Difference between revisions of "Hungary"

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Revision as of 19:12, 16 August 2007

Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország), is a landlocked country in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. Hungary has been a member state of the European Union since May 1 2004.


Hungarian (magyar nyelv) is a Finno-Ugric language (more specifically an Ugric language) unrelated to most other languages in Europe. The Hungarian name for the language is magyar [ˈmɒɟɒr].

There are about 13 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 World War I. Of these, the largest group live 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.

Hungarian is written using a variant of the Latin alphabet, and has a phonemic orthography. In addition to the standard letters of the Latin alphabet, Hungarian uses several additional letters. These include letters with acute accents á, é, í, ó, ú which represent long vowels, umlauts ö and ü and their long counterparts ő and ű. Sometimes (usually as a result of a technical glitch) ô or õ is used for ő and û for ű, due to the limitations of the Latin-1 / ISO-8859-1 code page, though these are not part of the Hungarian language, and are considered misprints. Hungarian can be properly represented with the Latin-2 / ISO-8859-2 code page, but this is not always available. (Hungarian is the only language using both ő and ű.)

Most Hungarians are not fluent in English, but it is very common to be taught in elementary and high school as a second language.

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