Tools for Boosting Your Hungarian Vocabulary
One Hungarian Word a Day – This is one of our most popular (and completely free!) features. Receive One Hungarian Word a Day straight to your inbox every day, along with its pronunciation, translation, at least two example sentences as well as related words. Remember – every new word you learn brings you one step closer to fluency!
Lonely Planet Hungarian Phrasebook – We can warmly recommend this phrasebook for building up your basic vocabulary, as it cuts through the noise and teaches the essentials only. We recommend skipping straight to the dictionary at the very end for this.
The Hungarian Digital Library (Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár) – If you’re looking for something to read in Hungarian in order to boost your vocabulary or are in search of a specific Hungarian book, look no further than this page. You’ll find a plethora of both Hungarian books as well as the Hungarian translation of many international classics (e.g. the Grimm Tales or The Little Prince) to download completely free of charge.
Wikiszótár – Our absolute favourite online monolingual dictionary that comes with pictures and multiple example sentences to every word. It explains the multiple usages of a word in an excellent way and also sheds light on all the suffixes and prefixes. Luckily, it works really well with Google’s page translation. A very powerful resource to learn about a word in context.
Wiktionary – An online English-language dictionary that (unlike standard dictionaries!) comes with the pronunciation, IPA, declension, etymology, sample quotations and synonyms to every word.
SZTAKI Online Hungarian-English Dictionary – Classical online dictionary for when you need a quick translation fix.
Google Image Search – Yes, you read that right! The best way to learn about what locals actually understand by certain words is to type the vocabulary you’re unsure of into the Google Image Search. The captions additionally provide the words with a natural context.
Hungarian Multisearch – A genius search tool that will instantly open up a Google Image Search, Forvo, the SZTAKI dictionary and Wikiszótár for you once you type in your word and press enter. Enable popups!
Memrise – Being a huge language-learning platform Memrise offers an amazing opportunity to improve your vocabulary with user-generated content. Memrise uses flashcards as memory-aids and the big variety of ways to test your knowledge (typing the words upon hearing them, choosing the right word from up to 8 options, and a lot more) makes this platform a great opportunity to kick off your Hungarian-studies from scratch. We recommend you use Memrise if you prefer flashcards that have already been prepared for you.
Anki – If you want to create your own flashcard-decks and crave large freedom for deciding how these flashcards should look like and how they should be presented to you, then Anki is the flashcards-tool you are looking for. Note: You can also use other people’s decks in Anki and there are plenty or Hungarian-decks floating around the world wide web.
Drops – Drops is an app that puts the fun back into learning vocabulary. It was developed by some great Hungarian minds and combines beautifully designed word games with mnemonic associations. The short, engaging games make Hungarian vocabulary-learning fun and not a chore. We recommend you use drops if you like learning vocabulary that has been grouped into categories for you (food, nature, health, relationships, etc.) and if you are looking for pre-designed images to accompany your words.
Nemo – Another app, Nemo is particularly great because it offers so much variety on how to practice the words you’ve learned: You can record yourself and compare your pronunciation to the teacher’s, do the same in slow speed, hear each word repeated 8 times in a row, and so much more. You can choose how many words you want to learn per day and Nemo creates a daily package of words for you to practice. We recommend Nemo for boosting and fine-tuning your pronunciation, as well as for learners who are looking for small chunks to study every day.
Hungarian Word List by Fluent Forever – Kudos to Gabriel Wyner for creating this awesome list of the 625 most common words, arranged in an order that makes them a lot easier and faster to memorize. The words are grouped into 90 little stories coming with great illustrations, their pronunciation and their translation. Accompany this with making flashcards for every word and you have a very strong foundation of the Hungarian vocabulary.
505 International Words in the Hungarian Language – “There are absolutely no familiar words in Hungarian. The words simply don’t make any sense to my brain!” – is one of the claims we frequently hear from our Hungarian-learning community. Luckily, the assumption that Hungarians don’t use any international words is simply not true. In this freely downloadable and printable list (no signup required!) we have collected 505 international words in the Hungarian language for you that are frequently used in everyday speech. If you don’t know where to start learning vocabulary, start here, as these words are SO easy to memorise and will give you a great headstart without you having to learn anything, really.
Mondly – Apart form single words, the Mondly-app puts a large focus on teaching common phrases (i.e. whole sentences). A big plus is that it shows the declination of verbs upon clicking on them. We also like the chatbot-function for practicing and refining your pronunciation by imitating a simple dialogue. We recommend Mondly for quickly acquiring common words and start putting them into a common context.
Duolingo – Being probably THE most popular free language-learning app out there, Duolingo simply cannot miss from this list. And while the example sentences are often questionable (“Én nem festek ügyvédeket.” – “I am not drawing lawyers.” or “Hallod azokat az almákat?” – “Do you hear those apples?”) the playful character and video game like style make Duolingo a great Hungarian-learning opportunity for in-between-times (e.g. while commuting).
Dict.cc – Free online Hungarian -English dictionary, but also for many other languages. And they have a very good free (and premium) app for smartphones, where you can download all the language packs so you can use them offline.