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English has several suffixes that can append to words. For example, profess is a verb that can receive a suffix and become profession, a noun, that can receive a suffix and become professional, an adjective, that can receive a suffix and become professionally, an adverb.
  Hungarian works the same way. The only difference is there are much more suffixes, they are much more often used, and they can be stacked in much longer chains. Let’s pick the same word. Hungarian uses as many Latin borrowings as English, this very word can be found in it, too: professzionálisan (only one suffix, you can’t cut the word earlier) – but most of them have an original counterpart, too. Let’s look that one, building it up from tiny elements like Lego.
  Hív – the verb to call. In fact, „he/she/it calls”, because the base form of verbs is the third person singular one. John hív engem – John calls me.
  Hívat – to make to call. The causative suffix is -at (it has four forms depending on the vowel harmony and the root ending in either a vowel or a consonant). John hívat engem – John makes (somebody) to call me.
  Hívatás – the act or state of being called. The -ás is a noun forming suffix roughly corresponding to English -ing in nouns like building, writing, running. However, „hívatás” is a rare form because it has blended into a single word, losing the accent from the root:
  Hivatás – profession. Hungarian expresses „profession” as the state of being called (to do someone’s duty). But now it behaves as a single word root. Az orvosi hivatás – the doctoral profession.
  Hivatásos – professional. Suffix -s was discussed in our previous article (section Képzők). It expresses a quality. Having a quality of a profession means professional. John hivatásos orvos – John is a professional physician.
  Hivatásosan – professionally. Suffix -an (four forms) can turn adjectives into adverbs, roughly corresponding to English -ly, as in words like roughly, suddenly. John hivatásosan dolgozik – John is working professionally.
  A word of eleven letters, built from five parts (a root and four suffixes). Hivatásosan.

Let’s see another one, one of the most important words, and (somewhere I read) one of the most difficult to pronounce. Of course it is, if you try it the wrong way.
  It starts with something completely different.
  Egész – whole, full, complete. A simple adjective.
  Egészség – health. The suffix -ség turns verbs or nouns to nouns, roughly corresponding to English suffixes -ness (as in happiness, loneliness) or -ship (as in friendship), -hood, -itude, -th, -ity. In this case, a little change of meaning happens: „wholeness” = health. But it’s logical, isn’t it? If you aren’t healthy, something is missing, you aren’t complete. This is the point in the development of the word where it becomes hard to pronounce, apparently: egész [ɛɡeːs] + -ség [ʃeːɡ]. An s touching an sh is really hard to pronounce, and that’s the reason why don’t Hungarians say it so. Don’t you do it, either. The two sounds merge into a single, long sh: [ɛɡeːʃːeːɡ]. Just like Percy Bysshe Shelley, if you make no pause between the middle name and surname.
  Egészséged – your health. Possessive suffixes were dealt with in our previous article.
  Egészségedre – „onto your health”. This is the rag for sublative case, but it’s often translated to English with „to” or „for”. For your health. But of course, this isn’t the real translation. Really, it means either bless you when somebody is sneezing or cheers when drinking together. [ɛɡeːʃːeːɡɛdrɛ] serves for both purposes. But only in informal communication. To somebody you are in formal relation only, say egészségére [ɛɡeːʃːeːɡeːrɛ], literally „onto his health”, because formal verb forms are using third person suffixes instead of the second person.

For a third example, I chose a word created with both composition and derivation.
  Vásár – sales, fair, market (noun).
  Vásárol – purchase, buy, shop (verb). The -l suffix turns nouns into verbs meaning using the thing or doing something with it.
  Bevásárol – do shopping (verb). The be- verbal prefix means into, and works the same as English in with verbs like come in, go in, get in and so on. Therefore, bevásárol is like an English verb to buy in. The difference is that vásárol means a single purchase, but bevásárol is a complete shopping, when you buy everything your family needs (for the weekend, for example).
  Bevásárló – shopper (noun). The suffix roughly corresponds to English -er in words like writer, customer, making nouns from verbs. The linking vowel is dropped in this case.
  Now we have the first part of the compound, let’s see the second one.
  Pont – point, place, spot, dot. From the same Latin word English point is coming from.
  Köz – center, middle, central part of something. It’s obsolete in this meaning, now we use it in other meanings (like mews, lane, alley), and it serves now as a prefix meaning public, general. Adding this prefix we get központ, meaning central, centre, seat, headquarters.
  Let’s join them:
  Bevásárlóközpont – hypermarket, supermarket.

Láng Attila D., 2013.6.17.

! Hungarian in English magyar nyelvek nyelvészet

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