The history of the language originated around 1000 BC. The Hungarians call their language Magyar. For the most part the Hungarian language stems from Asia (the Uralic region). The language has also been influenced by various Slavonic languages, as well as by the German language.
Hungarian is part of the Ugrian subgroup of Uralic languages, and so is not part of the Indo-European family tree. Its nearest ‘relatives’ are Finnish and Estonian.
Interesting Facts About the Hungarian Language and Hungary
- The name Hungary or Hungarian is believed to come from the semi-nomadic tribe called the Huns that lived throughout central and southeastern Europe, most well-known is Attila the Hun in ~500 AD and some Huns had settled for a brief time in Hungary.
- Hungary has borders with seven countries in Europe, starting directly north and moving clockwise is Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.
- Hungarian uses the Roman alphabet.
- The Hungarian language has 25 consonant phonemes and 14 vowel phonemes.
- When speaking the language, the primary stress is always on the first syllable of a word.
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Where Is Hungarian Spoken?
There are about 14 million native speakers of the Hungarian language. Most live in Hungary (about 9.5-10 million), about 1.4 million in Romania, about 2.5 million mainly in Transylvania, but also Slovenia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, and Austria. There are also many people of Hungarian origin in the UK and other European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.