Considered as one of the oldest language in Europe, Hungarian has been spoken for over 3000 years. It is derived from the Finno-Ugric languages branch of the Uralic languages family, which originated in the Ural Mountains, located at the border between Asia and Europe.
While the Hungarians were migrating towards the South East in year 400, the language was influenced by the peoples they met on their way, mainly Turkish- and Iranian-speaking peoples. In the year 1000, after the Hungarians settled in the Carpathian basin, founded the Hungarian Kingdom and adopted Christianity, Hungarian was influenced by the languages of neighbouring peoples, especially by the Slavic and Latin languages, on which the Hungarian writing system is based. In the 16th century, the Hungarian language kept developing and spread thanks to the publication of the first Hungarian translation of the Bible. But it is only at the end of the 19th century that the rules of standard Hungarian were established and that it became the official language of Hungary.
Hungarian is divided into nine regional dialects, but the language is considered as a uniting language since all these dialects are mutually intelligible. Today, Hungarian is spoken by more than 12 million people, three thirds of whom live in Hungary. There are also Hungarian-speaking communities in neighbouring countries like Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia, but also in the United States, in Canada, and Israel.
Classification by family:
Uralic languages > Finno-Ugric languages > Ugric languages > Hungarian