According to Éva Csávi, Hungarian turcologist, one cannot simply decide whether Hungarian is more related to the Finno-Ugric or Turkish language families. The turcologist gave an interview to about the origins of the Hungarian language.

There have been numerous theoretical and more down-to-earth debates about the origins of the Hungarian language. Some claim that Hungarian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, while others are convinced that its origins reach back to the Turk connections, and there are also those most enthusiastic about the Hun linguistic origins. Éva Csáki, Hungarian turcologist tries to capture some of the essential problems of this topic.

What turcology exactly examines might be the first question that pops into the readers’ mind when discussing language theories. According to Éva Csáki, the turcologists are mainly dealing with linguistic, ethnographic and religious aspects and, of course, contribute to the study of the origins of the Hungarian language.

The Hungarian language has acquired many of its verbs and words during its geographical journey, resulting in a linguistic journey every time Hungarians use their language.

This means that we have “borrowed” many words from Mongols and Turks. Our first fruitful meeting with the Turks was when both groups journeyed through the trajectory connecting Asia and Europe.

The Mongol invasion in Hungary in Chronica Hungarorum by Johannes de Thuróczy

Contrary to popular belief, there is no clear evidence whether our language may be connected to the Hun language family, as there are no remaining sources from that period. No matter how tempting it may be to claim with certainty that the Hungarian language belongs to this or other language families, it would be misleading to do so, as the turcologist says.

As Éva Csáki claims, although there is a clear divide between different arguments in the debate of the origins of the Hungarian language, one cannot simply decide.

According to the expert, this publicly controversial topic is very complicated indeed on the academic side, too. Each language has a history and core layers of grammar, and while some specifics may stem from a Finno-Ugric background, there are others that originate from Turk language families.

Although it may be impossible to discover the true origins of the Hungarian language, one thing is sure: Hungarian is one of the most difficult languages in the world. If you want to know more about our language, check out our articles on fun facts about Hungarian, or videos in which foreigners try to understand and speak Hungarian. We have also shared a video about foreigners who try to figure out Disney movies’ titles based solely on the Hungarian title.

Featured image:örzsiGyűlés


  1. How about this: the Hungarian/Magyar language is it’s own language and doesn’t belong to other language families, instead other language families belong to it. I’m sick and tired of reading and hearing about Hungarians and the language having to come second fiddle to another. Worst are the Hungarians who bash their own culture. Grow up already and show some pride.

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