Learn to Speak Hungarian Online for Free! 44 Hungarian Lessons for Learners on a Budget
Can you learn to speak Hungarian online, for free? Yes, you can! Hungarian is a unique language, there’s no other language like it in the world! It’s the official language of Hungary and it’s spoken by around 13 million native speakers. I decided to learn Hungarian because it’s the native language of many of my teammates over at Drops, and I’ve been learning for two years now. You can read the story of how I learned Hungarian in 60 days here. If you’re learning Hungarian like me, you may have encountered a similar problem to mine… Finding affordable, current, and helpful Hungarian courses can be tough. But finding good Hungarian language resources isn’t impossible, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. If you’re ready to learn Hungarian, look no further! I’ve searched high and low for Hungarian resources to put together this list of not only the best Hungarian learning materials, but also the most fun, and more importantly -- free -- resources. Hungarian gets a bad rap for being a difficult language to learn. It has loads of cases and not a whole lot in common with other European languages, but with the right tools, learning Hungarian can be easy -- and enjoyable! So if you’re up to the challenge of learning Hungarian both fast and free, here are 44 free Hungarian resources.
Free Online Audio and Podcasts to Help You Learn HungarianListen to Hungarian audio in bite-sized podcasts. Or even dive straight into native-speaking radio stations. Here’s where to start with Hungarian language audio:
- HungarianPod101 is free to sign up for. It has an impressive amount of Hungarian content available at every level from complete beginner to advanced. These podcasts are a favorite of the Fluent in 3 Months team and it’s one of the first resources I went through when I started my Hungarian language project. You get a one-week free trial to test out lessons at all skill levels. After that, you do have to pay for the more advanced lessons and premium material, although it’s very much worth it.
- Glossika is an audio language course and the first 1,000 repetitions are free.
- Let’s Learn Hungarian!: This podcast stopped releasing new lessons in 2016, but there are still about 18 past episodes you can enjoy.
- TuneIn Hungary: You can listen to radio from Hungarian on TuneIn. Try out a few stations, see what catches your attention, and enjoy.
- Forvo: If you come across a new word, especially with Hungarian that has a lot of silent letter combinations, Forvo is a great place to listen to words spoken by a native speaker. It has a large database and is a good reference for pronunciation.
YouTube: Free Video Hungarian LessonsYouTube is a great place to find free Hungarian language classes and resources. The following channels give you hours of Hungarian lessons in an engaging medium. Plus, videos give you extra insight into how the language is spoken because you can see facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal aspects of the Hungarian language.
Hungarian Language Youtube Channels
- HungarianPod101: In addition to their free podcast lessons, HungarianPod101 also has a helpful YouTube channel with hours upon hours of free content.
- Easy Languages: I love the Easy Languages Youtube channel because it doesn’t just teach you the language, but you also get an insight to the local culture. In the Easy Language series, the hosts go out into the streets of Hungary and interview the people they meet there. It’s a great way to hear the way the Hungarian language is actually spoken, pick up useful conversational language, and practice your listening comprehension.
- Hungarian Lesson with Zsuzsi will help you learn the basics of Hungarian with short, helpful videos.
Free Online Hungarian Courses and SystemsIf you’re interested in guided lessons or courses, there is a decent selection of free online Hungarian courses and systems available online. Here are just a few websites that offer online Hungarian lessons at no cost:
- Surface Languages Hungarian: Surface Languages offers several topical vocabulary lists with various exercises. You can study everything from food to small talk in Hungarian.
- Catch Budapest: I love the Catch Budapest website. There’s such a wealth of information available to Hungarian learners both about the Hungarian language and travel in Budapest. It includes several tips for learning the Hungarian language as well as a word of the day.
- Live Lingua has two free coursebooks and a graded reader with audio for Hungarian. These include the FSI coursebooks which have a lot of useful phrases and vocabulary, plus audio.
- Loecsen has around twenty beginner lessons available to Hungarian learners. They cover everything from basic greetings to phrases you can use if you find yourself in need of help.
- Goethe Verlag: On this site, you’ll find several free resources including lessons for Hungarian.
- BBC Languages is another great resource with introductions to Hungarian.
- Tatoeba: Seeing example sentences in Hungarian can help you get started with forming your own very first phrases in the language. And Tatoeba is a great place to look because it has thousands of example sentences to help you get started.
- Learn 101 offers fantastic introductions to many languages, including Hungarian. It’s a short, digestible grammar guide and in essence, a free digital coursebook.
Free Hungarian Language AppsApps are ideal for those who don’t have the time to sit down and study a language, or who like to study on the go.
- Drops: I would be remiss not to include the language learning app that got me started with learning Hungarian! Drops is a free language learning app where you can learn thousands of new words in Hungarian. You get 5 minutes a day to build your vocabulary through engaging interactions and memorable visuals (Full disclosure: I work for Drops as well as Fluent in 3 Months).
- Memrise or Anki: Anki(for iOS, for Android, and for everyone else) and Memrise are flashcard systems that you can use to create your own Hungarian vocabulary decks or download those already created by other users. The desktop version of Anki is free as are both the app and browser versions of Memrise.
