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Fun in Budapest – Learning the Hungarian language.

March 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

As most of you know I’ve been living in Budapest for over 16 months now, running an English teaching business and generally enjoying being in one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.

One thing a lot of people ask me is whether I can speak the local lingo. They all want to know how hard it is to learn Hungarian. The answer, refreshingly, is that it’s not too hard at all.

It’s difficult, that’s for sure. Or perhaps unrecognisable is a better word. While most other languages in Europe are Indo-European or Slavic, Hungarian sits in a family of it’s own as a Uralic language. It’s closest cousins, Estonian and Finnish, share almost nothing in common and finding any language similarity requires checking out a few dialects spoken only in distant Siberia. What this means to the budding Polyglot is – nothing you’ve learned before is going to help you learn Hungarian.

Apart from having to learn all new vocabulary, one of the other pain points is cases. There are 18 of them and they are expressed by adding bits to the end of a word. For the unfamiliar, this can take a little while to get used to. Those words can get long!

But, as promised, there is plenty of easy stuff as well. The language is phonetic so once you learn to pronounce the alphabet you can just say what you see written down. Add to that the lack of noun genders and the fact that there are only two tenses (past and present) and you’ve yourself a language that you can get your teeth into.

Don’t let anyone put you off. Start learning Hungarian today.

New year, new business!

January 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Happy new year everyone – hope you all had a great holiday.

I am happy to announce that I launched a new business over the holiday. This time to help people find a Hungarian teacher. It’s the same as my other businesses. We match people with teachers in Budapest and over Skype to learn Hungarian.

If you want to support us you can also like us on Facebook: Learn Hungarian Now

Thanks!

My teaching business is now open in Prague as well.

December 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog and that because, after the success of Learn English Budapest I decided to launch a new business helping people find an English teacher in Prague. It’s called, quite imaginatively – Learn English Prague.

I will still be living in Budapest and running the business remotely. If you know any teachers in Prague or anyone that wants to improve their English then please tell them about the website.

As ever you can also support us socially:

Learn English Prague (on Facebook).

We’ve been listed in 3 categories on Expats.cz: Learn English / Language Schools / Private Teachers

And you can also find my profile on Teacher Creature.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of 2014.

I’ve stopped travelling and started teaching English in Budapest!

February 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

So it’s been a long time since I posted an update on this blog. The reason being that, after my wonderful time in Tallinn, I decided to settle down in Budapest in Hungary to seek entrepreneurial opportunities.

After several months enjoying myself and a few discussions with other native English teachers in Budapest I decided I would try it for myself. I picked up a language textbook and taught myself from cover to cover. Armed with a new understanding of English grammar and vocabulary I got to work finding people that wanted private English lessons – and it didn’t take long. Within a month I had 12 people on my books, both from Hungary and elsewhere around the world (there are a lot of Erasmus students in the city!).

Enjoying a week in Tallinn : A party capital with lots of history

September 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm
The city walls surrounding Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia

The beautiful walls surrounding Old Town Tallinn (my photo).

Tallinn in Estonia was the last stop on my trip through the Baltics and was the most interesting city yet. Like other cities in Baltics there is a beautifully preserved, UNESCO listed Old Town, with it usual mix of churches, museums and foreigner friendly restaurants where most of the tourists spend their time finding things to do. And of course, on account of the cheap beer and steady stream of stag parties and Finnish people that take the ferry from Helsinki there is week long nightlife to enjoy as well.

Cycling the Curonian Spit : A guide to Lithuania’s beautiful sand dunes

August 31, 2013 at 3:46 pm
A cycling path on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania

There are many beautiful tree lined cycle paths on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania (my photo).

The Curonian Spit is a 52km peninsula in the Baltic Sea that stretches between Lithuania and the Kalingrad Oblast of Russia (that bit of Russia that is separate from the rest). It’s a UNESCO heritage site and as well as Europe’s highest sand dunes (6 metres at their highest), over 70% of he Curonian Spit is covered in forest, making for a great day out especially if you choose to cycle it.

Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai : Lithuania’s surreal tourist attraction

August 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm
A shrine at the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

A shrine stands among the crosses at the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania (my photo).

The Hill of Crosses (Kryžių Kalnas) north of the town of Šiauliai is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lithuania and an important religious pilgrimage site for Christians worldwide. On a small hill in the middle of flat farm fields stand hundreds of thousands of crosses, big, small, wooden and metal, simple or intricately decorated, serving as memorial for the Lithuanian national identity.

Things to see in Vilnius : Lithuania’s capital and a true culture gem of the Baltics

August 29, 2013 at 5:30 am
Street in Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania

One of the many quiet winding streets in Old Town Vilnius (my photo).

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and the likely first stop for anyone planning to explore the Baltics. The Old Town is beautiful to explore and can easily be covered on foot or by bicycle. Culture fans looking for things to do in Vilnius will find plenty in the form of museums covering history recent and old and plenty of churches for to explore. Those coming to relax and see the nightlife on the other hand will find an abundance of good restaurants serving traditional Lithuanian food and dozens of bars and nightclubs catering for all music tastes.

A quick trip to Kraków : Things to do in Poland’s nightlife city

August 27, 2013 at 10:10 am
Town Hall Tower in the main Market Square of Kraków

Market Square in Kraków with the Town Hall Tower in the distance (my photo).

Kraków is the second largest city in Poland and definitely the capital of nightlife in Poland with a large student population and lots of visiting tourists who come to see Auschwitz-Birkenau and stay for a night or two afterwards looking for things to do. For those that do stay the city has a beautiful perimeter park, a sprawling Jewish district and Wawel Cathedral and Wawel Royal Castle to explore complete with stunning views over the city.

Things to do in Bled : Enjoying a day at Slovenia’s most beautiful lake

August 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm
Bled Island in the middle of Lake Bled in Slovenia

Bled Island in the middle of Lake Bled is the only natural island in Slovenia (my photo).

Bled is a small town in the north of Slovenia near the Austrian border. First becoming popular back in the early 1900s as a spa resort, the town is now enjoyed by all types of tourist who come to enjoy the beautiful scenery, lazy days relaxing around Lake Bled and the panoramic views from Bled Castle next to the lake nestled in the Julian Alps. Don’t expect too many things to do in Bled, it’s more a place to relax and take in the scenery.