Hungarian language

Hungarian language

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Hungarian is a Uralic language
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

, part of the Ugric group
Ugric languages
Ugric or Ugrian languages are a branch of the Uralic language family. The term derives from Yugra, a region in north-central Asia.They include three languages: Hungarian , Khanty , and Mansi language...

. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe
Languages of Europe
Most of the languages of Europe belong to Indo-European language family. These are divided into a number of branches, including Romance, Germanic, Balto-Slavic, Greek, and others. The Uralic languages also have a significant presence in Europe, including the national languages Hungarian, Finnish,...

.

It is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 in the Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

an country of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and is also spoken by Hungarian communities in the seven neighboring countries and by diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 communities worldwide. There are about 14 million native speakers, of whom 9.5–10 million live in present-day Hungary. About 2.5 million speakers live outside present-day Hungary, but in areas that were part of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 before the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 (1920). Of these, the largest group lives in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, the western half of present-day Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, where there are approximately 1.4 million Hungarians
Hungarians in Romania
The Hungarian minority of Romania is the largest ethnic minority in Romania, consisting of 1,431,807 people and making up 6.6% of the total population, according to the 2002 census....

. There are large Hungarian communities also in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia are the largest ethnic minority of the country, numbering 520,528 people or 9.7% of population . They are concentrated mostly in the southern part of the country, near the border with Hungary...

, Serbia
Hungarians in Vojvodina
Hungarians are the second largest ethnic group in the Vojvodina province in northern Serbia. According to the 2002 census, there are 290,207 ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina who compose 14.28% of the provincial population. The number of ethnic Hungarians in the whole of Serbia is 293,299, and their...

 and Ukraine
Hungarians in Ukraine
The Hungarians in Ukraine number 156,600 people according to the Ukrainian census of 2001. Hungarians are largely concentrated in the Zakarpattia Oblast, where they form the largest minority at 12.1% of the population...

, but Hungarian speakers can also be found in Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, as well as about a million additional people scattered in other parts of the world. For example, there are more than one hundred thousand Hungarian speakers in the Hungarian American
Hungarian American
Hungarian Americans Hungarian are American citizens of Hungarian descent. The constant influx of Hungarian immigrants was marked by several waves of sharp increase.-History:...

 community in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

The Hungarian name for the language is magyar ˈmɒɟɒr, which is also occasionally used as an English word to refer to the Hungarian people as an ethnic group.

Classification



Hungarian is a Uralic
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

 language, more specifically an Ugric language
Ugric languages
Ugric or Ugrian languages are a branch of the Uralic language family. The term derives from Yugra, a region in north-central Asia.They include three languages: Hungarian , Khanty , and Mansi language...

; the most closely related languages are Mansi
Mansi language
The Mansi language is a language of the Mansi people. It is spoken in territories of Russia along the Ob River and its tributaries, including the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the Sverdlovsk Oblast...

 and Khanty
Khanty language
Khanty or Xanty language, also known previously as the Ostyak language, is a language of the Khant peoples. It is spoken in Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous okrugs, as well as in Aleksandrovsky and Kargosoksky districts of Tomsk Oblast in Russia...

 of western Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

. Connections between the Ugric and many other languages were noticed in the 1670s and established, along with the entire Uralic family, in 1717, although the classification of Hungarian continued to be a matter of political controversy into the 18th and even 19th centuries. The name of Hungary could be a result of regular sound changes of Ungrian/Ugrian, and the fact that the Eastern Slavs referred to them as Ǫgry/Ǫgrove (sg. Ǫgrinŭ) seemed to confirm that. As to the source of this ethnonym in the Slavic languages, current literature favors the hypothesis that it comes from the name of the Turkic tribe Onogur
Onogurs
The Onogurs, also known as Utigurs, were a horde of equestrian nomads in the North Eurasian steppe east of the Don River during the 5th to 8th centuries. The Onogurs crossed the Volga and entered into Europe around the year 460 within the larger context of the Great Migrations and the Turkic...

 (which means "ten arrows" or "ten tribes").

There are numerous regular sound correspondences between Hungarian and the other Ugric languages. For example, Hungarian /aː/ corresponds to Khanty
Khanty language
Khanty or Xanty language, also known previously as the Ostyak language, is a language of the Khant peoples. It is spoken in Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous okrugs, as well as in Aleksandrovsky and Kargosoksky districts of Tomsk Oblast in Russia...

 /o/ in certain positions, and Hungarian /h/ corresponds to Khanty /x/, while Hungarian final /z/ corresponds to Khanty final /t/. For example, Hungarian ház (haːz) "house" vs. Khanty xot ([xot]) "house", and Hungarian száz ([saːz]) "hundred" vs. Khanty sot ([sot]) "hundred".

The distance between the Ugric and Finnic languages is greater, but the correspondences are also regular.

Prehistory


It is thought that Hungarian separated from its closest relatives approximately 3000 years ago, probably in the vicinity of the Urals, so the history of the language begins around 1000 BC. The Hungarians gradually changed their way of living from settled hunters to nomadic cattle-raising, probably as a result of early contacts with Iranian nomads. Their most important animals included sheep and cattle. There are no written resources on the era, thus only a little is known about it. However, research has revealed some extremely early loanwords, such as szó ('word'; from the Turkic languages
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

) and daru ('crane', from the related Permic languages
Permic languages
Permic languages are a branch of the Uralic language family. They are spoken in the foothills of the Ural Mountains of Russia.* Komi** Komi-Permyak** Komi-Yodzyak ** Komi-Zyryan...

.)

A small number of anthropologists
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 dispute this theory. Among others, Hungarian historian and archaeologist, Gyula László
Gyula László
Gyula László was a Hungarian historian, archaeologist, artist, and university professor....

 claims that geological
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 data from pollen analysis
Pollen analysis
Analysis of the distribution of pollen grains of various species contained in surface layer deposits, especially peat bogs and lake sediments, from which a record of past climate may be inferred. Because the lake sediments accumulate over time, a core of the mud will show that the mud at the bottom...

 seems to contradict placing the ancient homeland of the Magyars near the Urals.

The Turkic languages
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 later had a great influence on the language, especially between the 5th and the 9th centuries. Many words related to agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, to state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 administration or even to family relations have such backgrounds. Hungarian syntax and grammar were not influenced in a similarly dramatic way during these 300 years.

The Hungarians migrated to the Carpathian Basin around 896 and came into contact with Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 – as well as with the Romance speaking Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

, borrowing many words from them (for example tégla – "brick", mák – "poppy", or karácsony – "Christmas"). In exchange, the neighbouring Slavic languages also contain some words of Hungarian origin (such as Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

 ašov – "spade"). 1.43% of the Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 vocabulary is of Hungarian origin.

Old Hungarian


The first written accounts of Hungarian, mostly personal and place names, are dated back to the 10th century. Hungarians also had their own writing system, the Old Hungarian script
Old Hungarian script
The Old Hungarian script is an alphabetic writing system used by the Hungarians before the Middle Ages...

, but no significant texts remain from that time, as the usual medium of writing, wooden sticks, is perishable.

The Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 was founded in 1000, by Stephen I of Hungary. The country was a western-styled Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 (Roman Catholic) state, and Latin held an important position, as was usual in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Additionally, the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

 was adopted to write the Hungarian language.

Therefore, Hungarian was also heavily influenced by Latin. The first extant text of the language is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer
Funeral Sermon and Prayer
The Funeral Sermon and Prayer is the oldest known and surviving contiguous Hungarian text, written by one scribal hand in the Latin script and dating to 1192-1195...

