A member of the Uralic language family, Hungarian is spoken mainly in Hungary and several neighboring countries. Hungarian is spoken as a native language by 14.5 million people approximately, with 10 million of them residing in Hungary. With 1.5 million speakers, the second largest Hungarian-speaking population live in the neighboring country of Romania, more precisely in the Transylvania region.
Hungarian is a member of the Uralic language family. Within this language family, Hungarian is classified under Finno-Ugrian subgroup which is spoken by those living in the region located between Western Siberia and Northern Norway. Hungarian, Khanty and Mansi, the closest relatives within the Finno-Ugrian subgroup, comprise the Ugric languages.
Throughout the history, there have been claims suggesting that Hungarian is related to many languages such as Hebrew, Hunnic, Sumerian, Egyptian, Etruscan, Basque, Persian, Pelasgian, Greek, Chinese, Sanskrit, English, Tibetan, Magar, Quechua, Armenian, Japanese, and at least forty other languages; however, mainstream linguists consider such claims as being pseudoscientific. Some of the similar words in Hungarian and Turkish are: bicska/bıçak (knife); boza/boza (boza; a fermented beverage); koboz/kopuz (komuz; a string instrument); anya/ana or anne (mother); findzsa/fincan (cup); dohány/duhan or tütün (tobacco); ibrik/ibrik (a long-spouted pitcher); papucs/pabuç (shoe); csizma/çizme (boot).
Hungarian is spoken as an official language in the following regions and international communities: Hungary, Vojvodina, Burgenland, European Union. Hungarian is recognized as a minority language in Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria and Romania.
In the past, Hungarians used a language-specific alphabet. This alphabet was very similar to the Old Turkic script (also known as Orkhon script). This alphabet was replaced by its Latin counterpart after Hungarians were converted to Christianity. Modern Hungarian alphabet has 42 letters.