Learn Hungarian - the ultimate beginners guide (updated 2023)

Hungarian is a great language - and in this guide we'll signpost all the resources you need to help you learn it.

Table of contents

A brief introduction to Hungarian

What is the Hungarian language?

What is the Hungarian language?

The The Hungarian language is a Uralic language, which means it comes from the Eastern Europe region.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when the Hungarian language began. Some linguists believe it came from an early form of Khanty, while others think there are connections with Magyar tribes in present-day Ukraine and Romania that migrated westward around 1400 AD .

You can delve more into the history of the Hungarian language here:

What language group in Hungarian in?

Like Finnish, Estonian and Saami languages, it belongs to Finno-Ugric subgroup of the Uralic family. It's also related as an Indo-European Language with its own distinct alphabet that was first developed in 1537 before aopting Latin script in 1844 under pressure from other European powers like Austria-Hungary.

Where is Hungarian spoken?

Hungarian is spoken by Hungarians in Hungary and neighbouring countries - including Slovakia, Romanian and Serbia. With only minor differences in vocabulary and pronunciation, they are mutually intelligible.

Despite being distant relations to Finnish and Estonian, they are not are mutually intelligible.

The building blocks of the Hungarian language

The Hungarian alphabet

The Hungarian alphabet contains 40 natural letters, including 14 vowels.

Here are some interesting facts about the Hungarian alphabet: - Four letters are borrowed from English/Latin. They are Q (ku), W (dupla vé), X (iksz) and Y (ipszilon). - Some letters are just around to help spell out words adapted from other languages - like dzs in dszungel (jungle).

If you want to known how to pronounce the letters of the Hungarian alphabet, check out this guide:

And you can learn more about the Hungarian alphabet in this guide:

The Hungarian number system

The basics of Hungarian verb conjugation

The most common Hungarian words to learn

How to learn Hungarian

Finding a Hungarian language school

Finding a private Hungarian teacher

Language reference websites

Hungarian audio guides and podcasts

Hungarian language textbooks

Hungarian Youtube channels

Apps to help you learn and practice Hungarian

Language meetups where you can speak Hungarian

Hungarian language exams and qualifications

Citizenship language exam

How to immerse in Hungarian culture to practice your Hungarian