, written once in the 1190s. More extensive Hungarian literature
Hungarian literature
Hungarian literature is literature written in the Hungarian language, predominantly by Hungarians.There is a limited amount of Old Hungarian literature dating to between the late 12th and the early 16th centuries...

 arose after 1300. The earliest example of Hungarian religious poetry is the Old Hungarian 'Lamentations of Mary'
Old Hungarian 'Lamentations of Mary'
The Old Hungarian Lamentations of Mary is the oldest extant Hungarian poem, copied in about 1300 into a Latin codex, similarly to the first coherent written Hungarian text , which was written down between 1192 and 1195...

, a poem about the afflictions of Mary when she saw the death of her son – from the 14th century. The first Bible translation is the Hussite Bible
Hussite Bible
The Hussite Bible is the oldest known Hungarian, but also Uralic Bible translation, dated to the 1420s–1430s.-History:The Hussite Bible is the only written vestige of Hussitism in Hungary. The book – or at least the most of it – was translated by Tamás Pécsi and Bálint Újlaki...

 from the 1430s.

The language lost its diphthongs, and several postpositions transformed into suffixes, such as reá 'onto' 1055: utu rea 'onto the way'; later: útra). Vowel harmony
Vowel harmony
Vowel harmony is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels that occurs in some languages. In languages with vowel harmony, there are constraints on which vowels may be found near each other....

 was also developed. At one time, Hungarian used six verb
Verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

 tenses
Grammatical tense
A tense is a grammatical category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place.Bernard Comrie, Aspect, 1976:6:...

; today, only two (the future not being counted as one, as it is formed with an auxiliary verb).

Modern Hungarian


The first printed Hungarian book
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

 was published in Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 in 1533, by Benedek Komjáti. The work's title is Az Szent Pál levelei magyar nyelven (In original spelling: Az zenth Paal leueley magyar nyeluen), i.e. The letters of Saint Paul in the Hungarian language. In the 17th century, the language was already very similar to its present-day form, although two of the past tenses were still used. German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 loans also appeared in the language by these years. Further Turkish words were borrowed during the Ottoman occupation
Ottoman Hungary
History of Ottoman Hungary refers to the history of parts of the Ottoman Empire situated in what today is Hungary, in the period from 1541 to 1699.-History:...

 of much of Hungary between 1541 and 1699.

In the 18th century, the language was incapable of clearly expressing scientific concepts, and several writers found the vocabulary a bit scant for literary purposes. Thus, a group of writers, most notably Ferenc Kazinczy
Ferenc Kazinczy
Ferenc Kazinczy was a Hungarian author, the most indefatigable agent in the regeneration of the Magyar language and literature at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century...

, began to compensate for these imperfections. Some words were shortened (győzedelem > győzelem, 'triumph' or 'victory'); a number of dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

al words spread nationally (e. g. cselleng 'dawdle'); extinct words were reintroduced (dísz 'décor'); a wide range of expressions were coined using the various derivative suffixes; and some other, less frequently used methods of expanding the language were utilized. This movement was called the 'language reform
Language reform
Language reform is a type of language planning by massive change to a language. The usual tools of language reform are simplification and purification. Simplification makes the language easier to use by regularizing vocabulary and grammar...

' (Hungarian: nyelvújítás), and produced more than ten thousand words, many of which are used actively today. The reforms led to the installment of Hungarian as the official language over Latin in the multiethnic country in 1844.

The 19th and 20th centuries saw further standardization of the language, and differences between the mutually already comprehensible dialects gradually lessened. In 1920, by signing the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

, Hungary lost 71% of its territories, and along with these, 33% of the ethnic Hungarian population. Today, the language is official in Hungary, and regionally also in Romania, in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia are the largest ethnic minority of the country, numbering 520,528 people or 9.7% of population . They are concentrated mostly in the southern part of the country, near the border with Hungary...

, and in Serbia
Hungarians in Vojvodina
Hungarians are the second largest ethnic group in the Vojvodina province in northern Serbia. According to the 2002 census, there are 290,207 ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina who compose 14.28% of the provincial population. The number of ethnic Hungarians in the whole of Serbia is 293,299, and their...

.

Geographic distribution




Hungarian is spoken in the following countries as a native language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

:
CountrySpeakers
Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

10,177,223 (2001 census)
Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...


(mainly Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

)
1,443,970 (census 2002)
Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

520,528 (census 2001)
Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...


(mainly Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

)
293,299 (census 2002)
Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 
(mainly Zakarpattia
Zakarpattia Oblast
The Zakarpattia Oblast is an administrative oblast located in southwestern Ukraine. Its administrative center is the city of Uzhhorod...

)
149,400 (census 2001)
United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

117,973 (census 2000)
Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

75,555 (census 2001)
Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

70,000
Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 
(mainly Burgenland
Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

)
22,000
Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

16,500
Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...


(mainly Prekmurje
Prekmurje
Prekmurje is a geographically, linguistically, culturally and ethnically defined region settled by Slovenes and lying between the Mur River in Slovenia and the Rába Valley in the most western part of Hungary...

)
9,240
Total 12-13 million (in Carpathian Basin)
Source: National censuses, Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...



About a million more Hungarian speakers live in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 and in other parts of the world.

Official status



Hungarian is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Hungary, and thus an official language of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. Hungarian is also one of the official languages of Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

 and an official language of three municipalities in Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

: Hodoš
Hodoš
Hodoš is a town and a municipality in Slovenia. It is part of the Prekmurje region. Both Slovene and Hungarian are official languages in the municipality....

, Dobrovnik
Dobrovnik
Dobrovnik is a village and a municipality in Slovenia. It is located in the Prekmurje region. It has a significant Hungarian ethnic community that outnumbers the Slovenes. In fact, Dobrovnik is one of the two municipalities in Slovenia where ethnic Slovenes form a minority of the population, the...

 and Lendava
Lendava
Lendava is a town and a municipality in Slovenia in the region of Prekmurje. It is close to the border crossing with Hungary at Dolga vas-Rédics, and Hungarian is one of the official languages of the municipality, along with Slovene...

, along with Slovene. Hungarian is officially recognized as a minority
Minority language
A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities.-International politics:...

 or regional language
Regional language
A regional language is a language spoken in an area of a nation state, whether it be a small area, a federal state or province, or some wider area....

 in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Zakarpattia
Zakarpattia Oblast
The Zakarpattia Oblast is an administrative oblast located in southwestern Ukraine. Its administrative center is the city of Uzhhorod...

 in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

. In Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

  it is an official language at local level in all communes, towns and municipalities with an ethnic Hungarian population of over 20%.

Dialects


The dialects of Hungarian identified by Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

 are: Alföld, West Danube, Danube-Tisza, King's Pass Hungarian, Northeast Hungarian, Northwest Hungarian, Székely and West Hungarian. These dialects are, for the most part, mutually intelligible. The Hungarian Csángó
Csángó
The Csango people are a Hungarian ethnographic group of Roman Catholic faith living mostly in the Romanian region of Moldavia, especially in the Bacău County...

 dialect, which is mentioned but not listed separately by Ethnologue, is spoken mostly in Bacău County
Bacau County
Bacău is a county of Romania, in Moldavia, with its capital city at Bacău. It has one commune, Ghimeş-Făget, in Transylvania.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 706,623 and the population density was 113/km²....

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. The Csángó minority group has been largely isolated from other Hungarian people, and they therefore preserved a dialect closely resembling medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 Hungarian.

Phonology



Hungarian has 14 vowel phonemes and 25 consonant phonemes. The vowel phonemes can be grouped as pairs of short and long vowels, e.g. o and ó. Most of these pairs have a similar pronunciation, only varying significantly in their duration. However, the pairs /<á> and /<é> differ both in closedness and length.
Consonant phonemes of Hungarian
  Bilabial
Bilabial consonant
In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:...

