Days of the Week
Special Features of the Hungarian Language
Hungarian, or Magyar, is used in several countries
A Finno-Ugric language is spoken in Hungary and in the adjacent states of Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, and Slovenia; all of which were once part of Hungary before World War I. The Hungarian name for the language is magyar.
There are about 14.5 million speakers, of whom ten million live in Hungary. The largest group that has been dispersed outside its traditional homeland is concentrated in what is now Romanian counties of Transylvania, including Harghita (Hargita), Mureş (Maros), and Covasna (Kovászna), with approximately one and a half million Magyars.
Hungarian is a member of the Ugric languages, a sub-group of the Finno-Ugric language family, which in turn is a branch of the Uralic languages. Connections between the Ugric and Finnic languages were noticed in the 1670s and established, along with the entire Uralic family, in 1717, although the classification of Hungarian continued to be a matter of political controversy into the 18th and even 19th centuries. Today the Uralic family is considered one of the best demonstrated large language families, along with Indo-European and Austronesian.
The vocabulary of Hungarians was influenced mostly by the Slavic, the German, and the Latin languages. Later on Italian and French influence can be perceived. Expressions linked to agriculture and animal husbandry were borrowed mainly from Slavic languages: grain, rye, straw, harrow, scythe, bean, peach, carrot, sheep, ewe, rooster, pigeon, yoke, oxbow, hay and shepherd. Nouns in Hungarian that are attached to trades like cooper, smith, weaver, miller and dammer are of Slavic origin. Words referring to the house were adopted from the local Slavic: kitchen, cellar, window, key, bench, table and lunch. There are many Slav loan-words in the word-stock of the church and of the state: cross, Christian, friar, nun, saint, miracle, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Christmas, emperor, king, to order and work.
Hungarians borrowed expressions from German that refer to court and army life: prince, count, fur, armour, visor, lance, siege, fireplace, lute. Latin also played an important role in the development of Hungarian literacy, concerning both the style and the style of writing. They adopted words and expressions referring to religion, the church, and of the state from Latin: school, cloister, pope, angel, satan, parson, apostle, crown, register.
There are also noticeable Turkic influences in Hungarian. It appears that the Hungarians took over animal breeding from the Turkic Chuvash, and they were neighbors for many centuries, as a high proportion of words specific to agriculture and livestock are of Chuvash origin. There was also a strong Chuvash influence in burial customs. All the Ugric languages, not just Hungarian, have Turkic loanwords related to horse riding.
The history and evolution of the Hungarian language has fostered much controversy among linguists over the years. It's considered a Finno-Ugric language, which remotely resembles Finnish and Estonian. There are those who say that no other language in Eastern Europe is even remotely related to Hungarian.