Three months have passed since I started to learn Hungarian and it is time to reflect on my achievements and to determine where I am. Apart from the last week and a half that I spent on holidays with my partner, I have studied Hungarian on a daily basis. Although I have rarely dedicated plenty of time to my study on any given day, I have been very constant. I have not rushed through lessons but let them sink in.
My study plan have been sometimes erratic and purposedly so. I refused to draw up a plan that could make me feel stress and I decided to enjoy the language rather than setting up priorities and time goals. That being said, I think I benefited from my previous learning experience and I therefore avoided former mistakes and focused on communication.
Being there, done that:
-One daily Mondly (app) lesson
-4 completed FSI lessons, repeated several times
-A current active vocabulary of 918 words
-Weekly meetings with a group of native Hungarians
-Listening to Hungarian radio stations almost daily
-10 short pieces of writing
-1.5 graded short stories for intensive reading finished (text plus audio)
Grammar-wise, I am familiar at varying degrees with the following points:
-Basic structure of the sentence
-Stress and intonation
-Vowel harmony patterns
-The present imperfect tense
-Some other tenses for important verbs used as part of daily life expresions including present perfect, past, future and imperative.
-Cardinal and ordinal numbers
-Posession for 1st person singular, one possessed object only
-Some properties of adjectives: when to use plural forms and cases, and comparison
-Some noun cases: Acusative, Dativ, Instrumental, Superesive, Inesive, Adhesive and "Types of"
So, where am I? My active vocabulary allows me to express myself in basic situations, albeit imperfectly. I can make myself understood when talking about food, travels, basic needs. I can talk to my boyfriend when I don't want to risk ear-dropping. While I now clearly understand the first FSI lessons without the aid of transcription, I can only recognise the topics and the general mood when listening to the radio. Similarly, I grasp the topic and overall mood of graded short stories and conversations, but I lack vocabulary and grammar to understand their full meaning. The above grammar list may look impresive, but I realise it is just a drop in the ocean of Hungarian grammar.
This all sounds to me like an A1 level, perhaps a solid one. And I am happy with it. I don't intend to set up unrealistic expectations or to stress myself up. I feel I have created a learning routine in Hungarian and at this stage this is the greatest achievement I could have dreamed of.
I will continue studying as I have been doing so far. If I hit the A2 level by the end of this year I will be very happy because that will mean achieving it in 8.5 months, and I believe this would be a good achievement since Hungarian is unrelated to the languages I speak.