Labio-
dental
Labiodental consonant
In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.-Labiodental consonant in IPA:The labiodental consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:...

Alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

Post-
alveolar
Postalveolar consonant
Postalveolar consonants are consonants articulated with the tongue near or touching the back of the alveolar ridge, further back in the mouth than the alveolar consonants, which are at the ridge itself, but not as far back as the hard palate...

Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Glottal
Glottal consonant
Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricative, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider...

Nasal
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

m n ɲ
Plosive p  b t  d k  ɡ
Affricate
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

t͡s  d͡z t͡ʃ  d͡ʒ c͡ç  ɟ͡ʝ
Fricative
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

f  v s  z ʃ  ʒ h   
Trill
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

r
Approximant
Approximant consonant
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

j
Lateral l


Consonant length is also distinctive in Hungarian. Most of the consonant phonemes can occur as geminates.

The sound
voiced palatal plosive
Voiced palatal plosive
The voiced palatal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨⟩, a barred dotless ⟨j⟩ , and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is J\.The sound does not exist as a phoneme in English, but is...

 /ɟ/, written , sounds similar to 'd' in British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

 'duty' (in fact, more similar to 'd' in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 'dieu', or to the Macedonian phoneme 'ѓ' as in 'ѓакон'). It occurs in the name of the country, "Magyarország" (Hungary), pronounced /ˈmɒɟɒrorsaːɡ/.

Primary stress is always on the first syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

 of a word, as with its cousin Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 and neighboring languages, Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

 (Standard dialect) and Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

. There is sometimes secondary stress on other syllables, especially in compounds, e.g. viszontlátásra ("goodbye") pronounced /ˈvisontˌlaːtaːʃrɒ/. Elongated vowels in non-initial syllables can also seem to be stressed to the ear of an English speaker, since length and stress correlate in English.

Front-back vowel harmony
Vowel harmony
Vowel harmony is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels that occurs in some languages. In languages with vowel harmony, there are constraints on which vowels may be found near each other....

 is an important feature of Hungarian phonology.

Single /r/s are tapped
Alveolar tap
The alveolar flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar flaps is .-Definition:...

, like the Spanish pero; double /r/s are trilled, like the Spanish perro.

Grammar and syntax


Hungarian is an agglutinative language
Agglutinative language
An agglutinative language is a language that uses agglutination extensively: most words are formed by joining morphemes together. This term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1836 to classify languages from a morphological point of view...

. It uses various affix
Affix
An affix is a morpheme that is attached to a word stem to form a new word. Affixes may be derivational, like English -ness and pre-, or inflectional, like English plural -s and past tense -ed. They are bound morphemes by definition; prefixes and suffixes may be separable affixes...

es, including suffix
Suffix
In linguistics, a suffix is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs...

es, prefix
Prefix
A prefix is an affix which is placed before the root of a word. Particularly in the study of languages,a prefix is also called a preformative, because it alters the form of the words to which it is affixed.Examples of prefixes:...

es and a circumfix
Circumfix
A circumfix is an affix, a morpheme that is placed around another morpheme. Circumfixes contrast with prefixes, attached to the beginnings of words; suffixes, that are attached at the end; and infixes, inserted in the middle. See also epenthesis...

 to define a word's meaning and grammatical function. Instead of prepositions, which are common in English, Hungarian uses only postpositions.

There are two types of articles
Article (grammar)
An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles specify the grammatical definiteness of the noun, in some languages extending to volume or numerical scope. The articles in the English language are the and a/an, and some...

 in Hungarian:
  • definite: a before words beginning with consonants and az before vowels (behaving just like the indefinite article ’a(n)’ in English)
  • indefinite: egy, literally ‘one’.


Noun
Noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

s can have up to eighteen cases. Some cases are grammatical, such as the unmarked nominative (as in az alma ‘the apple’) and the accusative, marked with the suffix –t (as in az almát). Hungarian does not have a genitive case
Genitive case
In grammar, genitive is the grammatical case that marks a noun as modifying another noun...

. The dative case
Dative case
The dative case is a grammatical case generally used to indicate the noun to whom something is given, as in "George gave Jamie a drink"....

 serves the function of the genitive. Unlike English, Hungarian uses postpositions, as in az alma mellett ‘next to the apple’. Noun plurals are formed using the suffix –k (az almák ‘the apples’).

Adjective
Adjective
In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified....

s precede nouns, as in a piros alma ‘the red apple’. They have three degrees, including base (piros ‘red’), comparative (pirosabb ‘redder’), and superlative (legpirosabb ‘reddest’). If the noun takes the plural or a case, the adjective, used attributively, does not agree with it: a piros almák ‘the red apples’. However, when the adjective is used in a predicative sense, it must agree with the noun: az almák pirosak ‘the apples are red’. Adjectives take cases when they are used without nouns: Melyik almát kéred? – A pirosat. 'Which apple would you like? – The red one.'

Verbs developed a complex conjugation
Grammatical conjugation
In linguistics, conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection . Conjugation may be affected by person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, voice, or other grammatical categories...

 system during the centuries. Every Hungarian verb has two conjugations (definite and indefinite), two tenses (past and present-future), and three moods (indicative, conditional and imperative), two numbers (singular or plural), and three persons (first, second and third). Two different conjugations are the most characteristic: the "definite" conjugation is used for a transitive verb
Transitive verb
In syntax, a transitive verb is a verb that requires both a direct subject and one or more objects. The term is used to contrast intransitive verbs, which do not have objects.-Examples:Some examples of sentences with transitive verbs:...

 with a definite object. The "indefinite" conjugation is used for an intransitive verb
Intransitive verb
In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb that has no object. This differs from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects. Both classes of verb are related to the concept of the transitivity of a verb....

 or for a transitive verb with an indefinite object. These rules, however, do not apply everywhere. The following examples demonstrate this system:
János lát. ‘John can see.’
(indefinite: he has the ability of vision)
János lát egy almát. ‘John sees an apple.’
(indefinite: it does not matter which apple)
János látja az almát. ‘John sees the apple.’
(definite: John sees the specific apple that was talked about earlier)


Present tense
Present tense
The present tense is a grammatical tense that locates a situation or event in present time. This linguistic definition refers to a concept that indicates a feature of the meaning of a verb...

 is unmarked, while past is formed using the suffix –t or sometimes –tt: lát 'sees'; látott 'saw', past.
Futurity is often expressed with the present tense, or using the auxiliary verb
fog ‘will’. The first most commonly applies when the sentence also defines the time of the future event, for example János pénteken moziba megy – literally ‘John on Friday into cinema goes’, i.e. ‘On Friday, John will go to the cinema.’ In the other case, the verb’s infinitive (formed using –ni) and the ‘fog’ auxiliary verb is used: János moziba fog menni – ‘John will go to the cinema.’ This is sometimes counted as a tense, especially by non-specialist publications.

The indicative mood is used in all tenses and is always unmarked. The conditional mood
Conditional mood
In linguistics, the conditional mood is the inflectional form of the verb used in the independent clause of a conditional sentence to refer to a hypothetical state of affairs, or an uncertain event, that is contingent on another set of circumstances...

 is used only with present and past tenses. The imperative mood
Imperative mood
The imperative mood expresses commands or requests as a grammatical mood. These commands or requests urge the audience to act a certain way. It also may signal a prohibition, permission, or any other kind of exhortation.- Morphology :...

 is used only with the present tense. Verbs have verbal prefixes. Most of them define direction of movement (as
lemegy "goes down", felmegy "goes up"). Some verbal prefixes give an aspect
Grammatical aspect
In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb is a grammatical category that defines the temporal flow in a given action, event, or state, from the point of view of the speaker...

 to the verb, such as the prefix meg-, which defines a finite action.

