Hungarian Language Learning Pack

What product is Hungary best known for?
Rubik's cube (by the Hungarian Erno Rubik).

Speakers: 13 million. Hungary became a Christian kingdom in 1000 AD. The country fell under foreign communist rule during the Second World War. In 1956, Hungary initiated an uprising and announced a withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. Moscow of course responded with military force. Hungary held its first free political election in 1990 and also initiated a new market economy. They joined NATO in 1999 and joined the EU in 2004. The Hungarian language is written with the Latin alphabet, but some letters have accents (dots or commas above them), so while the English alphabet has only 26 letters, the Hungarian language has 44.

You can read the full background history of Hungary as a nation and country, from stone age to present day, by clicking this link in blue :

The Hungarian language

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language, which is a member of the Uralic language family. The group of Finno-Ugric languages also includes Finnish, Estonian, Lappic (Sámi) and some other languages spoken in the Russian Federation. Out of these it is Khanty and Mansi that are the most closely related to Hungarian. The Hungarian name for the language is magyar. Magyar is spoken by approximately 13 million people. Most of its speakers live in Hungary (around 10 million) and Romania (around 1.5 million), but it is also spoken in Slovakia, the northern part of Serbia (Vojvodina), Ukraine and other countries. Hungarian is the official language of the Republic of Hungary and one of the official languages of the European Union (EU). It is also an official language of the Autonomous Republic of Vojvodina (Serbia) and of some places in the Republic of Slovenia. Hungarians call their language Magyar.

Hungarian has several dialects but they are not too different to make understanding difficult. The only such example may be the dialect of the Csángós of Romania. That dialect is an old and archaic version of the language.

Hungarian is written in the Latin alphabet. Some letters have accents (dots or commas above them) so while the English alphabet has 26 letters, Hungarian has 44. The writing of Hungarian is largely phonetic. This means that each letter has its own pronunciation, and it is easy to read any text once you've learned how the letters are pronounced.
Hungarian literary language is based on the Northeastern Dialect.

The earliest known written Hungarian words are to be found in a Latin document, the Foundation Charter of the Abbey of Tihany (1054). The Funeral Oration and Prayer (1192-95) and Old Hungarian Lament of Mary (13th century) are the earliest known continuous Hungarian texts. In the 16th century the first printed Hungarian texts came out. Modern Hungarian literary language appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Hungarian replaced Latin as the official language used in Hungary, at first between 1844 and 1849, then from 1867 and ahead to this day.

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Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called “Goulash Communism.” Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU five years later. In 2011, Hungary assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU for the first time.


Hungary has made the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, with a per capita income nearly two-thirds that of the EU-28 average. In late 2008, Hungary’s impending inability to service its short-term debt—brought on by the global financial crisis - led Budapest to obtain an IMF/EU/World Bank-arranged financial assistance package worth over $25 billion. The global economic downturn, declining exports, and low domestic consumption and fixed asset accumulation, dampened by government austerity measures, resulted in a severe economic contraction in 2009. In 2010 the new government implemented a number of changes including cutting business and personal income taxes, but imposed “crisis taxes” on financial institutions, energy and telecom companies, and retailers. The IMF/EU bail-out program lapsed at the end of the year and was replaced by Post Program Monitoring and Article IV Consultations on overall economic and fiscal processes. At the end of 2011 the government turned to the IMF and the EU to obtain financial backstop to support its efforts to refinance foreign currency debt and bond obligations in 2012 and beyond, but Budapest’s rejection of EU and IMF economic policy recommendations led to a breakdown in talks with the lenders in late 2012. Global demand for high yield has since helped Hungary to obtain funds on international markets. Hungary’s progress reducing its deficit to under 3% of GDP led the European Commission in 2013 to permit Hungary for the first time since joining the EU in 2004 to exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure.

GDP (purchasing power parity): $196.6 billion (2013 est.).
Country comparison to the world: 57

Agriculture—products: wheat, corn, sunflower seed, potatoes, sugar beets; pigs, cattle, poultry, dairy products Industries: mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals), motor vehicles.

Industrial production growth rate: 1.8% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 130
Labor force: 4.263 million (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Labor force—by occupation: agriculture: 7.1% industry: 29.7% services: 63.2% (2011)
Unemployment rate: 10.5% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 112 10.7% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line: 14% (2012)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.1% highest 10%: 22.6% (2009)
Distribution of family income—Gini index: 24.7 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 136 24.4 (1998)

Budget: revenues: $62.24 billion
Expenditures: $66.01 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 47.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 16
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -2.9% of GDP
Country comparison to the world: 118
Note: Hungary has been under the EU Excessive Deficit Procedure since it joined the EU in 2004; in March 2012 the EU elevated its Excessive Deficit Procedure against Hungary and proposed freezing 30% of the country’s Cohesion Funds because 2011 deficit reductions were not achieved in a sustainable manner; in June 2012, the EU lifted the freeze, reognizing that steps had been taken to reduce the deficit; the latest EC forecasts project the Hungarian deficit to increase above 3% both in 2013 and in 2014 due to sluggish growth and the government’s fiscal tightening (2013 est.)

Public debt: 79.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 27 79.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities: currency and deposits, securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives, and government, state government, local government, and social security funds.


Military branches: Hungarian Defense Forces: Land Forces, Hungarian Air Force (Magyar Legiero, ML) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 6-month service obligation (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 2,349,948 females age 16-49: 2,290,568 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Fales age 16-49: 1,902,639 females age 16-49: 1,897,378 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 59,237 female: 55,533 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.83% of GDP (2012) country comparison to the world: 113


Airports: 41.
Country comparison to the world: 104
Airports—with paved runways: total: 2 0
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines: gas 19,028 km; oil 1,007 km; refined products 842 km (2013) Railways: total: 8,057 km
Country comparison to the world: 26
Broad gauge: 36 km 1.524-m gauge
Standard gauge: 7,802 km
1.435-m gauge (2,911 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 219 km 0.760-m gauge (2009)
Roadways: total: 199,567 km .
Country comparison to the world: 25 paved: 76,075 km (includes 1,477 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 123,492 km (2010) .

Ports and terminals:

Waterways: 1,622 km (most on Danube River) (2011) .
Country comparison to the world: 48.
Ports and terminals: Budapest, Dunaujvaros, Gyor-Gonyu, Csepel, Baja, Mohacs.


Bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continue in 2006 with Slovakia over Hungary’s failure to complete its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU’s external border, Hungary has implemented the strict Schengen border rules.
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Stateless persons: 111 (2012).

Illicit drugs:

Transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and cannabis and for South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; limited producer of precursor chemicals, particularly for amphetamine and methamphetamine; efforts to counter money laundering, related to organized crime and drug trafficking are improving but remain vulnerable; significant consumer of ecstasy.
(End of text/excerpt from the CIA World FactBook 2016.)

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Hungarian Language Learning Pack (Updated)
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