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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. It is spoken in Hungary and by the Hungarian minorities in seven neighbouring countries. 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.

Internet availability

Some areas of Russia and the ex-Soviet Union are without Internet at all, and others have very slow dial-up connections over old phone-lines.

Wealthier regions, particularly near large cities like Moscow, have high-speed Internet and use it often.

Interest in genealogy

Wars, revolutions and ignorance have destroyed a significant part of written records. Persecution, and even massacres, of people belonging to “wrong” classes discouraged the transition of family memories to young generations. Only a decade ago Russian genealogists started to come out in the open.

Russian records and archives are not as neatly maintained as the American ones (due to change of regime, and lack of a society like the LDS), but still exist, sometimes in surprisingly good shape.

Date Format

Russia like many other European countries, only uses 1 date format.

  • Day, Month, Year (DD/MM/YY or YYYY)

Other Ex-Soviet countries

Countries like Belarus have a very similar culture to Russia, and speak the same language.

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