Hungarian is the official language of Hungary and a language of the European Union spoken by thirteen million people around the world. In addition to Hungary it is also commonly spoken in Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia and Serbia. Along with Finnish and Estonian it is relatively unique among European languages because it does not belong to the Indo-European family of languages but rather the Uralic family.
Hungarian can trace its roots back at least to the ninth century CE when the Old Hungarian language was first being formed. At the time, unlike the case of many other languages, works of literature in the Hungarian language were relatively plentiful and the oldest surviving piece of Hungarian literature is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer dating back to 1192. During the Protestant Reformation there occurred a rebirth of Hungarian culture and literature, with the first official Hungarian-language book being published in 1533. These publications consisted mostly of religious texts due to the considerable influence of the Protestant church.
Hungarian is somewhat similar to the English language in that it only has two inflectionally distinct tenses, past and present, but also has been greatly influenced by the Slavic languages as far as adapting words and grammatical structure is concerned. The language was standardized in the eighteenth century and changes were made into the nineteenth and even twentieth centuries, lessening the differences between regional dialects and creating one standard language that most people now use.
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