Speak to/with me in Hungarian, I am trying to learn it


New Member
Hi there!
If I want to say "speak to me (OR with me) in Hungarian, I am trying to learn it", how would I say it?

Would any of the following would be correct – in terms of words and word-order?
beszélj velem magyarul, próbálom megtanulni
beszélj velem magyarul, megpróbálom megtanulni
beszélj velem magyarul, próbálom tanulni
beszélj velem magyarul, megpróbálom tanulni
beszélj velem magyarul, igyekszem megtanulni
beszélj velem magyarul, igyekszem tanulni

Last edited:
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member

    I'm afraid all your versions sound strange:oops:, mainly because of the different grammar structure of the English and Hungarian versions.
    The problem is that in the phrase "speak to me in Hungarian", the word "Hungarian" is a noun, and the word "it" in "trying to learn it" refers to this noun, i.e. the language.

    However, the word "magyarul" is an adverb, so I feel that something (a grammatical object) is missing after the comma. It's understandable, of course, but it isn't idiomatic.
    "Beszélj velem magyarul, most tanulom a nyelvet".

    In terms of grammar, the following sentence would be best but it also sounds odd because of the repetition of "magyarul".:(
    "Beszélj velem magyarul, mert most tanulok magyarul."

    Let's see if the others have better ideas.:)


    Hungarian - Hungary
    When I first read the list above, I felt a slight difference between them and was wondering how to explain the difference... I didn't feel the problem at first because there was no full stop (they are not "proper sentences") which allows one's imagination to fill in the gaps... So from this point of view (depending on the context and how you go on) they could even work in speech (because it is easier not to finish one's sentence as the listener may know or guess the rest).

    The root of the problem is what AndrasBP has explained above but see some examples:
    Beszélj velem magyarul, próbálom megtanulni, hogy(an) kell szépen hangsúlyozni. (... how to enunciate properly.) or
    Beszélj velem magyarul, próbálom tanulni
    a kiejtést. (...pronunciation/enunciation.)

    My suggestion is to give up the translation (at least for the time being) and use something more idiomatic:
    Beszélj hozzám magyarul, hadd gyakoroljak.
    (Hozzám indicates that maybe only you will speak in Hungarian - I may answer in English or in Hungarian or mixing the two. Velem, however, indicates that we both should/will speak in Hungarian only.)

    P.S. AndrasBP, I think we should not encourage people to use repetition in Hungarian the way they could in English. It sounds a tiny bit awkward in Hungarian.;)
    Last edited:


    New Member
    Thank you very much AndrasBP and Zsanna - all very interesting. I did realise that magyarul is an adverb, but I thought I could get away with referring back to it as a quasi-object. The suggestion of hozzám instead of velem is also very appropriate.

    Köszönöm szépen!


    Senior Member
    What about the following:

    "Beszélj velem magyarul, próbálok megtanulni (= próbálok megtanulni beszélni magyarul)"
    It is a perfect solution.

    Just some more thoughts in italic, due to the links shared it is mainly for Hungarian natives. As a disclaimer I am not fully aware of the English grammar terms, so I looked up for those ("szófaj"/"parts of speech" and "mondatrész"/"constituent") in wikipedia/dictionaries.

    "In Hungarian" is definitely a noun in English. And "magyarul" is definitely NOT a noun in Hungarian. But what is it in fact?

    I feel "magyarul" is not a simple adverb, but more an adjective (as a part of speech). Nevertheless in the sentences above "magyarul" is a constituent with an adverbial function.

    My statement is based on the examples here, Állapothatározó – Wikipédia. Certainly "magyarul" is not an "állapothatározó", but seems to be a sort of "módhatározó" in this case.

    Or look for "rendületlenül" here A HATÁROZÓK.

    There is a similiarity with words ending not with -ul/-ül, but with -an/-en.
    See also -an, -en ragos melléknév.

    As a bonus see also here Hol ford -ul/-ül elő?

    It is quite a complicated matter for non-linguists, eg. I am not at a

    Finally let's try to understand why the solution from Francisgranada was perfect.

    If only "próbáloK megtanulni" is used and it is omitted to express what it is in fact that I am trying to learn, then it is quite comfortable. But let's continue it in different ways and test our ears and mind:

    "Beszélj velem magyarul, próbáloK megtanulni VALAMIT" - something/object
    "Beszélj velem magyarul, próbáloK megtanulni VALAMILYEN MÓDON" - somehow/adverbial function

    Both seem to be fine for me. So it is still comfortable to use "próbálok", which is "alanyi igeragozás" / "verb conjugation referring to an undefined/general object"

    Not let's get back to Bilmemki's versions, in other words to "próbálom", which is "tárgyas igeragozás"/ "verb conjugation with a focus on a defined object"

    "Beszélj velem magyarul, próbálom megtanulni AZT /AZT A DOLGOT" - that thing/object

    To be honest it does not sound good, my mind does not accept "magyarul" as an object.

    So in case of difficulties, just simply use "alanyi ragozás". :)
    Last edited:


    Hungarian - Hungary
    "Beszélj velem magyarul, próbálom megtanulni AZT /AZT A DOLGOT" - that thing/object

    To be honest it does not sound good, my mind does not accept "magyarul" as an object.
    Maybe it's just the question of pausing a bit longer where the comma is, or considering the two parts (before and after the comma) as two individual sentences. As far as I'm concerned it sounds OK. I don't find it difficult to join "magyarul" and "magyar nyelvet" this way.

    P.S. The easy way to decide between adverbs and adjectives: the first answers to the question hogyan (how) and the second to milyen (what is it like?).
    Magyar (milyen? -> adjective) + ul (határozórag) = magyarul (hogyan?-> adverb) is - according to MÉSZ - a "határozóragos melléknév" (or módhatározó= adverb of manner in our sentence).