Hungarian is an Ugric language with about 13 million speakers (in 2012) in Hungary (Magyarország), Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Slovakia. There are also many people of Hungarian origin in the UK and other European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Hungarian is a highly inflected language in which nouns can have up to 238 possible forms. It is related to Mansi, an Ob-Ugric language with about 4,000 speakers who live in the eastern Urals, and Khanty or Ostyak, the other Ob-Ugric language which is spoken by about 15,000 people in the Ob valley of western Siberia.
The earliest written text in Hungarian was a funeral oration (halotti beszéd) written in 1196, and the first complete book to be printed in Hungarian, Az zenth Paal leueley magyar nyeluen (The letters of Saint Paul in the Hungarian language) by Benedek Komjáti, was published in 1533 in Kraków in Poland. Hungarian literature flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Q (kú), W (dupla vé), X (iksz) and Y (ipszilon) are also used, but only in foreign loanwords.
Hear the Hungarian alphabet:
Minden emberi lény szabadon születik és egyenlő méltósága és joga van. Az emberek, ésszel és lelkiismerettel bírván, egymással szemben testvéri szellemben kell hogy viseltessenek.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Online Hungarian lessons
A Magyar Nyelvtudományi Társaság Folyóirata
- Journal of the Society of Hungarian Linguistics (in Hungarian and English)
Hungarian Literature Online
Page last modified: 30.09.22
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