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Languages > Hungarian
Most Popular Hungarian Language Product Types
Children's Books
Goldilocks & the Three Bears in Hungarian & English (PB)
Talk Now Learn Hungarian
Hungarian: Hippocrene Handy Extra Dictionary (209 pages)
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Keyboard Stickers for Hungarian (blue)
Talk More! Hungarian
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Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation DSP Hungarian
Word to Word Dictionary
Word to Word Hungarian / English Dictionary (Paperback)
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Language Information

Hungarian is spoken by about 10 million people in Hungary, 1½ million in Rumania, and smaller minorities in Yugoslavia and Slovakia. It is one of the Finno-Ugric languages, which include Finnish, Estonian, and a number of languages spoken in the Russia. Most of these languages, however, belong to the Finnic branch of this group, while Hungarian belongs to the Ugric. The only other existing Ugric languages, and thus the only other languages to which Hungarian is closely related, are the remote Ostyak and Vogul languages of Siberia, spoken in an area more than 2,000 miles from Hungary.

As may be gathered from these facts, the original Hungarian people came from Asia, having long lived a nomadic life on the eastern slopes of the Urals. Forced to migrate westward between the 5th and 9th centuries A.D., they eventually reached the Danube where they settled in 896. In the more than a thousand years that have elapsed since that time the Hungarians have become completely Europeanized, with only their language serving to reveal their Asian Origins.

The Hungarians call their language Magyar. It is considered extremely difficult for foreigners to learn, with its vocabulary largely from Asia and its grammar containing a number of complex features not to be found in other Western languages. The alphabet, however, is phonetic, with s pronounced sh (e.g., sör—beer), c pronounced ts (ceruza—pencil), sz pronounced 5 (szó—word), cs pronounced ch (csésze—cup), zs pronounced zh (zseb—pocket), and gy pronounced dy (nagy—big). The many vowel sounds in spoken Hungarian are indicated by acute accents, umlauts, and the unique double acute accent which appears over o and u (bo"rskin, fu"—grass). The stress in Hungarian is always on the first syllable. The most important English word of Hungarian origin is coach, after the village of Kocs (remember cs = ch), where coaches were invented and first used. Others are goulash and paprika.

Hungarian is spoken/used in the following countries:
Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Yugoslavia.

Language Family
Family: Uralic
Subgroup: Finno-Ugric
Branch: Ugric

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


The devil's comedy was being played daily on the stock exchange. The Bondavara Company's shares, the Bondavara Railway shares were tossed here and there, from one hand to another. The tragedy had turned to comedy—that is, for some people, who found the game very humorous. The very word Bondavara made the stockbrokers laugh. When it happened that some fool bought a share, no one could help laughing. The shares, in fact, were given in exchange for anything of little value—for instance, as make-weight with an old umbrella for a new one. They were also presented to charitable institutions.

—MÓR JÓKAI, Black Diamonds

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