Estimated native speakers: 14 million
Estimated total speakers: 15 million
Official/de facto official language in: Hungary, European Union, Slovakia (regional language), Slovenia (regional language), Serbia (regional language), Austria (regional language), some official rights in Romania, Ukraine and Croatia
Language family: Uralic - Urgic
A brief history:
The recorded history of Hungarian dates back to around 1000 BC, making it one of the oldest European languages. It developed separately from the Indo-European languages but has influences from both the Slavic languages and Latin. The Hungarian people migrated to the Carpathian Basin, arriving in 896AD after a long journey that had also brought them into contact with the Iranian and Turkish people, from whom many words were acquired. When Hungary became a country in 1000AD, it was a Catholic state and Latin became an important influence on Hungarian vocabulary and orthography. Only in 1844 did Hungarian become the official language, superseding Latin.
The modern language is spoken in Hungary and neighbouring countries, not to mention in emigrant communities in places like Russia, Israel and the USA. Its closest relative in Europe is Finnish, although the languages are not mutually intelligible.