Hungarian (magyar)

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 at a glance

  • Native name: magyar, [ˈmɒɟɒr] magyar nyelv [ˈmɒɟɒr ˈɲɛlv]
  • Language family: Uralic, Finno-Ugric
  • Number of speakers: c. 13 million
  • Spoken in: Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine
  • First written: 1196
  • Writing system: Latin script
  • Status: Official language in Hungary and the European Union. Recognised minority language in Romania, Croatia, Slovakia, and in parts of Slovenia, Austria and Ukraine

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.

Written Hungarian

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.

Hungarian alphabet (magyar ábécé) and pronunciation

Hungarian alphabet and pronunciation

Q (kú), W (dupla vé), X (iksz) and Y (ipszilon) are also used, but only in foreign loanwords.

Download an alphabet chart for Hungarian (Excel)

Hear the Hungarian alphabet:

Sample text in Hungarian

Minden emberi lény szabadon születik és egyenlő méltósága és joga van. Az emberek, ésszel és lelkiismerettel bírván, egymással szemben testvéri szellemben kell hogy viseltessenek.

Hear a recording of this text


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)

Sample videos

Information about Hungarian | Székely-Hungarian Rovás (Hungarian Runes) | Phrases | Numbers | Time | Tongue twisters | Tower of Babel | Learning materials


Information about Hungarian

Online Hungarian lessons

Hungarian phrases

Hungarian dictionariesőlap (etymological)

Online Hungarian radio

Online Hungarian news

A Magyar Nyelvtudományi Társaság Folyóirata
- Journal of the Society of Hungarian Linguistics (in Hungarian and English)

Hungarian Literature Online

Ugric languages

Hungarian, Khanty, Mansi

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 09.06.24


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