The Bible in Hungarian
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What Language is spoken in Hungary? A Great Mini-Guide!

Thinking of a nice trip to Hungary but wondering what language is actually spoken in Hungary?

I really recommend to visit Hungary, a beautiful country where history can be heard from old castle walls and the Danube River sparkles with the lights of Budapest at night. But what language is spoken in Hungary?

Hungary’s language is at the heart of its rich culture. This language is more than just a way to talk to each other. You could say that it’s a living thread that connects the history, culture, and character of the country.

I’m taking a deep dive into learning about the Hungarian language, which, in my eyes, is the key to unlocking the secrets and beauty of this Central European gem.

Let’s check it out as I find Hungarian a fascinating language in the heart of Europe!

What language is mostly spoken in Hungary?

First things first! I can tell you that Hungarian is the main language spoken in Hungary. Hungarian is the mother tongue of most of the 10 million people who live in the country.

It’s also spoken by over 13 million people around the world, including large groups in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, and other places.

Hungarian is the official language of Hungary, so you can hear it everywhere, from the busy streets of towns to the quiet villages in the countryside. Not only is it useful, but it’s also a mark of national pride and cultural identity.

What language is Hungarian closest to?

It is related to Finnish and Estonian. Hungarian is in the Finno-Ugric language family. This family resemblance is more academic than real, though, since Hungarian has become very different over the ages.

It’s like an island language in a sea of Indo-European languages; it has little in common with its neighbors, which are Slavic, Germanic, and Romance.

Because it is not spoken by many people, Hungarian is a unique and interesting language to study because it has a mix of old roots and different effects.

Hungarian Local Experience

Did you get excited about learning the language while experience Hungarian life as a local? I have a great recommendation to do so!

Click here to book your Introduction to the Local Culture + Hungarian Language Class!

This 3-hour Hungarian class and walking tour gives you a taste of Budapest’s language and sites. Start your tailored class with a coffee or soda at a café. Your teacher will teach you how to say hello and how to order food and drinks.

After that, go on a tour along Andrássy Avenue to see the famous figures at Heroes’ Square. Your teacher will be there to answer any questions you have about life and culture in Hungary.

Hungarian Alphabet

The letters in the Hungarian language are a strange mix of common and unusual letters. There are 44 characters in it, a mix of Latin letters and letters with a little Hungarian flair.

The language has its own style thanks to letters and sounds like ‘á’, ‘é’, ‘í’, ‘ó’, ‘o’, ‘ő’, ‘ú’, ‘ü’, and ‘ű’. The phonetic uniformity of Hungarian comes from the fact that each letter stands for a different sound.

It’s true that learning the alphabet is like having a key to the sound and flow of this beautiful language.

Basic phrases in Hungarian

Learn these basic but important phrases in Hungarian:

  • Hello/Hi: “Szia” (SEE-ah) – Informal, commonly used among friends.
  • Good morning: “Jó reggelt” (YO RE-gelt) – This is a polite way to greet someone in the morning.
  • Good afternoon: “Jó napot” (YO NA-pot) – This is used from around noon until the evening.
  • Good evening: “Jó estét” (YO ESH-tate) – Greeting for the evening.
  • Goodbye: “Viszlát” (VEES-lat) – A common way to say goodbye.
  • Please: “Kérlek” (KAYR-lek) – Used when asking for something politely.
  • Thank you: “Köszönöm” (KÖ-sö-nöm) – A way to express gratitude.
  • Yes: “Igen” (EE-gen) – Affirmative response.
  • No: “Nem” (Nem) – Negative response.
  • Excuse me/Sorry: “Elnézést” (EL-nay-zesht) – This is used to get someone’s attention, to apologize, or to excuse yourself.
  • I don’t understand: “Nem értem” (NEM AIR-tem) – Useful when you don’t comprehend what’s being said.
  • Do you speak English?: “Beszél angolul?” (BE-sayl AN-go-lul) – Helpful for finding English-speaking assistance.
  • Where is the bathroom?: “Hol van a mosdó?” (HOL van a MOSH-doh?) – It’s useful in restaurants or public places.
  • How much does this cost?: “Mennyibe kerül ez?” (MEN-yee-be KE-rül ez) – Important for when you go shopping and doing transactions.
  • Can you help me?: “Segíthet nekem?” (SHE-gi-thet NE-kem?) – Useful in situations where you need any type of assistance.

