When I moved to Budapest in the Summer of 2015 I immediately started to learn Hungarian online using HungarianPod101.
In this extensive review I take a look at the features, benefits and advantages of using it to learn Hungarian.
Note: Although this review was made about HungarianPod101, you will find all the LanguagePod101 languages to be very similar. The only difference is the amount of content, and the language of course.
Learn Hungarian Online with HungarianPod101
HungarianPod101 is not just any online language learning podcast. It’s an absolute beast of a resource to learn Hungarian online.
It’s produced by Innovative Languages and features high quality audio and video lessons, plus a lot of bonus features that I will cover later in this review.
At the core of the Pod101 programme we find the lessons. Audio and video lessons tailored to help you learn Hungarian in a fun and effective way.
Welcome to my HungarianPod101 review – I hope you enjoy it.
HungarianPod101 Review Table of Contents
- The Audio Lessons
- The Lesson Player
- Video lessons
- Mobile Apps
- Prices and Memberships
- Final Verdict
The HungarianPod101 Audio Lessons
The main lessons are available in audio format and feature a native speaker and a non-native speaker. The lessons are short and to the point (about 10-12 minutes) and usually follow this pattern:
- Dialogue at normal speed
- Dialogue slowed down
- Dialogue with Hungarian translations
- Vocabulary discussion
- Grammar discussion
- Cultural pointers
They have a good balance and by listening to them you get a greater understanding of not only the language, but also the culture behind Hungarian.
The Online Audio Lesson Player
This is what the online audio lesson player looks like. Here you can listen to the full track, just the Hungarian audio or even review it with the review track. This track helps you practice your own pronunciation or listening skills.
You can also download lesson extras in the form of PDFs.
The lesson extras:
- Lesson Notes – including bonus examples and explanations not in the lesson itself.
There are currently 125 of these main audio lessons released at the time of writing this review. You get access to all of them instantly when you subscribe. They are organised into:
- Absolute Beginner: 25 Lessons
- Lower Beginner: 25 Lessons
- Upper Beginner: 25 Lessons
- Lower Intermediate: 25 Lessons
- Upper Intermediate: 25 Lessons
But that’s not all. Apart from this main series you also get access to a ton of other audio lessons:
- Basic: 50 lessons
- Absolute Beginner: 75 lessons
- Beginner: 25 lessons
- Advanced: 50 lessons (audio blogs)
- Bonus: 30 lessons
These extra audios are on topics such as culture, pronunciation, survival phrases, essential vocabulary and much more.
Grand total: over 350+ audio lessons included in your HungarianPod101 membership.
On top of the 350+ audio lessons, you also get access to 180+ video lessons. These are very short videos that enhance your skills by having you practice answering questions, listening to sentences and more.
This means that you get access to over 500 lessons to learn Hungarian online when you become a member. I won’t spend too much time in this HungarianPod101 review to discuss the videos, as I consider them mostly bonuses.
HungarianPod101 has a lot of tools and resources to help you learn.
One of my favourite resources are the flashcards they offer. I used to use Memrise, but the HungarianPod flashcards are amazing. Here’s why.
- They are the same vocabulary you hear in the main lessons, so you get to hear them being used in practice and you get more exposure to them.
- The main word bank features 2000 words with pronunciation and example sentences for all entries. If you know 2000 words you’re quite fluent in a language, usually. Once you’ve mastered the 2000 words on HungarianPod101 you can “graduate” to getting your vocabulary from native material such as books, newspapers and television.
- The interface works fine. It’s not as good as Memrise, but I can live with it.
Here’s what it looks like:
Innovative Languages focuses a lot on portability, so if you’re the type to learn languages on your commute, while doing chores or basically anytime you’re not in front of the computer you have a few options on how to best make that happen.
- You can download ALL episodes in DRM-free mp3 format and simply transfer them to your mobile device.
- You can download the Innovative Languages app from the app store and stream any lesson.
This is what a lesson looks like in the app (Android.)
The app is quite convenient and allows a truly mobile experience of the lessons. This is perfect if you have good connectivity and would like to be hands-on with the learning. I preferred simply downloading the lessons to my phone and then listening to them while walking around Budapest.
Innovative Languages also have a free flashcard app called “Word Power” for a few languages including Hungarian, but to me this felt a bit clunky and I couldn’t really get into using it – strongly preferring to learn Hungarian online with the web-based version where I could see the example sentences and stream the audio effortlessly.
Memberships and Prices
Although HungarianPod101 offers 3 levels of membership I’m only really going to recommend the Premium level. They also offer a Free level and a Premium+ level.
- Free, as the name implies is free, but the features are limited and you get access to only the basic lessons.
- Premium gives full access to all features, except the tutor and study plans.
- Premium+ is like Premium, but you get access to a teacher from HungarianPod101 also. If you are super motivated and have the money this is a luxury option. For the most people though I think Premium will do and if you need tutoring you can always find a tutor on sites like Italki.
My recommendation is:
- Premium: Starting at $18.75 per month (with the ‘ACTUALFLUENCY’ coupon)
You can save a lot by investing up-front, but this is totally up to you. Here’s a look at how cheap it can get:
HungarianPod101 Coupon Code
Use coupon code: ACTUALFLUENCY for 25% off!
The code is automatically applied if you click any link on this page.
HungarianPod101 Review Verdict
HungarianPod101 is a great way to learn Hungarian online. I’ve been using the service for a while now and I love the fact that I can learn Hungarian while I do the dishes, walk to the shops or even while working out in the gym.
The lessons are well-structured, not too long and contain the grammar you actually need without boring you to death. They also teach you about cultural norms, including when to use the formal language and what the social norms are such as etiquette, tipping and just about anything else.
The hosts also do a bit of banter, albeit sometimes very scripted, to loosen up the mood.
- HungarianPod101 Advantages
- Value for money: Over 500 lessons to help you learn Hungarian online fast
- Great lesson structure with just enough grammar explanations
- Portable and DRM-free: Download all lessons to any mobile device
- Continually updated
- HungarianPod101 Negatives
- They switch the hosts several times during the 125 main lessons and some of them are better than others.
- Lesson difficulty is not always a gentle increase
- The main lessons spend a lot of time explaining and teaching instead of actually exposing you to the target language. This is good and bad, but make sure you don’t get HungarianPod101 just for the immersion.
HungarianPod101 is highly recommended by Actual Fluency.
5 out of 5 stars.