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Hungarian belongs to the Finno-Ugrian family of languages. lt therefore differs in both grammatical structure and vocabulary from the other European tongues which belong for the most part to the vast Indo-European group of languages. Our language has been enriched through words borrowed not only from Slav and German speaking peoples who for more than a thousand years have been our neighbours, but from Latin top, the "lingua franca" of the Church and learning in the Middle Ages. Hungarian has maintained, however, its ancient Finno-Ugrian character, which is quite clear in the grammatical structure.

In this book we have paid special attention to the grammar of Hungarian. It has been, written for students who already possess the elements of general grammatical knowledge and we have tried to explain the grammatical phenomena and to point out the most striking differences between English and Hungarian.

We cannot promise that the student will find Hungarian an easy language to learn. The aim of the book is to build up the student's knowledge step by step and the gram­matical phenomena are explained as fully as possible. The book provides a comprehensive guide to those who are prepared to make a serious effort to learn Hungarian. The method used, however, demands longer and more detailed chapters on grammar than one usually finds in popular language tutors.

The reading exercises combine vocabulary in everyday use with selected points of grammar. Each lesson requires about six to eight hours' work and with continuous daily study the book can be finished within a year. This time can be varied at the stu­dent's discretion.


The proverbs, folk songs and jokes form an integral part of the book. It is essential that the exercises should be carefully written out since they are designed to consolidate the student's knowledge. Good results can only be achieved by constant repetition.

The book is intended for the use of teachers of Hungarian and for private study. A key to the exercises is provided on page 433 for students who intend to teach themselves.

After working carefully through this book the student should be able to speak and to write simple but idiomatic Hungarian and to read original texts.

This is the first book on Hungarian to be written in hungarian private teacher budapest Hungary for the use of English-speaking people. The reader will note that in some places we have illustrated points of grammar and pronunciation with examples which do not correspond to standard English usage. This has been done deliberately to make the points under discussion quite clear.


jokes and cartoons have been reproduced from Hungarian newspapers and journals and the authors express their acknowledgement to ágoston the publishers. We wish the reader every success in his study of Hungarian!

How can I use this book?

If you would like to learn Hungarian and its rules or have a quick brush-up on your knowledge and also have a quick, ágoston reliable and target oriented grammar book nearby this is your ideal choice.