Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Why the hell would anyone want to learn Hungarian?

Hungarian as a language is freakishly complicated and you'd be talking out of your own arse if you disagree and say that it's easy.

It tops most 'hardest languages to learn' lists on the Internet, Budapest Facebook groups are screaming with foreigners who need translations and after just saying good morning to a barista in a café he replied in English before I even had the chance to continue pretending to be a native born round the corner.

However despite all of that (and you'll probably think i'm talking out of my own arse when I say this too), it actually ain't all that bad.

Language learning is like driving through heavy fog. The more words and stuff you know, the brighter your fog lights become. The fog will always still be there, and it will still be terrifying at times, but at least you can make your way through to the other side.

I'm not gonna bore you with all of the grammar points or cultural odd bits (and it's also a little bit more complicated than this) but in a nutshell:

  • You put almost everything directly onto nouns and verbs instead of 'around' them like English:
    anya - mother -> anyám - my mother
    beszélni - to speak -> beszélek - I speak.
                                    beszéltem - I spoke. ('t' lets you know it is past tense)
  • There are loads of brand new vowels, and to a born and bred Geordie they all sound verrry similar: a, á, e, é, i, í, o, ó, ö, ő, u, ú, ü, ű
  • Sometimes you just leave out the verb, it's actually grammatically incorrect to have it there. Don't ask:
    Gareth angol. - Gareth (is) English.
    Viktor nem angol, ő magyar - Viktor (is) not English, he (is) Hungarian. 
  • Swearing in Hungarian is awesome:
    Lófasz a seggedbe! Fuck off! (Literally: A horse dick into your ass!)
    Nyald ki a seggem - Kiss my ass (Literally: Lick my ass)
  • City names are awesome too:

    Hódmezővásárhely is a town in Southern Hungary literally translated as 'beaver field marketplace'.

That's certainly not it, but I have an entire notepad of grammar rules wrote down and I still need space since there are more exceptions to the rule than rules themselves.
Once you have understood the concept of most of the grammar rules it's fairly easy to use them. Learning the vocabulary then becomes your Everest.

If you're learning Hungarian and you're a secret grammar freak like me, I definitely recommend It unfortunately hasn't been updated recently, but it's a brilliant start to teaching yourself or as a companion to your study.

Monday, 30 November 2015


Since my last post on this personal blog of mine, my life has changed dramatically. I now somehow live in Budapest, Hungary. I never planned to end up here after living and working in Vienna, but life is funny in that way I guess. That's a good thing by the way.

I've been living here for half a year and visiting very regularly since the middle of January, but i'm still struggling with the language a lot. It's kind of a shame because I used to be mega into learning languages and opening doors for myself, especially the language of the people I would surround myself with.

To my defence, it is one of the most disconnected languages in the world. It isn't similar to any other European languages in any way and people call me crazy for even attempting to learn it. Even some Hungarians who I know tell me not to bother.
For example, the translation of camera is 'fényképezőgép'. The struggle is real, ladies and gentlemen.

Anyways, recently I haven't been improving myself as much as I want and it's been getting me down. I would sit down to write and the pen wouldn't even touch the paper before I gave up or I realised that I had to procrastinate somehow. I literally became a pro at crastination.

I'm now learning some basic programming code, loving my work more and more, really getting back into learning the language and i'm even beginning to write more frequently, something that I would love to do for real money.

Hungary is a weird as fuck country and I have loads of content about that in my mind, maybe I will write about that next.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

2014 / 2015

This last year has been a turbulent one indeed. I dated twice, fell in love once, had two very different jobs in two very different countries, finished my degree (thank fuck), met new friends, lost old ones, burned bridges and created strong foundations to build more and more.
Most importantly and most notably, I moved to Vienna in September and began a (possible) new career in teaching.
At the start of 2014 I was incredibly apprehensive about my future. 4.5 years of university education actually left me unmotivated, unchallenged and feeling negative and cynical about that 'world of work' that everyone was banging on about.

If it wasn't for the majority of the people I met at university then I wouldn't have even (wanted to) finish my course.

You need to find a full time job Gareth and you need to find one now. You need a car and a mortgage and how on earth are you going to afford all that and still be happy?

Apart from a few golden moments it's truly been my annus horribilis this year. 2015 has to be better, without a shadow of a doubt. It can't be much worse.
I was sorely tempted to make a high-level Latin / gay sex joke here butt I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Thankfully I got my degree, got a job and then proceeded to leave the country for good. Even if that sounds melodramatic it's an incredibly soul crushing process to systematically tie yourself down at the same time as living the life someone else wants for you, not your own.

So I quit my full time job, packed up and fucked off. I started working at my two schools straight away and it's refreshing to have so much responsibility and to be able to take charge. I'm no sit-in-the-back-and-make-comments sort of teaching assistant, I actually teach.
I'm more than often working alongside the teachers to prepare the material but 100% standing up in front of these doe-eyed teenagers and fuck me I do it well if I do say so myself.
I've heard anecdotes from former TAs, as well as future applicants who praised the ability to get paid a decent salary for doing fuck all but I've worked hard to distance myself from them and will continue to do so.

So it's been a fast moving year indeed. We're in the middle of January and it's already 13° here. People are wearing sunglasses and taking their clothes off by the canal outside my apartment.
Bear in mind that over the last few weeks it's been -5° on average. That's mind boggling.

I have to decide whether to stay in Vienna for one more academic year soon; whether I want to risk the security of having a job waiting for me after summer or to go somewhere brand new and try my luck at finding a life, love and building happiness in this new place.
I just completed my first freelance translation job with more to come this month which I am very proud about and I am starting to really get into the swing of the work/social life balance here. I give (very well) paid private tuition here, have been recently asked if it's possible to do more and i've been offered a 30€/hr teaching day in Carinthia in February near to the Slovenian border with Austria.

2015 is shaping up to be something indeed, god knows what will happens but hopefully it's better than how shitty 2014 was.