Vocabulary – School Part 2

In Hungary children go to the infant’s nursery when they are 2 or 3 years old. When they turn 4 or 5, they go to the kindergarten. In many kindergarten they are taught how to count and read so that they have an advantage when applying for elementary school.

Elementary school lasts 8 years. It starts when children turn six and finishes with a comprehensive exam when they turn 14. There’s a possibility for 4 grade students to go to a six-class high-school if they want to.

Secondary school (high-school) begins at the age of 15. There are different types of secondary schools. You can choose a szakközépiskola where you learn math, literature, history (mandatory subjects) plus a profession like technician, joiner and so on…

Or you can go to a gimnázium which you attend 4 or 5 years and then you graduate with the final exam (érettségi). The érettségi can be a standard exam or a high-level exam. Every student has to take the exam on math, literature, history. Then you can choose if you want to sit exam on subjects like biology, geography, physics, chemistry or on a foreign language.

The goal is that children can speak at least two languages. So elementary school teaches a foreign language and in high-school they start learning a second foreign language. The favourite foreign languages are English, German, Italian, Spanish.

Note that infant’s nursery and kindergarten are not mandatory, however, the education is mandatory up to the age of 16. It means that elementary school and most of the high school years must be attended.

After high-school, you go to college (főiskola) or to a university (egyetem). An egyetem has a higher value than a college. Depending on what course you choose, it can take 2, 3, 4 or even 5 years until you take your degree.

2-3 / infant’s nursery > 2 years
4-5 / kindergarten > 2 years
6-14 / elementary school > 8 years
15-18 / secondary school > 4 years
19- / college, university > varying

During the college years you can be given a loan (diákhitel = student credit) which you start paying back after you finishing the college and finding a job.

Of course, you can also have a scholarship (ösztöndíj) if you were an excellent student in high-school.

Vocabulary – School Part 1


bölcsőde infant’s nursery
óvoda nursery school, kindergarten
általános iskola elementary school
középiskola, gimnázium high school
főiskola college
egyetem university

(iskola)táska school bag
füzet notebook
könyv book
tankönyv school book, text-book
ceruza pencil
toll pen
tolltartó pen-case
vonalzó ruler
körző compasses (> singular in Hungarian)
tábla blackboard
kréta chalk
szivacs sponge
pad bench, form
osztály class
(osztály)terem class-room

matematika math (students say: matek)
irodalom literature
történelem history (students say: töri)
fizika physics
kémia chemistry
földrajz geography (students say: föci)
testnevelés physical education, p.e. (students say: tesi)
biológia biology (students say: biosz)

iskolába jár go to school
felel recite the lesson
feleltet question on
átenged a vizsgán to pass sy at the exam
megbukik to fail
megbuktat to reject
vizsgázik…-ból, -ből to sit for an examination
matekból vizsgázom I sit for a math exam
tanul to study
megtanul to learn
jegyet kap to be given a mark
ötöst kap to be given an excellent
osztályoz to give marks
házi feladat homework
megírja a házit to do the homework
jelentkezik to put one’s hand up