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Hungarian
Magyar nyelv

Number of native speakers


about 15 million

Official language in
Hungary: nearly 10 mln speakers, EU

Minority language in
Romania (2 mln), Slovakia (1 mln), Ukraine (250 000), Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia
(together ab. 700 000) and Austria (50 000), regional language in Slovakia, Serbia
and Slovenia.
Language of diaspora
USA, Canada, Israel, Germany, France, UK, Brazil, Russia, Australia, Argentina,
Chile

Alphabet
44 (Latin alphabet + á é í ó ö ő ú ü ű)
Grammatical cases
18

Language code
hu, hun

Linguistic typology
agglutinative , compounding , vowel harmony , pro-drop , free word-order, SVO
/SOV

Language family
Ugric language, the largest member of the Finno-Ugric languages (inside of the
Uralic language family)
Number of dialects
10

Longest word
folyamatellenőrzésiügyosztályvezetőhelyettesképesítésvizsgálat
inquiry of qualification for deputy head of department for process control

megszentségteleníthetetlenség
the feature of not being able to be profaned

Curious word or sentence


Hungarian uses many e sounds, and a language game Esperente consists of
only using words with e vowels, e.g.
Egy remek rendszer, mellyel embereket, meg rengeteg elemet
megkereshetsz.
An excellent system that can help you find people and lots of other things. (Internet)

Lelkesen egekbe menetel hegyekben.


He is climbing the mountain with enthusiasm.

Sentence only with ö /ø/:


Öt török öt görögöt dögönyöz örökös örömök között.
Five Turks are beating five Greeks with eternal pleasure.
Portuguese Language
Learn Portuguese in Porto.
Portuguese Class Online.
info@oficinadeportugues.net

Oficina de Português

Interesting facts
The order of name, address and date is different than in other European
languages:
Family name + personal name:
Kovács Mária, Kiss Péter
Town, street, number:
Budapest, Gizella utca 3
Year, month, day:
2013.08.10.

History
The Hungarian language has a history of several thousand years reaching back
to Asia. It is most widely regarded to be a member of the Finno-Ugric language
family. It separated from most of the other Finno-Ugric languages about 3000
years ago near the Ural mountains. It has been strongly influenced by the
Turkic languages. There is no written document from the prehistory of
Hungarian.
The agglutinative structure and part of the basic vocabulary (the words kéz
‘hand’, vér ‘blood’, ló ‘horse’, hal ‘fish’, víz ‘water’, etc.) show a
similarity with the Finnish. See also related words in Finno-Ugric languages. A
considerable part of its ancient word stock can be traced to Turkic languages,
e.g. gyümölcs ‘fruit’, alma ‘apple’, búza ‘wheat’, sajt ‘cheese’,
sör ‘beer’, bor ‘wine’, disznó ‘pig’.

Writing system and pronunciation

a á b c cs d e é f g gy h
i í j k l ly m n ny o ó ö ő
p r s sz t u ú ü ű v
q ty wx
y z zs
Old Hungarian script, the so-called rovás alphabet (runic script – from right
to left) was changed to Latin alphabet during the reign of the first Hungarian
king Stephen I (reigned 997-1038).

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Hungarian has 14 vowels and 25 consonants written with the basic Latin
alphabet and 9 letters with diacritics (á, é, í, ó, ö, ő, ú, ü, ű).
Every vowel has a short and long version indicated by an ‘accent’ on the letter.
Attention kor = ‘age’ – kór = ‘illness’!

Letter Example

a nagy (big)

á lány (girl)

e nem (no, not)

é szép (beautiful)

i kicsi (small)

í ír (write)

o mozi (movie)

ó jó (good)

ö jön (come)

ő főnök (boss)

u kutya (dog)

ú úgy (like that)

ü ügy (affair)

ű sűrű (dense)

Every consonant can have a long version, though not at the beginning of a word
(e.g. ebben ‘in this’, szebb ‘nicer’). Attention megy = ‘goes’ –
meggy ‘(sour) cherry’!

Letter Example

p szép (beautiful)

b barát (friend)
Letter Example

t téma (topic)

d dél (noon)

ty tyúk (hen)

gy gyerek (child)

k kicsi (small)

g hideg (cold)

f fa (tree)

v van (is)

sz szép (beautiful)

z az (the)

s és (and)

zs zsák (bag)

h hír (news)

c cél (goal)

cs csak (only)

dz edz (harden)

dzs dzsessz (jazz)

m ma (today)

n nem (no, not)

ny anya (mother)

l lány (girl)

r ír (write)

j, ly jön, lyuk (come, hole)


Hungarian pronunciation is quite regular and smooth.

