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Hungarian<>English Language Apps Reviewed

Below you will find a basic, small, review of some Hungarian-English and English-Hungarian language apps to use as a Language Learner, as opposed to a Tourist, for use on an Android, Amazon Fire 7, iOS and/or Windows device; where stated.

NOTE - Although the apps below were tested on either a BUSH Android Kit Kat mobile phone, Huawei PLite 8 Android Nougat mobile phone, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, Alba Android Lollipop tablet, Windows 10 computer or Amazon Fire 5 tablet or a combination of those devices, they might also work on other devices. Hence why you should visit each app developer's website for details on their device requirements.

NOTE WELL - These reviews are purposely not long-winded and purposely do not detail every feature of an app. The reviews are more of an 'overall observation' of how well suited they are, and what they have to offer, for someone living in Hungary. Meaning: No waffle, just straight to the point app PROS and CONS.

NOTE WELL - Although I have put the apps into an order I think will benefit your learning, based on the apps I used to learn Hungarian, you should still test all of the apps to see what suits your particular method of learning.

Why Use A LANGUAGE APP?

Although language books and dictionaries still have their place in society, especially as many of the major ones have been computerised already, language apps have become more interactive than boring searchable school books/dictionaries. Apps, with their constantly updated features, have become more like addictive games; which is one excellent reason to start learning a new language, using an app. Another reason is because an app is not a big book. It fits inside a small mobile device.

Language App Review

6,000 Words (Fun Easy Learn) is a very nice app for learning basic, everyday, Hungarian words. Available for Amazon Fire 7, Windows 10, iOS 8+ and Android. It has a vast amount of categories to learn from - Healthcare, Transport, Family, Sport, etc - and is currently my favourite 'word learning' app.

CONS - Could do with more words in each section of the free version.

PROS - It contains many useful, everyday, words and categories that are split into sub-categories (i.e. Healthcare is split into Illness, Doctor, etc sub-categories. Transport is split into Airport, Train, etc sub-categories).

It also contains mini games/tests (find images, match words, write words, listen and spell, etc) that help with spelling and memory. What's more, there are three levels of difficulty. Highly Recommended. The free version (Beginner's level) is great, but if you REALLY WANT TO LEARN HUNGARIAN WORDS - BUY THE OTHER LEVELS.


Does The App SPEAK ACCURATELY?

The first thing I look for in a language app is the speed at which the native speaker talks. I often find an app to be good in features and functionality, but then be let down by the native speaker talking too fast to be understood properly; syllable-wise. If I cannot hear each syllable being pronounced properly/accurately with a clear voice then I do not entertain the app any further; especially as an absolute beginner of a language.

Language App Review

Slice Words is a fun scrabble type of word game that is not as easy as it looks! Some of the words will even be a challenge for the native Hungarian! Available for Amazon Fire 7, Android and iOS 7+.

CONS - None.

PROS - Random words, fun, addictive and sometimes difficult, but at the end of the day you are made to think. The £2.99 to unlock the other categories is well worth it.

App developers should realise people want to hear each word in their new language pronounced clearly and spoken a little slower than normal speed. Good app developers know this and tend to programme good practise such as repeating words at different speeds (i.e. slowly at first and then at normal speed). What is the point programming a language app if nobody can understand the words? Obviously the bad programmers and companies are in it for the money only.

Does It Work On MULTIPLE DEVICES?

Although many app websites state their app/software works on multiple devices and operating systems, you might find dead links to their associated online app stores. This could be because they no longer sell on those stores and/or for those devices, for whatever reason(s), whereby their own website has not been updated accordingly. The copyright on their website might also state 2014 for example, with contact details missing. These are signs, in my eyes, of lack of support for the app, website and/or you (the potential customer).

Language App Review

Speak Hungarian contains over 50 word categories, averaging at least 20+ words in each category (so over 1,000 words), which cover basic words (i.e. the common fruits and colours) as well as additional words (i.e. uncommon/unusual fruits and colours); all with pronunciation. Available for iOS 9.3+.

CONS - Not really a CON, but the categories are in a list only. The games are very basic and not well designed/programmed.

PROS - A really nice selection of words with clear pronunciation. Speech can be slowed down and the words within a category can be auto-played.

An app working on one device but not on another is not really a concern for me. Mainly due to the fact that many devices are affordable these days, new or second-hand, whereby if you really want to learn a language.....

Are The WORDS AND SENTENCES FORMAL?

Many language apps follow a formal form of writing and/or speaking, using old words and long-winded sentences; as opposed to using modern words and shorter, everyday (colloquial) sentences. They also use translations that suit a need rather than being accurate. Examples:

Instead of "Have you got a menu" (colloquial) you get "Could I possibly see the menu please?". Instead of "Where's the toilet?" (colloquial) you get "Do you have a bathroom in this restaurant?". And instead of "Goodbye" (colloquial) you get "It was nice meeting you" (formal, Victorian and so-called polite; but more la-di-da).

Language App Review

Brainy App WebsiteSpell Hungarian (Brainy Ape) is a very nice spelling app for kids and adults alike. It's actually a memory and spelling game in one. Available for Android.

CONS - Not really a con, but it could be argued it lacks words/games. I think they have the balance of useful words spot on. It doesn't really contain that many useless (not used all the time) words.

