Magyar, as the Hungarians call their language, is spoken by the approximately 11 million inhabitants of Hungary, along with another 4 million people in neighboring countries and a million others around the world. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, which includes Finnish and Estonian, but its closest relatives are several obscure languages spoken in Siberia. Hungarian is not at all related to the Indo-European languages which surround it (Serbian, Slovokian, Croatian, Ukranian, etc) and is very different both in vocabulary and in grammar.
Hungarian Fun Facts
The name of Hungary’s capital city, “Budapest” is the combination of “Buda” and “Pest,” since they were originally two cities united (together with Óbuda) to become a single city in 1873.
Hungarian can sound strange to European ears, since it is not part of the Indo-European family of languages: it belongs to the Finno-Ugric group. Its only relatives in Europe are Finnish and Estonian, and its only other relatives are languages and dialects in Siberia and Central Asia.
Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was one of the great composers of the 20th century. Together with Zoltán Kodály, he collected and studied the folk music of Hungary and neighboring countries, helping to found the discipline of ethnomusicology.
Budapest, capital of Hungary. Photo submitted by Gabriela.
A traditional Hungarian embroidery pattern made entirely out of marzipan. At the Marzipan Museum in Eger, Hungary. Photo submitted by Gombóc Artúr.
The Reading Room in the Szabó Ervin Central Library in Budapest, Hungary. Photo submitted by Szilvia
Kürtöskalács are a traditional Hungarian pastry and treat. Photo submitted by Csillagvirág.
Hungarian and the Livemocha Community
- Hungarians on Livemocha are learning English over 3x more than any other language
- The top 5 countries with people learning Hungarian on Livemocha are the United States, Hungary, Brazil, Germany, and the UK
- Livemocha speakers of Hungarian live primarily in Hungary, but also in Romania, the US, the UK, and Slovokia