Hungarian word order
Word order
In linguistics, word order typology refers to the study of the order of the syntactic constituents of a language, and how different languages can employ different orders. Correlations between orders found in different syntactic subdomains are also of interest...

 is free, but more semantical than syntactical. Because the object
Object (grammar)
An object in grammar is part of a sentence, and often part of the predicate. It denotes somebody or something involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb. Basically, it is what or whom the verb is acting upon...

 is indicated with a suffix and not its place in a phrase, it and the subject
Subject (grammar)
The subject is one of the two main constituents of a clause, according to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle and that is associated with phrase structure grammars; the other constituent is the predicate. According to another tradition, i.e...

 can appear before or after the verb, depending on emphasis.

János lát egy almát. ‘John sees an apple.’
(when it is important to stress that it's John, not someone else, who sees an apple; or when no special stress is required)

János egy almát lát. (or even Egy almát lát János) ‘John an apple sees.’
(when it is important that it's an apple John sees, and not something else. The same emphasis could be translated as 'What John sees is an apple.')

Politeness


Hungarian has a four-tiered system for expressing levels of politeness.
  • Ön (önözés): Use of this form in speech shows respect towards the person addressed, but it is also the common way of speaking in official texts and business communications. Here "you", the second person, is grammatically addressed in the third person.
  • Maga (magázás, magázódás): Use of this form serves to show that the speaker wishes to distance himself/herself from the person he/she addresses. A boss could also address a subordinate as "maga". Aside from the different pronoun
    Pronoun
    In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun , such as, in English, the words it and he...

     it is grammatically the same as "önözés".
  • Néni/bácsi (tetszikezés): This way of politeness is grammatically the same as "önözés" or "magázódás", but adds a certain phrase, an additional verb "tetszik" ("like") to support the main verb of the sentence. For example children are supposed to address adults who are not close friends by using "tetszik" ("you like") as a sort of an auxiliary verb with all other verbs. "Hogy vagy?" ("How are you?") here becomes "Hogy tetszik lenni?" ("How do you like to be?"). The elderly are generally addressed this way, even by adults. When using this way of speaking, one will not use normal greetings, but can only say "(kezét) csókolom" ("I kiss (your hand)"). This way of speaking is perceived as somewhat awkward in certain situations and sometimes creates impossible grammatical structures, but is still widely in use. In such cases the smooth solution is usually using the simple "önözés" formula without "tetszik". Another problem created by this form is that when children grow up into their 20s or 30s, they are not sure of how to address family friends that are their parents' age, but whom they have known since they were young. "Tetszik" would make these people feel too old, but "tegeződés" seems too familiar. There are two ways to avoid this dilemma: one is to use the "tegeződés" in grammatical structures, but show the respect in the title: "John bácsi, hogy vagy?", and the other is using "önözés" to show respect in grammatical structures, while marking the person in a friendly, closer way with the title "bátyám" ("brother").
  • Te (tegezés, tegeződés or pertu, per tu from Latin
    Latin
    Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

    ): Used generally, i.e. with persons with whom none of the above forms of politeness is required. Interestingly, the highest rank, the king
    King
    - Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

     was traditionally addressed "per tu" by all, peasants and noblemen alike, though with Hungary not having any crowned king since 1918, this practice survives only in folk tales and children's stories. Use of "tegezés" in the media and advertisements has become more frequent since the early 1990s. It is informal and is normally used in families, among friends, colleagues, among young people, adults speaking to children; can be compared to addressing somebody by their first name in English. Perhaps prompted by the widespread use of English (a language without T-V distinction
    T-V distinction
    In sociolinguistics, a T–V distinction is a contrast, within one language, between second-person pronouns that are specialized for varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, or insult toward the addressee....

    ) on the Internet, "tegezés" is also becoming the standard way to address people over the Internet, regardless of politeness.


The four-tiered system has somewhat been eroded due to the recent expansion of "tegeződés".

Lexicon

Examples with ad
Hungarian English
Derived terms
ad to give
adás transmission
adó tax or transmitter
adózik to pay tax
adózó taxpayer
adós debtor
adósság debt
adat data
adakozik to give (practise charity)
adalék additive (ingredient)
adag dose, portion
adomány donation
adoma anecdote
With verbal prefixes
átad to hand over
bead to hand in
elad to sell
felad to give up, to mail
hozzáad to augment, to add to
kiad to rent out, to publish, to extradite
lead to lose weight, to deposit (an object)
megad to repay (debt), to call (poker), to grant (permission)
összead to add (to do mathematical addition)

Giving an accurate estimate for the total word count is difficult, since it is hard to define what to call "a word" in agglutinating
Agglutination
In contemporary linguistics, agglutination usually refers to the kind of morphological derivation in which there is a one-to-one correspondence between affixes and syntactical categories. Languages that use agglutination widely are called agglutinative languages...

 languages, due to the existence of affixed words and compound words. To have a meaningful definition of compound words, we have to exclude such compounds whose meaning is the mere sum of its elements. The largest dictionaries from Hungarian to another language contain 120,000 words and phrases (but this may include redundant phrases as well, because of translation issues). The new desk lexicon of the Hungarian language contains 75,000 words and the Comprehensive Dictionary of Hungarian Language (to be published in 18 volumes in the next twenty years) will contain 110,000 words. The default Hungarian lexicon is usually estimated to comprise 60,000 to 100,000 words. (Independently of specific languages, speakers actively use at most 10,000 to 20,000 words, with an average intellectual using 25-30 thousand words.) However, all the Hungarian lexemes collected from technical texts, dialects etc. would all together add up to 1,000,000 words.

Hungarian words are built around so-called word-bushes. (See an example on the right.) Thus, words with similar meaning often arise from the same root.

The basic vocabulary shares a couple of hundred word roots with other Uralic languages
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

 like Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

, Estonian
Estonian language
Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various émigré communities...

, Mansi
Mansi language
The Mansi language is a language of the Mansi people. It is spoken in territories of Russia along the Ob River and its tributaries, including the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the Sverdlovsk Oblast...

 and Khanty
Khanty language
Khanty or Xanty language, also known previously as the Ostyak language, is a language of the Khant peoples. It is spoken in Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous okrugs, as well as in Aleksandrovsky and Kargosoksky districts of Tomsk Oblast in Russia...

. Examples of such include the verb él 'live' (Finnish elää), the numbers kettő 'two', három 'three', négy 'four' (cf. Mansi
Mansi language
The Mansi language is a language of the Mansi people. It is spoken in territories of Russia along the Ob River and its tributaries, including the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the Sverdlovsk Oblast...

 китыг
kitig, хурум khurum, нила nila,
Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 
kaksi, kolme, neljä, Estonian
Estonian language
Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various émigré communities...

 
kaks, kolm, neli), as well as víz 'water', kéz 'hand', vér 'blood', fej 'head' (cf. Finnish and Estonian vesi, käsi, veri, Finnish pää, Estonian pea or 'pää).
Except for a few Latin and Greek loan-words, these differences are unnoticed even by native speakers; the words have been entirely adopted into the Hungarian lexicon. There are an increasing number of English loan-words, especially in technical fields.

Another source differs in that loanwords in Hungarian are held to constitute about 45% of bases in the language. Although the lexical percentage of native words in Hungarian is 55%, their use accounts for 88.4% of all words used (the percentage of loanwords used being just 11.6%). Therefore the history of Hungarian has come, especially since the 19th century, to favor neologisms from original bases, whilst still having developed as many terms from neighboring languages in the lexicon.

Word formation


Words can be compounds or derived. Most derivation is with suffixes, but there is a small set of derivational prefixes as well.

Compounds


Compounds have been present in the language since the Proto-Uralic era. Numerous ancient compounds transformed to base words during the centuries. Today, compounds play an important role in vocabulary.

A good example is the word arc:
orr (nose) + száj (mouth) → orca (face) (colloquial until the end of the 19th century and still in use in some dialects) → arc (face)


Compounds are made up of two base words: the first is the prefix, the latter is the suffix. A compound can be subordinative: the prefix is in logical connection with the suffix. If the prefix is the subject of the suffix, the compound is generally classified as a subjective one. There are objective, determinative, and adjunct
Adjunct (grammar)
In linguistics, an adjunct is an optional, or structurally dispensable, part of a sentence that, when removed, will not affect the remainder of the sentence except to discard from it some auxiliary information...

ive compounds as well. Some examples are given below:
Subjective:
menny (heaven) + dörög (rumble) → mennydörög (thundering)
nap (Sun) + sütötte (baked by) → napsütötte (sunlit)
Objective:
fa (tree, wood) + vágó (cutter) → favágó (lumberjack, literally "woodcutter")
Determinative:
új (new) + (modification of -vá, -vé a suffix meaning "making it to something") + építés (construction) → újjáépítés (reconstruction, literally "making something to be new by construction")
Adjunctive:
sárga (yellow) + réz (copper) → sárgaréz (brass)


According to current orthographic rules, a subordinative compound word has to be written as a single word, without spaces; however, if the length of a compound of three or more words (not counting one-syllable verbal prefixes) is seven or more syllables long (not counting case suffixes), a hyphen must be inserted at the appropriate boundary to ease the determination of word boundaries for the reader.

Other compound words are coordinatives: there is no concrete relation between the prefix and the suffix. Subcategories include word duplications (to emphasise the meaning; olykor-olykor
'really occasionally'), twin words (where a base word and a distorted form of it makes up a compound: gizgaz, where the suffix 'gaz' means 'weed' and the prefix giz is the distorted form; the compound itself means 'inconsiderable weed'), and such compounds which have meanings, but neither their prefixes, nor their suffixes make sense (for example, hercehurca 'long-lasting, frusteredly done deed').

A compound also can be made up by multiple (i.e., more than two) base words: in this case, at least one word element, or even both the prefix and the suffix is a compound. Some examples:
elme [mind; standalone base] + (gyógy [medical] + intézet [institute]) → elmegyógyintézet (asylum
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

)
(hadi [militarian] + fogoly [prisoner]) + (munka [work] + tábor [camp]) → hadifogoly-munkatábor (work camp of prisoners of war)

Points of the compass


Hungarian words for the points of the compass are directly derived from the position of the Sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

 during the day
Day
A day is a unit of time, commonly defined as an interval equal to 24 hours. It also can mean that portion of the full day during which a location is illuminated by the light of the sun...

 in the Northern hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

.
  • North = észak (from "éj(szaka)", 'night'), as the Sun never shines from the North
  • South = dél ('noon'), as the Sun shines from the South at noon
  • East = kelet ('rise'), as the Sun rises in the East
  • West = nyugat ('set'), as the Sun sets in the West

Two words for "red"


There are two basic words for "red" in Hungarian: "piros" and "vörös" (variant: "veres"; compare with Estonian 'verev' or Finnish 'punainen'). (They are basic in the sense that one is not a sub-type of the other, as the English "scarlet" is of "red".) The word "vörös" is related to "vér", meaning "blood" (Finnish "veri"). When they refer to an actual difference in color (as on a color chart), "vörös" usually refers to the deeper (darker and/or more red and less orange) hue of red. In English similar differences exist between "scarlet" and "red". While many languages have multiple names for this color
Color name
A color term, also known as a color name, is a word or phrase that refers to a specific color. The color term may refer to human perception of that color , or to an underlying physical property...

, often Hungarian scholars assume this is unique in recognizing two shades of red as separate and distinct "folk colours."

However, the two words are also used independently of the above in collocation
Collocation
In corpus linguistics, collocation defines a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance. In phraseology, collocation is a sub-type of phraseme. An example of a phraseological collocation is the expression strong tea...

s. "Piros" is learned by children first, as it is generally used to describe inanimate, artificial things, or things seen as cheerful or neutral, while "vörös" typically refers to animate or natural things (biological, geological, physical and astronomical objects), as well as serious or emotionally charged subjects.

When the rules outlined above are in contradiction, typical collocations usually prevail. In some cases where a typical collocation does not exist, the use of either of the two words may be equally adequate.

Examples:
  • Expressions where "red" typically translates to "piros": a red road sign, red traffic lights, the red line of Budapest Metro
    Budapest Metro
    The Budapest Metro is the rapid transit system in the Hungarian capital Budapest. It is the second-oldest underground metro system in the world after the London Underground. Its iconic Line 1, dating from 1896, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002.-Lines:The Metro consists of three lines,...

    , red (now called express) bus lines in Budapest, a holiday shown in red in the calendar, ruddy complexion, the red nose of a clown, some red flowers (those of a neutral nature, e.g. tulips), red peppers and paprika, red card suits (hearts and diamonds), red stripes on a flag, etc.
  • Expressions where "red" typically translates to "vörös": Red Sea
    Red Sea
    The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

    , Red Square
    Red Square
    Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

    , Red Army
    Red Army
    The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

    , Red Baron, Erik the Red
    Erik the Red
    Erik Thorvaldsson , known as Erik the Red , is remembered in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. The Icelandic tradition indicates that he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson, he therefore...

    , red wine, red carpet (for receiving important guests), red hair or beard, red lion (the mythical animal), the Red Cross, the novel The Red and the Black
    The Red and the Black
    Le Rouge et le Noir , 1830, by Stendhal, is a historical psychological novel in two volumes, chronicling a provincial young man’s attempts to socially rise beyond his plebeian upbringing with a combination of talent and hard work, deception and hypocrisy — yet who ultimately allows his passions to...

    , redshift
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    , red giant
    Red giant
    A red giant is a luminous giant star of low or intermediate mass in a late phase of stellar evolution. The outer atmosphere is inflated and tenuous, making the radius immense and the surface temperature low, somewhere from 5,000 K and lower...

    , red blood cell
    Red blood cell
    Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate organism's principal means of delivering oxygen to the body tissues via the blood flow through the circulatory system...

    s, red oak, some red flowers (those with passionate connotations, e.g. roses), red fox, names of ferric and other red minerals, red copper, rust, red phosphorus, the colour of blushing with anger or shame, the red nose of an alcoholic (in contrast with that of a clown, see above), the red posterior of a baboon, red meat, litmus paper (in acid), cities, countries, or other political entities associated with leftist movements (e.g. Red Vienna
    Red Vienna
    Red Vienna was the nickname of the capital of Austria between 1918 and 1934, when the Social Democrats had the majority and the city was democratically governed for the first time.-Social situation after World War I:...

    , Red Russia
    Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
    The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

    ), etc.

Kinship terms


The Hungarian words for brothers and sisters are differentiated based upon relative age. There is also a general word for sibling, testvér, from test = body and vér = blood -- i.e. originating from the same body and blood.
younger elder unspecified
relative age
brother öcs báty fivér or
fiútestvér
sister húg nővér nővér or
lánytestvér
sibling kistestvér (nagytestvér) testvér


(There used to be a separate word for "elder sister", néne, but it has become obsolete [except to mean "aunt" in some dialects] and has been replaced by the generic word for "sister".)

In addition, there are separate prefixes for up to the eleventh ancestors and tenth descendants (although there are ambiguities and dialectical differences affecting the prefixes for the fourth (and above) ancestors):
Apa (father) -> Nagyapa (grandfather) -> Dédapa (great-grandfather) -> Dédnagyapa (great-great-grandfather) Ükapa (great-great-great-grandfather)
Üknagyapa (great-great-great-great-grandfather) -> Szépapa (great-great-great-great-great-grandfather)-> Szépnagyapa (great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather) -> Óapa (great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather) -> Ónagyapa (8X great-grandfather) -> Ősapa (9X great-grandfather) -> Ősnagyapa (10X great-grandfather) -> Boldogapa (11X great-grandfather) -> Boldognagyapa (12X great-grandfather)
parent grandparent great-
grandparent
great-great-
grandparent
great-great-great-
grandparent
szülő nagyszülő dédszülő ükszülő szépszülő
(OR ük-ükszülő)
child grandchild great-
grandchild
great-great-
grandchild
great-great-great-
grandchild
gyerek unoka dédunoka ükunoka szépunoka
(OR ük-ükunoka)


The words for "boy" and "girl" are applied with possessive suffixes. Nevertheless, the terms are differentiated with different declension or lexemes:
boy/girl (his/her)
son/daughter
lover, partner
male fiú fia fiúja/barátja
female lány lánya barátnője


Fia is only used in this, irregular possessive form; it has no nominative on its own (see inalienable possession
Inalienable possession
In linguistics, inalienable possession refers to the linguistic properties of certain nouns or nominal morphemes based on the fact that they are always possessed. The semantic underpinning is that entities like body parts and relatives do not exist apart from a possessor. For example, a hand...

). However, the word fiú can also take the regular suffix, in which case the resulting word (fiúja) will refer to a lover or partner (boyfriend), rather than a male offspring.

The word fiú (boy) is also often noted as an extreme example of the ability of the language to add suffixes to a word, by forming fiaiéi, adding vowel-form suffixes only, where the result is quite a frequently used word:
fiú boy
fia his/her son
fiai his/her sons
fiáé his/her son's (singular object)
fiáéi his/her son's (plural object)
fiaié his/her sons' (singular object)
fiaiéi his/her sons' (plural object)

Extremely long words


  • megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért
Partition to root and suffixes with explanations:
meg- verb prefix; in this case, it means "completed"
szent holy (the word root)
-ség like English "-ness", as in "holiness"
-t(e)len variant of "-tlen", noun suffix expressing the lack of something; like English "-less", as in "useless"
-ít constitutes a transitive verb from an adjective
-het expresses possibility; somewhat similar to the English modal verbs "may" or "can"
-(e)tlen another variant of "-tlen"
-ség (see above)
-es constitutes an adjective from a noun; like English "-y" as in "witty"
-ked attached to an adjective (e.g. "strong"), produces the verb "to pretend to be (strong)"
-és constitutes a noun from a verb; there are various ways this is done in English, e.g. "-ance" in "acceptance"
-eitek plural possessive suffix, second-person plural (e.g. "apple" -> "your apples", where "your" refers to multiple people)
-ért approximately translates to "because of", or in this case simply "for"

Translation: "for your [plural] repeated pretending to be indesecrable"


The above word is often considered to be the longest word in Hungarian, although there are longer words like:
  • legeslegmegszentségteleníttethetetlenebbjeitekként
leg|es|leg|meg|szent|ség|telen|ít|tet|het|etlen|ebb|je|i|tek|ként
"like those of you that are the very least possible to get desecrated"


These words are not used in practice, but when spoken they are easily understood by natives. They were invented to show, in a somewhat facetious way, the ability of the language to form long words (see agglutinative language
Agglutinative language
An agglutinative language is a language that uses agglutination extensively: most words are formed by joining morphemes together. This term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1836 to classify languages from a morphological point of view...

). They are not compound words—they are formed by adding a series of one and two-syllable suffixes (and a few prefixes) to a simple root ("szent", saint).
There is virtually no limit for the length of words, but when too many suffixes are added, the meaning of the word becomes less clear, and the word becomes hard to understand, and will work like a riddle even for native speakers.

Writing system



The Hungarian language was originally written in Old Hungarian runes, superficially similar in appearance to the better-known futhark runes but unrelated. When Stephen I of Hungary established the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 in the year 1000, the old system was gradually discarded in favour of the Latin alphabet. Although now not used at all in everyday life, the old script is still known and practiced by some enthusiasts.

Modern Hungarian is written using an expanded Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

, and has a phonemic
Phoneme
In a language or dialect, a phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances....

 orthography, i.e. pronunciation can generally be predicted from the written language. In addition to the standard letters of the Latin alphabet, Hungarian uses several modified Latin characters to represent the additional vowel sounds of the language. These include letters with acute accents (á,é,í,ó,ú) to represent long vowels, and umlauts (ö and ü) and their long counterparts ő and ű
Double acute accent
The double acute accent is a diacritic mark of the Latin script. It is used primarily in written Hungarian, and consequently is sometimes referred to as Hungarumlaut, a portmanteau of Hungarian umlaut...

 to represent front vowels. Sometimes (usually as a result of a technical glitch on a computer) ô or õ is used for ő and û for ű. This is often due to the limitations of the Latin-1 / ISO-8859-1 code page
ISO/IEC 8859-1
ISO/IEC 8859-1:1998, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 1: Latin alphabet No. 1, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1987. It is informally referred to as Latin-1. It is generally...

. These letters are not part of the Hungarian language, and are considered misprints. Hungarian can be properly represented with the Latin-2 / ISO-8859-2 code page
ISO/IEC 8859-2
ISO/IEC 8859-2:1999, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 2: Latin alphabet No. 2, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1987. It is informally referred to as "Latin-2". It is generally...

, but this code page
Code page
Code page is another term for character encoding. It consists of a table of values that describes the character set for a particular language. The term code page originated from IBM's EBCDIC-based mainframe systems, but many vendors use this term including Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle Corporation...

 is not always available. (Hungarian is the only language using both ő and ű.) Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 includes them, and so they can be used on the Internet.

Additionally, the letter pairs <ny>
Hungarian ny
Ny is a digraph in a number of languages such as Catalan, Hungarian, Malay, and Ganda. In most of these languages, including all of the ones named above, it denotes the palatal nasal ....

, <ty>, and <gy> represent the palatal consonants /ɲ/, /c/, and /ɟ/ (a little like the "d+y" sounds in British "duke" or American "would you") – a bit like saying "d" with your tongue pointing to your upper palate. (In other words, if Hungarian orthography was totally consistent, would have been written as instead.)

Hungarian uses <s> for /ʃ/ and <sz>
Hungarian sz
Sz is a digraph of the Latin alphabet, used in Hungarian, Polish, Kashubian, and formerly in German.-Polish:In Polish orthography, sz represents a voiceless retroflex fricative , similar to English "sh"...

 for /s/, which is the reverse of Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 usage. The letter  is /ʒ/ and <cs> is /t͡ʃ/. These digraphs are considered single letters in the alphabet. The letter
Hungarian ly
Ly is a digraph of the Latin alphabet, used in Hungarian.- Usage :Ly is the twentieth letter of the Hungarian alphabet. Its Hungarian name is ellipszilon or elly...

 is also a "single letter digraph", but is pronounced like /j/ (English <y>), and appears mostly in old words. The letters <dz> and <dzs>
Hungarian dzs
Dzs is the eighth letter, and only trigraph, of the Hungarian alphabet. Its name is pronounced , and represents the sounds and .-Length:In several words, it is pronounced long, e.g....

 /d͡ʒ/ are exotic remnants and are hard to find even in longer texts. Some examples still in common use are madzag ("string"), edzeni ("to train (athletically)") and dzsungel ("jungle").

Sometimes additional information is required for partitioning words with digraphs: házszám ("street number") = ház ("house") + szám ("number"), not an unintelligible házs + zám.

Hungarian distinguishes between long and short vowels, with long vowels written with acutes. It also distinguishes between long and short consonants, with long consonants being doubled. For example, lenni ("to be"), hozzászólás ("comment"). The digraphs, when doubled, become trigraphs: +=, e.g. művésszel ("with an artist"). But when the digraph occurs at the end of a line, all of the letters are written out. For example ("with a bus"):
... busz-
szal...


When the first lexeme of a compound ends in a digraph and the second lexeme starts with the same digraph, both digraphs are written out: jegy + gyűrű = jegygyűrű ("engagement/wedding ring", "jegy" means "sign", "mark". The term "jegyben lenni/járni" means "to be engaged"; "gyűrű" means "ring").

Usually a trigraph is a double digraph, but there are a few exceptions: tizennyolc ("eighteen") is a concatenation of tizen + nyolc. There are doubling minimal pair
Minimal pair
In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phonological element, such as a phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have distinct meanings...

s: tol ("push") vs. toll ("feather" or "pen").

While to English speakers they may seem unusual at first, once the new orthography and pronunciation are learned, written Hungarian is almost completely phonemic.

Order of words


Basic rule is that the order is from general to specific. This is a typical analytical approach and is used generally in Hungarian.

Name order



The Hungarian language uses the so-called eastern name order, in which the family name
Family name
A family name is a type of surname and part of a person's name indicating the family to which the person belongs. The use of family names is widespread in cultures around the world...

 (general, deriving from the family) comes first and the given name
Given name
A given name, in Western contexts often referred to as a first name, is a personal name that specifies and differentiates between members of a group of individuals, especially in a family, all of whose members usually share the same family name...

 (specific, relates to the person) comes last. If a second given name is used, this follows the first given name. This is comparable to the Anglo-Saxon custom of middle names.

Hungarian names in foreign languages


For clarity, in foreign languages Hungarian names are usually represented in the western name order. Sometimes, however, especially in the neighboring countries of Hungary – where there is a significant Hungarian population
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 – the Hungarian name order is retained, as it causes less confusion there.

For an example of foreign use, the birth name of the Hungarian-born physicist, the "father of the hydrogen bomb" was Teller Ede, but he became known internationally as Edward Teller
Edward Teller
Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy , and surface physics...

. Prior to the mid-20th century, given names were usually translated along with the name order; this is no longer as common. For example, the pianist uses András Schiff
András Schiff
András Schiff is a Hungarian-born British classical pianist, who has won a number of awards including the Grammy and made numerous recordings.- Biography :...

when abroad, not Andrew Schiff (in Hungarian Schiff András). If a second given name is present, it becomes a middle name and is usually written out in full, rather than truncated to an initial.

Foreign names in Hungarian


In modern usage, foreign names retain their order when used in Hungarian. Therefore:
  • Amikor Kiss János Los Angelesben volt, látta John Travoltát.
The Hungarian name Kiss János is in the Hungarian name order (János means John), but the foreign name John Travolta remains in the western name order.


Before the 20th century, not only was it common to reverse the order of foreign personalities, they were also "Hungarianized": Goethe János Farkas (originally Johann Wolfgang Goethe). This usage sounds odd today, when only a few well-known personalities are referred to using their Hungarianized names, including Verne Gyula (Jules Verne
Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

), Marx Károly (Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

), Kolumbusz Kristóf (Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

, note that it is also translated in English).

Some native speakers disapprove of this usage; the names of certain religious personalities (including popes), however, are always Hungarianized by practically all speakers, such as Luther Márton (Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

), Husz János (Jan Hus
Jan Hus
Jan Hus , often referred to in English as John Hus or John Huss, was a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague...

), Kálvin János (John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

); just like the names of monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s, for example the king of Spain, Juan Carlos I is referred to as I. János Károly or the queen of the UK, Elizabeth II is referred to as II. Erzsébet.

Japanese names, which are usually written in western order in Europe, retain their original order in Hungarian.

Date and time


The Hungarian convention on date and time is to go from generic to specific: 1. year, 2. month, 3. day, 4. hour, 5. minute, (6. second)

Year and day are always written in Arabic numerals
Arabic numerals
Arabic numerals or Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals or Indo-Arabic numerals are the ten digits . They are descended from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system developed by Indian mathematicians, in which a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a numeral...

 and a full stop
Full stop
A full stop is the punctuation mark commonly placed at the end of sentences. In American English, the term used for this punctuation is period. In the 21st century, it is often also called a dot by young people...

 follows. Month can be written in its full name or can be abbreviated, or even denote it in Roman
Roman numerals
The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...

 or Arabic numerals. Except for the first case (month written in its full name) a full stop follows. Usually, when month is written by letters, then there is no leading zero before the day. On the other hand, when month is written in Arabic numerals, a leading zero is common, but not obligate. The name of the month always begins with a lower-case letter (not in the beginning of a sentence, of course).

Parts of the time are separated by a colon
Colón
Colón is a Spanish and Portuguese surname, comparable to the Italian and Portuguese Colombo . It may refer to:People:* Cristóbal Colón, the Spanish language name for the explorer Christopher Columbus...

, but only between its first three parts (H:m:s). When it comes to fractions of a second, they are separated by a full stop from the rest of the time. Hungary generally uses the 24-hour clock
24-hour clock
The 24-hour clock is a convention of time keeping in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into 24 hours, indicated by the hours passed since midnight, from 0 to 23. This system is the most commonly used time notation in the world today...

 format, but in verbal (and written) communication 12-hour clock
12-hour clock
The 12-hour clock is a time conversion convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods called ante meridiem and post meridiem...

 format can also be used, for the usage of this, see below the examples.

Date and time may be separated by a comma
Comma
A comma is a type of punctuation mark . The word comes from the Greek komma , which means something cut off or a short clause.Comma may also refer to:* Comma , a type of interval in music theory...

 or simply written one after the other.
  • 2008. február 9. 16:23:42 or 2008. február 9., 16:23:42
  • 2008. feb. 9.
  • 2008. 02. 09. or 2008. 2. 9. (rarely)
  • 2008. II. 9.


Date separated by hyphen
Hyphen
The hyphen is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. The hyphen should not be confused with dashes , which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign which is also longer...

 is also spreading, especially on datestamps. Here – just like the version separated by full stops – leading zeros are in use.
  • 2008-02-09


When only hours and minutes are written in a sentence (so not only "displaying" time), these parts can be separated by a full stop
Full stop
A full stop is the punctuation mark commonly placed at the end of sentences. In American English, the term used for this punctuation is period. In the 21st century, it is often also called a dot by young people...

 (e.g. "Találkozzunk 10.35-kor." – "Let's meet at 10.35."), or it is also regular to write hours in normal size, and minutes put in superscript (and not necessarily) underlined (e.g. "A találkozó 1035-kor kezdődik." or "A találkozó 1035-kor kezdődik." – "The meeting begins at 10.35.").

