English is "too easy" for Hungarians

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I found an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how some Hungarians think English is too easy of a language to learn Mi az?! Click here to read the article.

Government officials argue that learning English as a first foreign language makes learning other languages more difficult and reversing the order makes learning English easier. I find incredible irony in this article because my experiences in Hungary would suggest English is difficult for Hungarians to learn and a very low percent of the population is proficient in English (German and Russian are more common, especially amongst older generations). The end of the WSJ journal article references a Eurostat survey from 2009 that found almost 75% of Hungarians 25-64 years old don't speak any foreign languages. Only 6% of those who responded said they speak a second language fluently.

3/4 of the population doesn't speak English, yet government officials say English is too easy for Hungarians to learn? Nem ertem!!!! LOL. Oh Hungary, such a weird little country!

I posted the article on Facebook and asked my Hungarian & Hungarian-American friends to weigh in. The Hungarians agreed the main problem with the difficulty in learning Hungarian is the poor teaching methods and consequently the need to hire a private tutor to really excel and pass English/ any language proficiency exams.

Side note: I miss hearing Hungarian and I'm already forgetting much of what I learned. I had lunch with two Hungarian-American friends at IU earlier this week and made them converse in Magyarul just so I could listen and pretend I was standing in my neighborhood szupermarket :) The vowel harmony is so melodic and lovely! IU has a Hungarian Cultural Association with coffee hours every Monday to practice speaking the language with students and natives, so I am excited to brush up on my Magyarul!!

I leave you with the Hungarian version of the Te Deum being chanted - it's beautiful!



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