UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Debrecen, Hungary


Hungarian Level 2 Lower Intermediate

Course description: Level 2 is for those who have successfully completed the Level 1 Evening Course or a similar course and have gained limited experience of dealing with authentic material through regular visits to the country or through self-study. The course runs over three ten-week terms and each session is two hours long. The course includes all four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The aim of the course is to give students an opportunity to revise, consolidate, and build on the skills they acquired at beginner level. On completion of the course students should be able to communicate in, and understand, Hungarian on a variety of practical everyday matters. The course will cover the following:


  • the weekend, holidays, childhood, and other past activities
  • habits, favourite activities, preferences, and abilities in the past and present
  • festivities around the year and in the family; buying and giving presents
  • introducing and discussing a famous personality and/or a family member
  • asking for, and giving, directions, describing location
  • complex time expressions, telling the time
  • cardinal numbers, dates, addresses, telephone numbers
  • making reservations and arrangements: hotel, travel, etc.
  • Budapest and places to visit in Hungary or elsewhere; a Hungarian dog-type: puli
  • food and drink: Hungarian dishes and recipes; favourite restaurants in Budapest


  • giving one’s opinion, presenting a simple argument, contradicting
  • inviting conversation partners to join a discussion, and to give their opinion
  • expressing, and enquiring about, likes, dislikes, preferences
  • asking for help and basic clarification
  • asking for directions and assistance
  • giving directions: describing location and motion
  • giving orders: polite orders, indirect requests
  • describing past events and making references to the future
  • differentiating, and discussing, ongoing and completed actions
  • understanding short texts from Hungarian literature and lyrics


  • areas of pronunciation to strengthen: question intonation, pronouncing longer segments and compounds flawlessly;
  • revision and more in depth study of the grammar covered at beginners’ level
  • functions of the dative: marking the possessor, in verbal argument structure, case frames (érdekel, tetszik, örül, etc. actions with three participants)
  • the habeo or ‘have’ construction revisited, possessive chains
  • possessive suffixes to mark possessions in the singular
  • possessive suffixes with multiple possessions
  • functions and use of the local case suffixes in non-concrete locations, with place names, and in verbal argument structure
  • the past tense: indefinite and definite conjugation
  • local cases, and a few other suffixes in complex time-expressions
  • a few modal verbs and auxiliaries (lehet, akar, tud, kell)
  • verbal pre-fixes: directions and aspect marking, word-order

Learning resources:

Course Book

  • Tutor will provide materials

Additional material:

  • Dr M. Kovácsi, Itt magyarul beszélnek, Vol. 1., Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó Zrt., Budapest, 1993, 2001.
  • Sz. Szita, T. Görbe, Gyakorló magyar nyelvtan / A Practical Hungarian Grammar, Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.
  • C. H. Rounds, E. Sólyom, Colloquial Hungarian, London: Routledge, 2011.
  • P. Sherwood, A Concise Introduction to Hungarian. London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, 1996.

Useful websites: