UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Debrecen, Hungary


Hungarian Level 3 Upper Intermediate

Course description: Level 3 is for those who have successfully completed the Level 2 Hungarian Evening Course or a similar course and/or have developed a sound knowledge of the basics of the language through extensive visits to the Hungary or through self-study. The course runs over three ten-week terms and each session is two hours long. Linguistic and cultural awareness is reinforced through continuous revision and by building on students’ previous knowledge when introducing a new topic. On completion of the course students should be able to get by in most Hungarian-speaking environments, and to retrieve information from authentic materials. The course includes all four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The course will cover the following:


  • regions of Hungary and Budapest; travelling
  • idioms and proverbs, the regional features of Hungarian
  • health and illness, at the doctor’s, body parts revisited
  • how to rent, buy, and furnish a flat
  • getting by at the airport and calling a taxi
  • opening a bank account, paying one’s bills and charges
  • making arrangements, enrolling and attending events
  • setting up a mobile phone or internet contract
  • what can go wrong: making complaints while travelling or at home
  • wishful thinking... discussing goals, purpose, and conditions; things that have gone wrong in the past
  • a few essential texts in Hungarian literature


  • agreeing/disagreeing, expressing opinion
  • relating past events (news or personal circumstances)
  • writing letters in different registers
  • expressing wishes, desires, and possibilities
  • negotiating and discussing conditions
  • making suggestions and recommendations
  • speculating, making assumptions
  • complaining and apologising; excuses
  • giving orders and making polite requests: understanding the difference
  • comparing and contrasting


  • students are expected to pronounce Hungarian reasonably well when commencing the course
  • revision and more in depth study of the grammar covered at previous levels
  • the imperative-subjunctive in the definite and indefinite conjugations
  • the present and past conditional in both conjugations
  • the potential and other techniques of expressing modality
  • the comparative and the superlative
  • the –ék collectiviser suffix
  • post-positions in spatial function and in time expressions
  • one’s belongings: true and ‘untrue’ ownership of possessions, objects, and acquaintances
  • vowel elision, vowel shortening, and v-stem nouns: overview and summary
  • question words, definite, indefinite, and relative pronouns: an overview
  • complex sentences: relative clauses and complement closes (with hogy ‘that’) and the -e question particle

Learning resources:

Course Book

  • C. H. Rounds, E. Sólyom, Colloquial Hungarian, London: Routledge, 2011.

Additional material

  • G. Kiss, I. Molnár, Jó szórakozást magyarul! Fun Reading Exercises / Olvasókönyv magyarul tanulóknak, Bp: Molilla Könyv, 2009.
  • The more advanced volumes of the Hungarolingua series, e.g. Nem csak novella, Szemezgető, Fülelő;
  • Sz. Szita, T. Görbe, Gyakorló magyar nyelvtan / A Practical Hungarian Grammar, Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.
  • P. Sherwood, A Concise Introduction to Hungarian. London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, 1996.
  • Eszter Tarsoly, Reading Strategies: a Hungarian Graded Reader for Post-graduate Students, ePublication in the CEELBAS Language Repository, UCL/SSEES, 2011.
  • Dr M. Kovácsi, Itt magyarul beszélnek, Vol. 1. and 2., Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó Zrt., Budapest, 1993, 2001.