one thing won’t change: we treat every single client as we would like to be treated ourselves. With translation projects we produce high-qualitiy translations that read like originals, always meet the agreed deadlines and it goes without saying that we adhere to strict confidentiality. When it comes to delivering Hungarian language lessons, we treat every learner as they were our only client and feel privileged to be able to join them on this very important, special journey. We carry on offering a first, free lesson to each new learner so that people can see what they get for their money before they commit themselves.
In 2016, we continue to build our bridge between cultures.

 

How to pronounce Hungarian vowels and double-digit consonants

When people start learning Hungarian they are usually very conscious about their pronunciation. But please believe me: if you keep practising (listening to Hungarian CDs, the Hungarian radio, or having lessons) your pronunciation will be fine and people will understand you. At the end of the day, your aim is not to win a pronunciation competition, but to communicate with people and if you stick to practising, you will certainly be able to do that.Hungarian vowels and double-digit consonants

On the other hand, I perfectly understand where this self-consciousness might come from: I used to be like this with my English when we first moved to the UK. Now I have been living here for nine years and still have a strong Hungarian accent! However, if I was waiting for my accent to disappear, I would probably never say a word. (A Hungarian accent is notoriously difficult to lose and the chances are that I will still have it in thirty years’ time.)

But to make your life a bit easier, I have prepared a short recording on Hungarian vowels and consonants. Whilst listening to it, please refer to the list below and have a look at the words I’m saying. This way, as well as hearing the words, you can see them written down in front of you, so you will be able to understand what I’m referring to. When you hear a gap in the recording, that is for you to repeat the word please.

So here is the list of vowels and consonants I go through, please click here to have a listen.

  • Vowels

long and short vowels: a – á, e – é , i – í, o – ó, ö – ő, u – ú, ü –ű

a              alma (apple), magyar (Hungarian)

á              Magyarország (Hungary)

e             te (you)

é             én (I)

i               Szia! (Hi!)

í               tíz (ten)

o             Jó napot kívánok! (Good Day!)

ó             jó (good)

ö             Ön (polite You), köszönöm – thank you

ő             ő (he, she)

u             Duna (Danube), gulyás (Goulasch)

ú             húsz (twenty)

ü             ül (sit), eskü (oath)

ű             tűz (fire)

  • Double-digit consonants:

ty            tyúk (hen)

cs           csak (only)

gy           magyar (Hungarian)

sz           szép (nice, beautiful)

zs           zsiráf (giraffe)

ny           nyilatkozat (statement)

ly            Erdély (Transylvania)

Please let me know in the ‘Comments’ section if you have any questions and I will be more than happy to help you!

 

New Year, New Project: ‘Hungarian Word of the Day’ on Twitter

'Hungarian word of the day' on Twitter Creating a Twitter account has been on my to-do-list for a long time, but a few weeks ago I finally sat down and started using Twitter on a daily basis. I’m not saying I’m an expert yet, but I’m now feeling comfortable enough to start posting every day.

So from next Monday I am going to post a new Hungarian word each day. They probably won’t be random words but I will try to follow a logic – I am going to give it another thought during the weekend and come up with something logical.

So if you are a learner of Hungarian and would like to learn a new word each day, follow me on Twitter and feel free to ask any questions you might have. Also, if you have a particular topic you would like to see words from, please let me know here in the ‘Comments’ section or in an email, and I will add that topic to my list. Thank you!

A very unusual present: Christmas Gift Vouchers for Hungarian Lessons

Christmas Gift Vouchers for Hungarian Lessons

A very unusual present: Christmas Gift Vouchers for Hungarian Lessons

Last week a gentleman contacted me asking how come Christmas vouchers are not available to buy on my website. It turns out his wife has been thinking about taking Hungarian lessons for a while but somehow never got round to actually starting it. So he realised this could be a very nice Christmas present (which just proves for us ladies how thoughtful our partners and husbands can be!) and asked me to prepare a voucher in his name.

The business side of my brain says it should have been me coming up with this idea but as it was not the case I thanked him for his suggestion and worked out the following scheme.

You can buy as many lessons as you would like but from 3 lessons upwards you get an extra lesson free. E.g.:

3 in-person or Skype lessons + 1 free lesson: GBP 60.00

4 in-person or Skype lessons + 1 free lesson: GBP 80.00

5 in-person or Skype lessons + 1 free lesson: GBP 100.00

The lessons are the usual high-quality, good-value for money lessons I deliver with well-designed and thorough lessonplans and useful follow-up vocab lists guiding our work.

