Monday, April 09, 2007

Is Hungarian related to Russian?

Who's asking: Christian, Budapest

Hungarian, or Magyar, is a mysterious language unrelated to Russian, according to mainstream linguistic theory.

Most linguists believe that Magyar belongs to the Finno-Ugric subfamily of languages, while Russian is a Slavic language that belongs to the Indo-European family. The closest relatives to Magyar are Khanty and Mansi, two languages spoken by people who live along the Ob River in Russia. Hungarian is also related to the Baltic languages of Estonian, Finnish, Karelian, and Sami (the language spoken by Lapps). The Finno-Ugric languages share about 200 word stems, including at least 55 related to fishing. Linguists theorize that the Finno-Ugric languages originated in north central Europe.

The Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian), on the other hand, branched from the Indo-European root that emerged in Anatolia (present-day Turkey) in the 18th century B.C.E.

Dragging today, I think I'm coming down with something. I'd wonder whether it was allergies, but how can I be allergic to anything when there's still so much snow on the ground?

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