Grammar
Hungarian has a special structure, where most of the grammatical and syntactic
functions are expressed by word elements glued to the root of the basic word
(agglutinative language).
The agglutinative character of Hungarian means that word forms often consist
of several word elements (morphemes) which have their own functions. They
take over the role of separate words such as prepositions or possessive
adjectives, among others, in the Indo-European languages.
A noun word form can come into being in the following way: the plural suffix or
the possessive suffix (equivalent of my, your, his etc.), the possessor suffix and
the case endings are added to the basic word (see barátoméban).
The 18 case endings (their number is discussed) follow:

Ending Example

Nominative /- barát (friend)

Accusative -t/at/ot/et/öt barátot (friend+acc)

Dative -nak/nek barátnak (to (a) friend)

Instrumental -val/vel baráttal (with (a) friend)

Causal-final -ért barátért (for (a) friend)

Translative-factive -vá/vé baráttá ((turn) into (a) friend)

Inessive -ban/ben barátban (in (a) friend)

Superessive -n/on/en/ön baráton (on (a) friend)

Adessive -nál/nél barátnál (at (a) friend)

Sublative -ra/re barátra (on(to) (a) friend)

Delative -ról/ről barátról (of/about (a) friend)


Ending Example

Illative -ba/be barátba (in(to) (a) friend)

Elative -ból/ből barátból (out of (a) friend)

Allative -hoz/hez/höz baráthoz (to (a) friend)

Ablative -tól/től baráttól (from (a) friend)

Terminative -ig barátig ((up) to (a) friend)

Formative -ként barátként (as/like (a) friend)

Essive-formal -ul/ül barátul (as (a) friend)

Hungarian nouns can have up to 1000 different forms! There are also
postpositions in Hungarian such as előtt ‘in front of’, mögött ‘behind’:
a ház mögött ‘behind the house’.
The locative cases (and postpositions) express consequently the origin, the place
and the direction as in Finnish:

From where Where To where

házból házban házba


(come) from house (be) in house (go) into house

ház mögül ház mögött ház mögé


(come) from behind house (be) behind house (go) behind house

Word formation and lexicon


Word formation in Hungarian is productive. The -ság/ség suffix can be always
used for the production of an abstract notion as in jóság (goodness) and
szépség (beauty). New verbs can easily be made from nouns by the suffix -z or -
l:
számítógép (computer) → számítógépez(ik) (to work/play with a computer)
Internet → internetez (use the Internet)
blog → blogol (write a blog)

Compounding is very common in Hungarian (therefore there are many very


long words), such as:

állatkert
animal+garden ‘zoological garden’

kávéfőző
coffee+cooker ‘percolator’

The word tan (‘study, thesis’) is the basis of many other words:

tanár
teacher
tanít
teach
tanul
learn
tanuló
pupil, learner
tanulékony
apt
tanulatlan
uneducated
megtanulható
learnable
tanulmány
study
nyelvtan
language study (grammar)
hangtan
sound study (phonetics)
számtan
number study (arithmetics)
állattan
animal study (zoology)
növénytan
plant study (botany)
géptan
machine study (mechanics)
hittan
belief study (religious instruction)
tankönyv
study book, (textbook)

The derivations for the verb ad (‘give’) by verb-prefixes show the scope of
the change of meaning:

átad
hand over
bead
give in
belead ( mindent)
put (everything) into it
elad
sell
előad
present, perform, exhibit
felad
give up
hátraad
give back
hozzáad
add
idead
give
kiad
publish
lead
hand down, pass, deliver
odaad
give
összead
sum up
ráad
dress
továbbad
pass
túlad vmin
get rid of sth
There is no grammatical gender in Hungarian, there are not even separate
pronouns for she and he, only one ő (and only used emphatically). It is possible
to read many pages of a novel without knowing the sex of the characters.
In the family relations age is important, there are simple words for younger
sister húg and elder sister nővér, but no simple word for sister and they
are used normally speaking about family. The same is true for brother where
the speaker must specify the relative age with öcs or bátya.
Body parts that occur in pairs are used in the singular:

Szép szeme van


beautiful eye+her/his is
She/he has beautiful eyes.

There is no difference between tree and wood, both are fa, between skin
and leather, both are bőr.

Thematic words
miau

vau
kukurikú

bumm
őőő

Funny or odd traditional proverbs and


idioms
Ez nekem kínai.
It is Chinese for me.
It is not understandable for me.

Kutyakötelessége valakinek valami.


Something is a dog’s duty for someone.
Something is an absolute duty for someone.
madárnak néz valakit
to take someone for a bird
to take someone for a fool and try to swindle him/her

a béka feneke alatt


under the frog's ass
on a very low level
örül mint majom a farkának
as pleased as a monkey with its tail
very pleased, a little crazy

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