Do you want to impress the locals at a party? Check out my post about saying Cheers in Hungarian!

You can use these phrases to handle basic situations in Hungary, which will make your trip more enjoyable and real.

Why is Hungarian language beautiful?

The lovely thing about the Hungarian language is that it sounds good and can convey complex ideas. It’s a language that loves being hard to understand and uses a lot of different words and phrases.

Hungarian Bible text
Hungarian Bible text

Hungarian can say the smallest feelings and the deepest ideas, and it often does so in beautiful, long, flowing lines. The melody and unique vowel harmony of the language give it a musical quality that is both interesting and engaging.

How many words are in Hungarian?

Hungarian has a very large and changing language. It’s thought to have about a million words, which shows how well it can explain and change. The language lives on making new words by combining and changing old ones.

This makes it a communication system that is always changing. This variety of languages gives people a huge number of ways to express themselves, from simple everyday conversations to the deepest artistic works.

Do they speak English in Hungary?

English has slowly become more popular in Hungary, especially among young people, businesspeople, and people who live in cities. People do it all the time in higher education, foreign business, and the tourism industry.

Budapest by night in what language is spoken in hungary
Budapest by night

Other than these areas, though, and especially in rural places, English is not as common. Really, learning basic Hungarian is a great way to get to know the culture of the country and meet people who aren’t on the usual tourist routes.

Is it hard to learn Hungarian?

Yes! Learning Hungarian is very hard, especially for people who are used to speaking Indo-European languages.

Its unique vocabulary and complicated grammar, which includes a large case system and verb conjugation, make it a language that needs dedication and consistent effort to learn.

While this makes learning Hungarian difficult, it also makes the trip fun and intellectually stimulating, right?

Is Hungarian grammar easy?

Hungarian language is known for being very complicated and deep. A lot of cases are used, verbs are conjugated in complicated ways, and the way words are formed and sentences are put together is different.

For beginners, the grammar can be hard to understand at first, but with study and practice, you’ll see how reasonable and systematic it is. Hungarian is a language that linguists love because it is so complicated. It allows for exact and varied expression.

What language is spoken in Hungary: FAQs

The information below will give you some more insights about the fascinating Hungarian language!

How similar are Czech and Hungarian?

Why these two languages you might think? Well, I live in the Czech Republic and Hungary is one of the neighboring countries. But besides this, Czech and Hungarian are totally different from each other!

Hungarian is a Uralic language, while Czech is a Slavic language with roots in the Indo-European language family. There are big changes in grammar, vocabulary, and phonetics because of this divergence.

The two languages are different examples of the wide range of languages that can be found in Central Europe.

Why is Hungary called Magyar?

For example, the name “Magyarország” (Land of the Magyars) comes from the history of the Hungarian people. In the late 9th century, a group of Uralic people called the Magyars moved to the Carpathian Basin.

Magyarország in what language is spoken in hungary
Magyarország

They laid the groundwork for modern-day Hungary. The word “Hungary” comes from the Latin word “Hungaria” used in the Middle Ages. In Hungarian, “Magyarország” refers to the country’s old history and cultural identity. Now you know!

The Wrap-Up: What language is spoken in Hungary?

Let’s wrap it here! Hungarian is a unique language with a long past that has a lot of expressive depth. I would even say it’s a cool jewel in the middle of Europe’s language world.

Why? Well, it’s is a language that tells the story of a country, from its wandering beginnings to its lively present. Hungarian is more than just a language; it’s also a way to express and understand the heart of Hungary through its art, literature, and culture ethics.

You can learn the Hungarian language if you’re interested in languages, cultures, or just want to learn more about the people and country of Hungary. It’s a trip that will enrich and teach you.

Want to read more about Hungary? Check out my other posts like Budapest in Summer, Best places to live in Hungary or the national animal of Hungary!

Your restless voyager,

Dustin

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