Hungarian is the official language of Hungary, and it is a recognized language of the European Union, since Hungary is a member of the EU. Today, the Hungarian language boasts more than 15 million speakers. Most of these people live in or near Hungary, including to neighboring countries, such as Romania, Slovakia and more, though immigrants have brought the language over to many other countries across the world, such as Canada and the United States.
The Hungarian language spoken today is part of the Ugor branch of the family of languages called the Finno-Ugric language group. This could make Hungarian related to Finnish and Estonian. Some dispute this idea, however, citing communication troubles between Hungarians and people from Finland or Estonia. These scholars argue that Hungarian is, instead, more closely related to Khanty and Mansi, languages spoken near the Ural Mountains.
Others claim to be able to trace Hungarian to origins stemming from the Turkish language. Of course, Hungarians were influenced by Turkish customs, specifically as it pertains to animal-breeding techniques.
Meanwhile, there is a group of scholars who say Hungarian is more closely related to Sumerian, a language spoken in areas of the Middle East some nine thousand years ago. Another theory states that the language is similar to Hunnish. This idea suggests a group of Hungarians living in Romania are decedents from the Huns.
Additionally, linguists and historians have linked the Hungarian language’s origins to more than 45 languages, including Chinese, Hebrew, Armenian, Basque, Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, Farsi and more…
While Hungarian has adopted plenty of words from Slavic, Finno-Ugric, German, Latin, Turkish, Greek, English and other languages, Hungarian still retains its unique and foreign nature – dissimilar even to the closest neighbors of Hungary.
The Hungarian language (or Magyar as it is called by natives) has eight major dialects. They are (as spoken in their respective regions) those of the Alföld, West Danube, Danube-Tisza, Northeast Hungarian, Northwest Hungarian, West Hungarian, Székely. Hungarian Csángó is another dialect of Hungarian, but it is not always recognized as such. This dialect is spoken mostly in BacÄu County, Romania. Residents of this area have long been secluded from other Hungarian-speaking people, and that has allowed their dialect to most closely resemble medieval Hungarian.