Hungary

Hungary is one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, with a capital regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to numerous World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves, the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grassland in Europe (Hortobágy). In terms of buildings, Hungary is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (Great Synagogue), the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Széchenyi Medicinal Bath), the third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica), the second largest territorial abbey in the world (Pannonhalma Archabbey), the second largest Baroque castle in the world (Gödöllő), and the largest Early Christian Necropolis outside Italy (Pécs).

Talk

Hungarians are rightly proud of their unique, complex, sophisticated, richly expressive language, Hungarian (Magyar pronounced “mahdyar”). It is a Uralic language most closely related to Mansi and Khanty of western Siberia. It is further sub-classified into the Finno-Ugric languages which include Finnish and Estonian; it is not at all related to any of its neighbours: the Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages belonging to the Indo-European language family. Although related to Finnish and Estonian, they are not mutually intelligible. Aside from Finnish, it is considered the most difficult “European” language for English speakers to learn with the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation being radically different. So it is not surprising that an English speaker visiting Hungary understands nothing from written or spoken Hungarian. Hungary did adopt the Latin alphabet after becoming a Catholic country in year 1000.

Since English is now obligatory in schools, if you address people in their teens, twenties or lower thirties, you stand a good chance that they will speak English well enough to help you out.

(source: Wikitravel)

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