PROS - It is simple enough, but also difficult enough, to learn and remember the basics of Hungarian (i.e. fruits, numbers, etc). In other words: When you have learnt basic Hungarian from elsewhere, it is nice to come to this app for a memory and spelling test.


Language App Review

Duolingo WebsiteDuolingo is an app that specialises in sentence formation whereby you have to drag the correct words, from a mixture of correct and false words, into order to make the correct sentence. The spelling and typing of words are other challenges. Available for Android, iOS 9+ and Windows.

CONS - Many sentences are stupid, useless and concentrate too much on specific ways of saying things; when it should note to itself that a Hungarian sentence can be expressed in many ways. And although it concentrates on sentence formation, it uses useless sentences and obvious answer choices that actually defeat its 'sentence formation' purpose.

PROS - Putting the latter comments aside, it does slowly but surely build up your knowledge of Hungarian; especially with the adjectives and verbs. Overall, this app is for a serious learner and for someone who has already learnt some basic Hungarian words.


Language App Review

Hungarian Pretati is a tourist phrasebook with speech. Available for iOS 6+.

CONS - Not really a con, but it lacks categories and some phrases are not really useful or would only be used once for example. And although the speech is clear enough, sometimes it is spoken too fast. Luckily there is a SLOW button to slow down the speech. Unfortunately the slowness cannot be controlled.

PROS - It has a Favourites option, which means you can learn only those Favourited words if you wish. Quality is better than quantity as the saying goes, and with this app the lack of categories is made up for by quality phrases. This is one of those apps that build up your collection of 'useful sentences', so well worth the £2.99.


Language App Review

This Hungarian Dictionary is ideal for those occasions when you just want to quickly look up a word and/or hear how it is pronounced. Available for iOS 9.3+.

CONS - None.

PROS - It has a Favourites option, History option and Slow Speech setting. The speech was £1.99, but well worth it. As it is very difficult to find a good, affordable, Hungarian dictionary online, and I tested many, I would say this is a nice dictionary suitable for the absolute beginner's needs.


Language App Review

10,000 Words/Phrases (Language Courses WebsiteLanguage Courses) is a Hungarian Words & Phrases app that starts at beginner level before advancing to intermediate level. Available for Android, Amazon Fire 7 and iOS 7.1+.

CONS - Speech is not that clear on all words. File downloads sometimes get stopped, freeze or just take a long time to download/setup (they are downloaded as needed, when you choose a subject within a category). Words and Phrases are spoken automatically, one after the other, so no real control over the app in that respect. When the app is not 'sometimes freezing' it is a great additional app to learn from.

PROS - A vast arrange of words and phrases to learn. Categories include Dating, Businiess, Travel, Healthcare, Tourism, Transport, Time, Weather and so on. One very good point about this app is that it has a speed control for the spoken words. Overall, highly recommended. Although it is a free app, I would pay for it.


Language App Review

Learn Hungarian (Mondly) WebsiteLearn Hungarian (Mondly) is a multi-language app that teaches you to learn your chosen language in moderation (i.e. 3 lessons a week). It has a mixture of spelling, drag words, you speak words, etc. Available for Android and iOS 7+.

CONS - The 'you speak the words with a microphone' feature is great if you like that kind of feature, otherwise it becomes annoying as there is no alternative option (i.e. you cannot switch to dragging words), which means you cannot continue with the lesson. The weekly limit on lessons also delays learning and could actually stop you from wanting to learn (i.e. the gap between learning could be too long). It also has inaccurate phrases - Nekem Van Egy Kutyám (Nekem is not needed).

PROS - Putting the latter comments aside, it does slowly but surely build up your knowledge of Hungarian; especially with the adjectives, verbs and general conversation. Overall though, this app is yet another tool to learn from, but not a complete solution.


Language App Review

Learn Hungarian is a Hungarian Words quiz app that is ideal for the absolute beginner. Available for Android.

CONS - The interface is ugly! You really need to second guess how to navigate some of its options.

PROS - It has 30 word categories to learn from and some decent, challenging, games such as Hangman, Match The Words, True or False and Multi-Choice.


Language App Review

Drops (Hungarian) is a 'drag n drop', 'drag n match' and 'drag n spell' type of game where you learn a new word with its picture and then drag spell the word, drag the word over the correct picture and so on. Ideal for the absolute beginner. Available for iOS 9+.

CONS - Too expensive, not enough games and a little tedious with its learning (not many words learnt at one time).

PROS - It good enough for the absolute beginner who wants to learn a few words per day, but not for someone who has learnt the basics of Hungarian already.


Language App Review

Hungarian WordsHungarian (Nemo) is another very nice app for learning basic, essential, everyday Hungarian words via categories such as Food, Shopping, Money, Directions, Numbers, Essential Words and Essential Phrases. Available for Android and iOS 7+.

CONS - You have to pay for most of the words/phrases, which is expensive at £11.99; especially if you just want to try the app. And as the app is not game orientated, it can be boring to learn from.

PROS - The spoken words are pitch perfect, both in English and Hungarian, with clear sound quality. You can hear the syllables clearly. And with the ability to adjust the speed level, speech-wise it makes this 32 Topic/1200+ Flash Cards app well worth £11.99.


Other Apps WORTH A LOOK

Simply Learn Hungarian (Travel Phrasebook) and Hungarian Phrases Diamond 4K Edition.


Reference Books
Hungarian Music Lyrics
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