Well, no, I am kidding, just pulling your leg. I am of course not expecting anyone to start learning Hungarian, it is not about that. I just think Hungarian is a very interesting language and would be fun to read about it. Not, you know, scientifically, I am not a linguist, but for amusement. Hungarian is amusing...
So the first interesting thing about Hungarian is the alphabet. We have a number of extra letters in our language compared to English, many of them are pretty strange indeed. Some of those extra letters are created by diacritical marks (extra glyphs added to normal letters), some even stranger. Some of those show if you pronounce the letter with wide open mouth or with a more closed lips.
The letter 'a' for example has a modified version written like 'á', showing that the letter should be pronounced with an open mouth. Kind of like the difference between the sound in the word "mother" or "love". But wait! In English the sound you make is pretty much the question of you choice, you may pronounce the letter 'a' with closed or open mouth, people will understand you, these are not actually different letters, right? So maybe the Hungarian 'a' and 'á' are not different letters, just a matter of choice, maybe they are interchangeable?
Well, no, they are most definitely not. These "open-or-close mouth" marks are really, important, because they change the maning, they make different words. The word "alma" for example means "apple", but the word "álma" means "his/her/its dream". And the same with some other letters, like 'e' and 'é'. The expression "némi probléma" means "some problems" while "nemi probléma" means "sexual problem". You can imagine how the early times of the personal computers, when keyboards and text editors did not support all of our extended characters these differences were a bit of an issue. There were eyebrows raised and everything.
And is not always those little "acute" signs, for some letters we have dieresis, to show the open-close-mouth difference. The letter 'u' is pronounced like in the English word "shook" while the letter 'ü'... well, there is no such a sound in English. It is like you try to pronounce 'u' while you hold your mouth like you were trying to say 'i'. Quite funny watch while you practice.
Aaaand sometimes these extensions mean the difference between the short and the long sound, not open-close-mouth, like in some other languages. The letter 'o' sounds like in the English "or", the letter 'ó' sounds more like what you say in the word "more". That's why the mark on 'ó' is called "acute accent", they make the sound longer... but wait, there is more. Because what happens if you have an open mouth mark and you want show that the sound should also be long? What is the long version of 'ü'? Well, it is written like 'ű' and it is so strange it is called "the Hungarian umlaut". Nobody else use it, in Hungarian we use it only for 'ő' and 'ű'.
And of course not all the combinations are allowed, the 'a' has an open mouth version 'á', but no long version, the letter 'i' has a long version 'í', but no closed mouth version. And believe me, little children learn all of these very early. When we learn our alphabet we call it "learn the abc", but we pronounce it like "learn the ábc" (easier to pronounce) but then we start reciting the alphabet we say "a á b c d...". It is funny, especially the part "u ú ü ű".
And finally some funny differences, to serve as a warning for everyone actually trying to speak Hungarian.
meglep - meglép: surpsises - escapes
feled - feléd:your half, towards you
szárnyaló - szarnyaló: flying - well, khm, someone who licks fecal matter
kor - kör: age - circle
kar - kár: arm - damage, harm, loss
kerek - kerék - kérek: round - tire - I ask
agyas - ágyas - ágyás: braniac - lover - seed-bed
veres - véres - verés: red - bloody - beating
sor - sör: queue - beer
It is funny, isn't it? Now imagine you are an IT specialist... the blog engine actually crashed four times while I typed this article, I was in constant fear of loosing the things I just typed...