Also, in verbal and written communication it is common to use "délelőtt" (literally "before noon") and "délután" (lit. "after noon") abbreviated as "de." and "du." respectively. Délelőtt and délután is said or written before the time, e.g. "Délután 4 óra van." – "It's 4 p.m.". However e.g. "délelőtt 5 óra" (should mean "5 a.m.") or "délután 10 óra" (should mean "10 p.m.") are never used, because at these times the sun is not up, instead "hajnal(i)" ("dawn"), "reggel" ("morning"), "este" ("evening") and "éjjel" ("night") is used, however there is no exact rules for the use of these, as everybody use them according to their habits (e.g. somebody may has woken up at 5 a.m. so he/she says "Reggel 6-kor ettem." – "I had food at *morning 6.", and somebody woke up at 11 a.m. so he/she says "Hajnali 6-kor még aludtam." – "I was still sleeping at *dawn 6."). Roughly, these expressions mean these times:
ExpressionApproximate time
Hajnal(i) 4–6 a.m.
Reggel 6–9 a.m.
Délelőtt (de.) 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Dél* =12 p.m. (="noon")
Délután (du.) 12–6 p.m.
Este 6–11 p.m.
Éjjel 11 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Éjfél* =12 a.m. (="midnight")
  • * "Dél" and "Éjfél" mean these exact times, so using time after them is incorrect. So there is no "Éjfél 0-kor még buliztunk" ("We were still partying at *midnight 0.") or "Dél 12-kor süt a nap." ("The sun shines at *noon 12."). Instead "Éjfélkor még buliztunk." and "Délben süt a nap." is correct.

Addresses


Although address formatting is increasingly being influenced by Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 conventions, traditional Hungarian style is:

1052 Budapest,
Deák tér 1.

So the order is 1. postcode, 2., city (most general) 3., street (more specific) 4., house number (most specific)

Vocabulary examples


Note: The stress is always placed on the first syllable of each word. The remaining syllables all receive an equal, lesser stress. All syllables are pronounced clearly and evenly, even at the end of a sentence, unlike in English.
  • Hungarian (person, language): magyar [mɒɟɒr]
  • Hello!:
    • Formal, when addressing a stranger: "Good day!": Jó napot (kívánok)! [joːnɒpot kivaːnok].
    • Informal, when addressing someone you know very well: Szia! [siɒ] (it sounds almost exactly like American colloquialism "See ya!" with a shorter "ee".)
  • Good-bye!: Viszontlátásra! (formal) (see above), Viszlát! [vislaːt] (semi-informal), Szia! (informal: same stylistic remark as for "Hello!" )
  • Excuse me: Elnézést! [ɛlneːzeːʃt]
  • Please:
    • Kérem (szépen) [keːrɛm seːpɛn] (This literally means "I'm asking (it/you) nicely", as in German Danke schön, "I thank (you) nicely". See next for a more common form of the polite request.)
    • Legyen szíves! [lɛɟɛn sivɛʃ] (literally: "Be (so) kind!")
  • I would like ____, please: Szeretnék ____ [sɛrɛtneːk] (this example illustrates the use of the conditional tense, as a common form of a polite request; it literally means "I would like".)
  • Sorry!: Bocsánat! [botʃaːnɒt]
  • Thank you: Köszönöm [køsønøm]
  • that/this: az [ɒz], ez [ɛz]
  • How much?: Mennyi? [mɛɲːi]
  • How much does it cost?: Mennyibe kerül? [mɛɲːibɛ kɛryl]
  • Yes: Igen [iɡɛn]
  • No: Nem [nɛm]
  • I do not understand: Nem értem [nɛm eːrtɛm]
  • I do not know: Nem tudom [nɛm tudom]
  • Where's the toilet?:
    • Hol van a vécé? [hol vɒn ɒ veːtseː] (vécé/veːtseː is the Hungarian pronouncation of the English abbreviation of "Water Closet")
    • Hol van a mosdó? [hol vɒn ɒ moʒdoː] – more polite (and word-for-word) version
  • generic toast: Egészségünkre! [ɛɡeːʃːeːɡynkrɛ] (literally: "To our health!")
  • juice: gyümölcslé [ɟymøltʃleː]
  • water: víz [viːz]
  • wine: bor [bor]
  • beer: sör [ʃør]
  • tea: tea [tɛɒ]
  • milk: tej [tɛj]
  • Do you speak English?: Beszél(sz) angolul? [bɛseːl / bɛseːls ɒnɡolul] Note that the fact of asking is only shown by the proper intonation: continually rising until the penultimate syllable, then falling for the last one.
  • I love you: Szeretlek [sɛrɛtlɛk]
  • Help!: Segítség! [ʃɛɡiːtʃeːɡ]
  • It is needed: kell
  • I need to go: Mennem kell

Controversy over origins


Mainstream linguistics has demonstrated that Hungarian is part of the Uralic family of languages, related ultimately to languages such as Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 and Estonian
Estonian language
Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various émigré communities...

, although it is particularly close to Khanty and Mansi languages located near the Ural Mountains.
  • For many years (from 1869), it was a matter of dispute whether Hungarian was a Finno-Ugric/Uralic language, or was more closely related to the Turkic languages
    Turkic languages
    The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

    , a controversy known as the "Ugric-Turkish war", or whether indeed both the Uralic and the Turkic families formed part of a superfamily of "Ural–Altaic languages". Hungarians did absorb some Turkic influences during several centuries of co-habitation. For example, it appears that the Hungarians learned animal breeding techniques from the Turkic Chuvash
    Chuvash people
    The Chuvash people are a Turkic ethnic group, native to an area stretching from the Volga Region to Siberia. Most of them live in Republic of Chuvashia and surrounding areas, although Chuvash communities may be found throughout all Russia.- Etymology :...

    , as a high proportion of words specific to agriculture and livestock are of Chuvash origin. There was also a strong Chuvash influence in burial customs. Furthermore, all Ugric languages, not just Hungarian, have Turkic loanwords related to horse riding.
  • A fringe theory that is well-known is that the Hungarian language is a descendant of Sumerian
    Sumerian language
    Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, which was spoken in southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism...

    . Some nationalist linguists and historians (like Ida Bobula, Ferenc Badiny Jós, dr Tibor Baráth and others) have published this theory. There are some artifacts which they claim support this view (like the Tartaria tablets
    Tartaria tablets
    The Tărtăria tablets are three tablets, known since the late 19th century excavation at the Neolithic site of Turdaş in Transylvania Romania, by Zsófia Torma, which date to around 5300 BC...

    ). Mainstream linguists reject the Sumerian theory as pseudoscience.
  • Hungarian has often been claimed to be related to Hunnish
    Hunnic language
    The Huns were a heterogenous, multi-ethnic tribal confederation during the 4th and 5th centuries. A contemporary reports that the Hunnic Empire had a "Hunnic language", or "Hunnish", which was spoken alongside Gothic and the languages of other tribes subjugated by the Huns The literary records for...

    , since Hungarian legends and histories show close ties between the two peoples; also, the name Hunor is preserved in legends and (along with a few Hunnic-origin names, such as Attila) is still used as a given name in Hungary. Many people share the belief that the Székely
    Székely
    The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

    s, a Hungarian ethnic group living in Romania, are descended from the Huns
    Huns
    The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

    . However, the link with Hunnish has no linguistic foundation since most linguists consider the Hunnic language to be part of the Turkic language family.


There have been attempts, dismissed by mainstream linguists, to show that Hungarian is related to other languages including Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Egyptian
Egyptian language
Egyptian is the oldest known indigenous language of Egypt and a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Written records of the Egyptian language have been dated from about 3400 BC, making it one of the oldest recorded languages known. Egyptian was spoken until the late 17th century AD in the...

, Etruscan
Etruscan language
The Etruscan language was spoken and written by the Etruscan civilization, in what is present-day Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria and in parts of Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna...

, Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Pelasgian, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, Sanskrit, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

, Magar
Magar language
Not to be confused with the Magyar language, known in English as HungarianMagar मगर भाषा Magar bhasa is a language spoken in parts of Nepal and Sikkim in India by Magar people. It is divided into two groups: Eastern and Western, and further dialect divisions give distinct tribal identity...

, Quechua, Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

and at least 42 other languages.