Hungarian is spoken heavily throughout Eastern Europe, not just in Hungary, but also in Slovakia and Romania as well. You’ll find more than 14 million Hungarian speakers throughout Europe, making this an excellent language to learn whether you’re just visiting the area for the first time as a leisure traveler, or you need to do some business in Eastern Europe.
Learning Hungarian can come with its challenges, though. The grammar style is very different from English grammar, and even if you’ve learned other European languages, you’ll find Hungarian differs highly from most of those languages as well.
If you’re learning to speak Hungarian in either an in-person class or in an online course, then you might find yourself looking for some extra resources to help you along your language-learning journey. If so, have you considered language-learning podcasts? Podcasts are an excellent complement to any language-learning course.
Check out these seven Hungarian podcasts for more. (And if you’re looking for even more Hungarian-learning resources, from courses and apps to books and moves, check out How to Learn Hungarian: A Stress-Free Guide.)
Podcasts for Beginners
Starting from the very beginning? You’ll find that these podcasts made for those with little to absolutely no experience are just the thing to help you kickstart your language-learning journey and lay a solid foundation for yourself when it comes to Hungarian vocabulary and grammar.
HungarianPod101 offers a range of different podcast episodes, with quite a few tailored to beginner learners with no previous experience speaking, listening to or reading Hungarian. These episodes cover basic concepts, such as vocabulary words and grammar, but they don’t stop there.
Each episode infuses the lesson with a large helping of culture, history and other information that can make your learning experience that much richer. There are also episodes that are created specifically with travelers in mind, in case you just need to learn a little bit of Hungarian to get you through a work or leisure trip.
You will find that some of the HungarianPod101 resources are behind a paywall, but subscriptions are quite affordable. If you’re wondering if a membership is a good investment for you, check out our full review of HungarianPod101 and see what to expect.
While the Let’s Learn Hungarian! podcast is no longer being updated, you will find nearly 20 episodes that offer a range of information tailored to new Hungarian speakers. Each episode is around 20 minutes in length and covers common phrases and vocabulary that you might need when traveling around the country, buying tickets, attending events and asking for information or services. This podcast is especially useful for travelers visiting Hungary or Eastern Europe.
Of course, you’re not going to learn Hungarian in just a minute, but this podcast does its best to offer you quick hits of Hungarian language learning with zero fluff, to make your language learning fast and enjoyable. There are 10 lessons spread out over 10 podcast episodes, and the episodes are intended to give you just a little taste of the Hungarian you might need in a casual conversation or while traveling.
Do you have a wealth of Hungarian vocabulary under your belt? Then you may be ready to move on to listening to Hungarian podcast episodes while following along with your English translated text. While it’s not always easy to find podcasts where this is possible, there are some out there that provide Hungarian versions of texts that are easily accessible in English as well.
Regardless of the time of year, this collection of Christmas short stories is just the thing for allowing you to listen to Hungarian spoken text while following along with an English translation. Sort through classic stories and poems in Hungarian and give them a listen. (The podcast also offers similar texts in other popular European languages as well, in case you’re interested in brushing up on your German or Russian!)
After you’ve built a solid foundation of Hungarian grammar and you know it well enough to follow along with spoken Hungarian, even slowly, then you’ll want to challenge yourself further by listening to podcasts that are spoken entirely in Hungarian.
If you stay up to date on world events, news stories, and trends, then you should be able to listen to SBS Hungarian, produced by the Special Broadcasting Service, and follow along, as it will be discussing topics you’re probably already familiar with. The all-Hungarian podcast covers not only world matters, but also culture, music, and literature, providing something new and interesting for every listener. Episodes are uploaded on an almost daily basis.
If you’re more familiar with religious texts than world events, then you might find this similar podcast to be up your alley. Lomed Hungary offers episodes focused on Jewish texts on a regular basis. Each episode covers one mishnah, or a Jewish oral law, and you can easily find English translations of the episodes online, in case you want to follow along that way.
Of course, when learning any language, it always helps to learn about the country in which that language is heavily spoken. Budapest.fm is an English-spoken podcast, but it covers topics of interest to native Hungarians and Hungarian expats. The podcast is relatively new but quite interesting. New episodes are uploaded about every two weeks or so.
Did we miss any of your favorite Hungarian language-learning podcasts in our list above? Tell us about them!
Learning Hungarian? Take a look at our article titled How to Learn Hungarian: A Stress-Free Guide.