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The Hungarian Language Landscape
Population of Hungary: 9,930,915 (July 2008 est.)
Internet country code: .hu
Internet users: 3.5 million (2006)
Hungarian is a Uralic language (more specifically a Ugric language) unrelated to most other languages in Europe. It is spoken in Hungary and by the Hungarian minorities in seven neighbouring countries. The Hungarian name for the language is magyar.
Hungarian has long been of great interest to linguists as one of the small number of modern European languages that do not belong to the Indo-European language family. Due to the Uralic heritage, Hungarian often sounds completely foreign to speakers of Indo-European languages. It is commonly considered to be one of the most difficult languages for speakers of English (or other Indo-European languages) to learn well.
There are about 14.5 million native speakers, of whom 9.5-10 million live in modern-day Hungary. Some two million speakers live in areas that were part of the Kingdom of Hungary before the Treaty of Trianon. Of these, the largest group lives in Romania, where there are approximately 1.4 million Hungarians. Hungarian-speaking people are also to be found in Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia, Austria, and Slovenia, as well as about a million people scattered in other parts of the world. As with many European languages, there are a few hundred thousand speakers of Hungarian in the United States as well.
Sources: CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia – Content available under GNU Free Documentation License Related Article: The Global Language Landscape – Languages in Use on the Internet
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