Magyar (pronounced /Mawdyar/), as the Hungarians call their language, is spoken by the approximately 10.3 million inhabitants of Hungary, as well as another 4 million people in neighboring countries and a million others scattered around the world.

It belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, which includes Finnish and Estonian, but its closest relatives are several obscure languages spoken in Siberia. Hungarian is not at all related to the Indo-European languages which surround it, and is very different both in vocabulary and in grammar.

Hungarian is an agglutinative language, meaning that it relies heavily on suffixes and prefixes. The grammar is seemingly complex, yet there is no gender, a feature that most English speakers grapple with when learning other European languages.

Hungarian does use the Roman alphabet however, and after learning a few simple rules one can easily read Hungarian. Pronunciation is also very easy, especially compared to other neighbouring languages like Czech, German, and Russian.

For a sample of the Hungarian language, here is Psalm 25 sung in Hungarian as a “Genevan Psalm”:

Note: Most Calvin Synod churches conduct services in English and Hungarian.