Hungarian, the national language of Hungary, has been taught at Inalco since 1931, when Aurélien Sauvageot (1897-1988) created the first chair of Finno-Ugric languages in France. It is also spoken in all neighboring countries by minorities, the largest of which are in Transylvania, Slovakia and Vojvodina. There is also a sizeable diaspora in Western Europe, America and Australia. In addition to the ten million Hungarian citizens, there are between three and five million speakers living outside the country's borders.

Discovering the language

Attested since the Middle Ages, Hungarian is written in the Latin alphabet. Its origins are related to Finnish, Estonian, Lappish and a dozen other languages spoken further east, on either side of the Urals. Its morphology is largely based on suffixation. Its grammar is highly logical. Its vocabulary, more coherent than that of French, bears the imprint of the language renovation movement which, between 1772 and 1871, strove to replace the many borrowings, especially Latinisms and Germanisms, with neologisms forged from the old national heritage.

Illustrated by the works of Sándor Petőfi, János Arany, Endre Ady, Attila József, Gyula Krúdy, Mihály Babits, Dezső Kosztolányi, Sándor Márai, Hungarian is today a great language of civilization whose knowledge, especially when added to other skills, constitutes, at a time of European construction, an increasingly appreciated asset.

Studying Hungarian at Inalco

Throughout the course, students follow a coherent program combining the study of language, literature and history. Inalco is the only French institution in which the teaching of Hungarian is coherently integrated into the whole of Central European studies.