First, let me say something very important: my Hungarian pronunciation is excellent. It would be easy to disregard this solely because of the fact that I am Hungarian.
But not every Hungarian has an excellent pronunciation. Just like in English, we have slang, lack of education or discipline, and many other factors – including shyness – to downgrade a native pronunciation.
That being said, you have no reason not to aim for perfection.
Hungarian is a very strict language: we pronounce everything almost exactly how it is written. Therefore, it is enough to master the Hungarian alphabet, and then you’re set for life.
Of course, it is easier said than done. The key is practice, which is mundane and boring, but you can’t do anything about it.
If your native language is English, you will have problems with short vowels. One would think that accent marks cause many problems, but that’s not the truth. Our long vowels are the equivalents of English ones.
So make sure you practice these extra hard: ö, ü, u, o, a, e
Statistically, based on my experience, these vowels are the hardest to pronounce, especially when it comes to pronouncing whole words.
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