Let’s Learn Hungarian! is a free website and podcast, but it’s pretty much a given that if you’re serious about learning a new language, you’ll need to purchase some good materials. Here are some of our favorite resources, which you can purchase by clicking on the links below:
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Dictionaries are absolutely essential to learning a foreign language! There are some decent online dictionaries if you’re on a budget, but in my opinion a print dictionary offers a great benefit to serious learners.
In addition, investing in a dictionary shows your commitment to learning the language. Here are some excellent ones for you to choose from:
Akadémiai Kiadó is the name in Hungarian bilingual dictionaries. I have had several dictionaries by this reputable company over the past 25 years, and continue to use them regularly when I do Hungarian-English translation.
Honestly, they are probably overkill for the casual learner or tourist. But I highly recommend both of them for the serious learner.
Hungarian-English/English-Hungarian Concise Dictionary by Géza Takács.
I’ve had a look at this and think it’s pretty good for the casual learner, or as your first dictionary. It’s only 281 pages, so it can easily be thrown into a backpack if you’re traveling to Hungary on vacation.
Looks good and has great reviews on Amazon – will have to do a review of this sometime in the future.
Hungarian grammar is notorious for its complexity. If there’s any book that can make sense of this, it’s this one!
Hungarian Verbs & Essentials of Grammar 2nd ed. by Miklós Törkenczy.
If I could only recommend just ONE text to those attempting to learn the beast that is Hungarian, it would be this one. Reading – and re-reading – this book was crucial to my Hungarian learning process.
Törkenczy has reduced the grammar to its bare essentials in just 136 pages, but it’s more comprehensive than you would expect. Just the conjugation tables and charts make this book worth the money, but it’s much more than that.
Seriously, I don’t see how anyone can make any sense of Hungarian grammar without this book!
Here are two self-study books that I have used myself and can recommend highly:
Teach Yourself Hungarian Complete Course Audiopack by Zsuzsa Pontifex.
My very first Hungarian textbook! It comes with two 60-minute CDs. She structures her lessons in an interesting, clever way.
This is an excellent, accessible resource, particularly for those who think they aren’t “good” at learning foreign languages. Very glad that this is still available!
Colloquial Hungarian: The Complete Course for Beginners by Carol H. Rounds.
Although a bit more expensive than Teach Yourself Hungarian, I think that this includes more material.
This book is probably better for those who feel more comfortable with their general ability to learn foreign languages and don’t need to go at the slower pace as in Teach Yourself Hungarian. Also includes two CDs.