If you would like to give the gift of a unique language or would prefer to keep this present for yourself you can contact me here saying how many lessons you would like to pay for and I will be in touch about payment methods and send you your pretty gift voucher.

Walking down the High Street yesterday I realised that shops are full of clutter and presents that will probably be returned soon after Christmas. I am confident that my Christmas gift vouchers will not fall into that category and will represent a meaningful present and actually add something extra to your loved one’s life.

Teaching Hungarian in a more professional way – my journey on the PTLLS course

Two years ago, my amazing business development advisor, Leonore Lord told me about the PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) course and how she thought having the award would help me teach in a more professional way. She could not have been more right.

Having a small business, I was eligible to apply for a City&Guilds grant and after a successful application procedure and interview I was on my way to getting enrolled!

I chose Nescot (North East Surrey College of Technology ) as my course provider and looking back now, I’m really happy with my choice.

When I had decided to take the PTLLS course my main motivation was that I wanted to become a better teacher through familiarising myself with the theoretical and practical knowledge of teaching in the lifelong learning sector. The lifelong learning sector includes all post-16 education, including further education and adult and community learning. This is the area I work in and wanted to know more about.

In the past few months I have been learning about the most important learning and teaching strategiesTeaching Hungarian in a more professional way, including roles and responsibilities of a teacher, using inclusive learning and teaching approaches, principles of assessment, etc. I have adapted my teaching strategies to achieve ‘multisensory learning’ and learnt that during the lessons I must stimulate as many senses as I possibly can so that information gets engraved and memories last a lifetime. But this will be the topic of another blogpost as well as another area I’m especially interested in: adapting teaching strategies to suit different learning styles. Here I will show you a test that will help you to identify your own learning style. Then taking this to the next level I can help you with practical examples of activities that suit different learning styles.

My goal on the PTLLS course is the same as the aim of writing these subsequent blogposts: to make your journey of learning Hungarian as enjoyable and easy as possible.

Please let me know your thoughts here or send me a message about the challenges you encounter when learning Hungarian and I will try my very best to help you. Many thanks!

 

Your questions about Hungarian citizenship answered

This has been an exceptionally busy autumn so far and I have received quite a few emails enquiring about the new Hungarian citizenship law and my experience helping people prepare for their Hungarian citizenship interviews. Although I replied to all emails I was also thinking it would be nice to compile the answers here hoping that they might be useful to others, too.

Recently I have been contacted by an American lady asking whether there is a test she needs to sit. The answer is: no, there is no test, but there is a short interview you need to pass. The purpose of the interview is to establish that you fulfil all four criteria mentioned in my previous post and to check your ability to communicate in Hungarian.

Someone else asked me whether he would be allowed to keep his current citizenship after taking up Hungarian citizenship. Of course I am no legal expert but my understanding is the following: Hungary allows dual citizenship but you need to check whether the country where you have your existing citizenship allows it also. If it does then there should be no problem and you will be able to hold both citizenships. (I am a British-Hungarian dual citizen myself: both Hungary and the UK allow dual citizenship, but please check your individual circumstances before applying for Hungarian  citizenship.)

A gentleman from Canada asked me how long in my experience it takes to become a Hungarian citizen. Well, in my experience it is quite a long process and I have heard the processing authorities are very busy. E.g. a couple of my learners applied for citizenship in July 2011 and had their interviews in Budapest in September 2011. Then it took the authorities quite a long time to process their documents and they finally had their citizenship ceremony in April 2012. Only at this point when they received their Certificate of Hungarian Citizenship were they able to apply for Hungarian passport.

I have also been asked how many lessons one needs to have in order to pass the interview. Unfortunately I can’t give a definite answer to this question: some people need more, some fewer lessons. This depends on many factors such as your ability to memorise foreign words, how much time you have to study on your own, etc. Also, some people are very confident with a limited amount of fluency (and good on them, there is nothing wrong with being confident!) and some need a bit more practice to feel confident.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch – this happens to be an area I am reasonably knowledgeable in and extremely passionate about!

Also, if you are preparing for your Hungarian citizenship interview or learning Hungarian for yourself without applying for citizenship please join our Facebook group ‘Hungry for Hungarian’. Here we chat about Hungarian music, literature, traditions, citizenship and all things Hungarian. By clicking on this link our group should come up and if you click ‘Request to join’ I will be able to add you. Hope to see you soon!