1. Grammar and Spelling
Section One – Grammar and Spelling
1. Gender: Hungarian nouns are not distinguished by gender.
2. Plurals: The plural is generally formed by adding 'k' for words ending in a vowel, or -ak, -ek, -ok, -ök for others (NB: many verb and other endings end in 'k' too).
3. Affixes: Hungarian is an agglutinative language. This means that prefixes and suffixes are added to the beginning and end of words to render verb endings, tenses, cases, possessive adjectives, prepositions, etc.
4. Capitalisation: Unlike English, Hungarian uses a small letter for the names of nations, adjectives derived from proper nouns, the names of months, days, holidays and historical events.
Diacritics/accents are used on upper case letters.
Section Two - Punctuation
Hungarian punctuation is very similar to English, but there are some important differences:
1. Speech/Quotation marks: Speech is not separated by a comma but by a dash (-). For quotations, Hungarian uses the format „ ... ”.
2. Apostrophe: Hungarian does not make use of the apostrophe.
3. Exclamation marks: In letters, the salutation is followed by an exclamation mark rather than a comma.
4. Ampersand symbol (&): This is never used in Hungarian.
Footnotes: In Hungarian, footnotes (as introduced
by asterisks, superscript numbers, etc.) do not have
to begin with a capital letter, but still take a full
stop (as they are not regarded as 'text' in their
own right, but as information continued from something
in the body text).
Dates: Dates are written as follows:
2. Weights and measures:
‘dekagramm’ is often used, which equals 10 grams.
specifying an exact plural number of something, the
noun stays in the
abbreviation for 'seconds' can be s (for secundum)
or mp (for
Four – Hyphenation
Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities
Names: when using Hungarian names, the surname is always written/spoken first, followed by the first name. However, for non-Hungarian names, this does not apply.
The words video, audio and stereo are foreign words which were taken over by the Hungarians - they should not have an accent on the 'o'.
Section Six – Geographic Distribution
Hungarian is spoken by about 10 million people in Hungary, 1½ million in Romania, and smaller minorities in Yugoslavia and Slovakia. It is one of the Finno-Ugric languages, which include Finnish, Estonian, and a number of languages spoken in Russia. Most of these languages, however, belong to the Finnic branch of this group, while Hungarian belongs to the Ugric. The only other existing Ugric languages, and thus the only other languages to which Hungarian is closely related, are the remote Ostyak and Vogul languages of Siberia, spoken in an area more than 2,000 miles from Hungary.
As may be gathered from these facts, the original Hungarian people came from Asia and eventually reached the Danube, where they settled in 896. In the more than a thousand years that have elapsed since that time the Hungarians have become completely Europeanized, with only their language serving to reveal their Asian origins. The Hungarians call their language Magyar. It is considered extremely difficult for foreigners to learn, with its vocabulary largely from Asia and its grammar containing a number of complex features not to be found in other Western languages.
is spoken/used in the following countries:
Section Seven – Character Set
[ ] = Alt key codes
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