- Clozemaster is a language learning app the uses fill-in-the-blank, known as “cloze”, to help you master new vocabulary in Hungarian through context.
- Duolingo: Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning apps -- even if the sentences are known for being a little quirky. Perhaps that’s what makes it so memorable! Duolingo introduces you to both Hungarian vocabulary and grammar through its gamified platform, so it’s fun to learn and easy to maintain your daily streaks.
- Mondly: Mondly is yet another flashcard app with learning material available for Hungarian. It teaches the basics of the language including essential Hungarian phrases and verb conjugation.
Free Online Hungarian Language Resources for Advanced Hungarian Learners
Take a Free Online Course in HungarianOnline courses and educational videos are an effective way to learn about new topics in Hungarian. If you’d like to learn more about something you’re passionate about in Hungarian, one of these resources could be a useful way to do two things at once.
Take a Free Online Course in HungarianMOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) not only offer Hungarian language courses, but they also offer courses on other subjects in Hungarian. If you’d like to learn more about something while improving your Hungarian at the same time, taking an online course in the language can be a useful way to do two things at once.
- Coursera: Interested in learning more about excel or project management? Or maybe memory strategies or learning how to learn are more your thing? Whatever your interest is, there’s a good chance you can find a course taught in Hungarian on Coursera -- they currently have 15 to choose from!
- EdX: Much like Coursera, EdX also has courses where Hungarian is the language of instruction. Currently, there is just one Hungarian language course, and you can use it to learn about Nitrogen in Hungarian.
- Class Central: Class Central is an online portal that indexes free online courses from a variety of sites (including Coursera and EdX). Currently, they have two courses taught in Hungarian listed on their site.
TED Talks in HungarianTED Talks are a powerful way to learn new things in bite-sized chunks. Most talks are between 10-20 minutes long and are presented so that they keep your attention from start to finish.
Watch Hungarian Vloggers on YouTubeIf you’re looking for native and relevant material for your Hungarian language learning, YouTubers are a great source. Hungarian vloggers discuss everything from comedy to beauty to food, so you’re sure to find a YouTube personality who covers a topic that you’re interested in. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Tanulom Magam is a fun, quirky learning channel. The host teaches you about a variety of topics, using scientific evidence and humor to explain them.
- Rita Kinábon: Literally “Rita in China”, this channel documents the life of one Hungarian vlogger living in China and learning the Chinese language. What better to do to learn Hungarian than by watching videos about a fellow language learner?
- Lina és Panni are lifestyle bloggers from Hungary who document their lives, do video challenges, and offer style tips.
- Li Taiwan: This channel is yet another Hungarian vlogger living abroad, this time in Taiwan. She shares videos about her life, travels, and language learning.
- Fiona Bones Magyarul: Fiona Bones is a lifestyle vlogger who shares a bit about her life and language learning projects. She’s currently based in California, but vlogs in Hungarian.
- Finom Szakács: If you like food and think you might be ready to try out a new recipe in your new language, Finom Szakács is a video recipe channel in Hungarian with recipes for several traditional Hungarian dishes.
- Ízletes TV: If you enjoy sweets, this one is for you. Ízletes teaches you how to make a variety of desserts (and other recipes) on this channel.
- Nosalty is probably my favorite Hungarian food channel. The videos are gorgeous, there are a few videos where you learn cooking from Hungarian grandmothers, and the dishes made are so, so finom.
- Videojáték Zsoltival is a popular gamer with more than two hundred thousand subscribers. He posts gameplay videos and reviews different video games in Hungarian.
- Tusnádi Roland is a vlogger who talks about his own life and shares the success stories of others in their 20s.
- Gábor Simkó: Gábor Simkó is kind of like the Hungarian Scott Young in that he documents his language learning projects and other personal and learning experiments. He has learned French and Spanish, fasted for 100 hours, does other dietary experiments, did a juggling learning project, and shares other personal development tips.
- Eszter Gottschall is a language, lifestyle, and travel vlogger who releases a variety of videos about her progress learning English, her travels, and she even has a few basic Hungarian lessons on her channel.
Free Hungarian Language Reading MaterialsFinding material appropriate for your level in the language can be a challenge. Here are several ways you can practice reading in Hungarian online for free!
- Wikipedia: Use Wikipedia to read short articles in Hungarian. You can switch back to your native language to check your comprehension.
- LingQ: LingQ is a popular online learning system that helps you acquire new vocabulary through its reading interface. It’s free to sign up, though if you want to use it long-term you’ll need to opt for a paid plan.
- LanguageGuide.org: LanguageGuide.org is a well-curated collection of reading materials with audio accompaniment.
- Paralleltext.io: This excellent website lets you read classics such as Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland with the Hungarian and English texts side-by-side on the screen. Click a sentence to hear it pronounced by a computer voice. Tap the circle next to a sentence to change it from Hungarian to English and back. Switch from a side-by-side English/Hungarian view to Hungarian-only if your reading skills are more advanced.