Located in Central Europe, Hungary is a landlocked country roughly the size of the state of Indiana with a population of slightly more than 10 million. Since approximately 1000 AD, wars and politics have changed the country's geography and the makeup of its population. A glaring example of this is the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 which reduced Hungary's population by 58% and its land mass by almost seventy percent. During most of the last half of the twentieth century Hungary was under communist rule.
The native language of Hungary is Magyar. It is unlike any of its neighboring countries - Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. It is spoken by 98% of the country's citizens. Magyar is considered a very difficult language to learn since it is unrelated to the Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages spoken in neighboring states. The most effective way to learn the language of Hungary is to undertake study abroad and/or undergo a language immersion experience in order to achieve communication competence. If these two options are not feasible, there are other ways to improve your knowledge of the Hungarian language:
* Purchase a Hungarian language book and start with learning the words and phrases you are most likely to use, e.g., "hello," "good morning," "good night," "my name is...," "where are the lavatory facilities," etc.
* Try to associate Hungarian words with objects, actions or emotions
* Enroll in a class in Hungarian if it is offered at nearby colleges or other commercial language providers
* Become familiar with Hungarian newspapers and books
* Seek the company/acquaintance of a native Hungarian speaker (universities, markets, restaurants, etc.)
* Watch Hungarian TV on the net, movies, listen to songs in the Hungarian language, etc.
* Use Internet software - there is no shortage of these type of opportunities
* Acquire an electronic device that translates English words and phrases into Hungarian
With hard work and perseverance you can become reasonably proficient in the Hungarian language. This learning experience will benefit your visit to Hungary for personal or business interests.