Finnish and Hungarian: Mutual intelligibility

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COF

Member
English - English
Are the two languages mutually intelligible? I've looked at example texts of both languages and although they're both clearly related, I don't think to 2 can understand eachother.
 
  • COF

    Member
    English - English
    I thought that was the case :p. It was just someone who'd been to Hungary several times told me otherwise. Although he speaks neither of those 2 languages.
     

    Lillita

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The grammar of the two languages might be similar (both of them use suffixes, for example). I have never studied Finnish, so I cannot go into details about similarities and differences. Maybe Hungarian and Finnish sound familiar to a foreigner's ears... I don't know, I have never heard anyone speaking in Finnish. But now I am very curious!! :)
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    I've been in Hungary just once, about 20 years ago, and I found even the sound of the language as strange as any other foreign language.

    There are only a dozen of Hungarian and Finnish words that have similarities: hand (kéz - käsi), blood (vér - veri) and other basic words that are very old.

    The similarities in grammar might make it easier to understand the sturcture of Hungarian language, I mean easier than for other Europeans, but still it's very hard for us to learn, much harder than Estonian, for example.
     
    The interesting thing about Hungarian, I found, was that they raise their intonation towards the end of the sentence, even if it`s not a question. Very few languages have this, I believe.
    But, otherwise, I wouldn`t say, I found anything so odd about the sound of Hungarian.
    And, no, sure, there is not more mutual intelligibility between those two than between Russian and Hindi, although both are Indo-European.

    P.S. Hakro!! You Finns never study Estonian anyway! So what is there to bother about???
     

    Lillita

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The interesting thing about Hungarian, I found, was that they raise their intonation towards the end of the sentence, even if it`s not a question. Very few languages have this, I believe.
    It is very interesting... The first thing that poor little school children have to learn when they get into school at the age of 6 or 7 is that they must not raise the intonation towards the end of the sentence. Sometimes not even in the case of questions! For example,
    Mennyi az idő? (What's the time?)
    Jól aludtál? (Did you sleep well?)
    Hány éves vagy? (How old are you?)
    Hogy hívnak? (What's your name?)
    Well, it seems that by the end of school, we forget this simple rule about not raising the intonation and we speak as if we had never heard of it! :rolleyes:
    Of course, this rule can change when you want to give emotion to what you are saying...
     

    vince

    Senior Member
    English
    They shouldn't be too related, since Magyar is part of the Ugric family while Finnish is part of the Finno-Permic family. The Sami languages are actually in the latter family, and since there isn't much intelligibility between them and Finnish, there's probably next to nothing between Finnish and Magyar. Though I heard there is a small amount of intelligibility between Finnish and Estonian. (is that true?)
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    P.S. Hakro!! You Finns never study Estonian anyway! So what is there to bother about???
    Sooner or later we have to, unless we use English.

    During the Soviet time the Estonians learned Finnish watching the Finnish TV but nowadays they aren't interested anymore. The middle-aged Estonians speak fluently Finnish but the young generation doesn't.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    They shouldn't be too related, since Magyar is part of the Ugric family while Finnish is part of the Finno-Permic family. The Sami languages are actually in the latter family, and since there isn't much intelligibility between them and Finnish, there's probably next to nothing between Finnish and Magyar. Though I heard there is a small amount of intelligibility between Finnish and Estonian. (is that true?)
    You're right Vince.

    I'd say that Finnish and Estonian are farther apart than let's say Swedish and Danish.
     

    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I don't see much similarity between Finnish and Hungarian.
    But the similarity between Finnish and Estonian is remarkable.:) When I look at a text in Estonian, I can understand an amount of words and some grammatical and syntactic constructions.
    A colleague of mine is half-Estonian, and she speaks Estonian well. She says that Finnish sounds to her very much like Estonian.
     

    Jayjay

    Senior Member
    English - Denmark
    When I started studying linguistics we learned that both are in the Finno-Ugric family - the only two members, I might add - and that linguists have an on-going debate whether they are related or not. I've heard mostly for-arguments.
    But intelligibility does not necessarily have anything to do with the relationship between two languages. An example: Swedish and Danish (mentioned earlier). Linguists place these two languages on the same sub-chain, whereas Norwegian is further apart, but I speak Danish and understand Norwegian much better than Swedish (I have a personal theory that it has something to do with the development/expansion of vocabulary, but that is not proven...). When the crown prince of Norway got married I had no problems following the ceremony, but if you're from southern Sweden, me might be better off speaking English!
     

    chung

    Member
    English, ?
    To me, Finnish and Hungarian are as intelligible to each other as Farsi and Hindi are. Of course, if one knows either Finnish or Hungarian, then one will have a certain advantage over speakers of non-Uralic or non-Altaic languages in trying to learn the other language.

    Concepts such as basic vowel harmony, agglutination and postpositions wouldn't be too tricky. What could throw off Finnish learners of Hungarian are the Hungarian characteristics of definite and indefinite conjugation and perhaps the relatively elaborate vowel harmony compared to Finnish. What could throw off Hungarian learners of Finnish is consonant gradation and the relatively elaborate system of Finnish tenses.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Although I cannot understand Finish, when I hear Finnish I feel it is close to my native language. The same about Turkish. When I hear Russian, Chinese, Greek they do not evoke any feeling, they sound strange, distant. I don't know about other Hungarians but both Finnish and Turkish sound rather funny to me. I wonder if Finns or Turks feel the same about Hungarian.
     
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    Orreaga

    Senior Member
    USA; English
    I will go further and add that there is no language which is mutually intelligible with Hungarian. At least Finnish does share enough in common with Estonian for there to be a certain degree of mutual intelligibility. Two languages spoken in western Siberia, Khanty and Mansi, have more in common with Hungarian than Finnish does, but still they are not mutually intelligible with Hungarian.

    The only thing that reminds me of Hungarian when I hear Finnish or Estonian is the presence of short and long consonants and vowels.
     

    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    Although I cannot understand Finish, when I hear Finnish I feel it is close to my native language. The same about Turkish. When I hear Russian, Chinese, Greek they do not evoke any feeling, they sound strange, distant. I don't know about other Hungarians but both Finnish and Turkish sound rather funny to me. I wonder if Finns or Turks feel the same about Hungarian.
    Yes! :D

    At least Hungarian! -I know too little about Finnish.

    I have a Hungarian friend who speaks a decent Turkish, and I studied a bit Hungarian with her. The difficulty in Hungarian is that you guys have a vowel harmony, like we do; but there are dozens of words that are irregular!

    I was like: "Why on earth do you have a harmony if you're not going to use it!" :D

    Anyways, what I find funny about Hungarian is the "a" sound. In Turkish we have the sounds "o" and "á" of Hungarian; no 'a'.

    There was a youtube video where a Hungarian woman was teaching Turkish in an institute, she was saying:
    onohtor (anahtar)
    çonto (çanta)

    But overall I think Hungarian is an awesome language, I'd give anything to learn it well.. =)
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Oh, do we really have so many irregularities in vowel harmony, I did not know that. Does Turkish have no irregularities or not so many? I know only the basics about Turkish.

    The Hungarian a is funny even for me, once an Estonian friend of mine spoke Estonian and I must laugh because of the Estonian-Hungarian a, which are the same. But that strange a has some Dutch dialect as well and I find it funny, too.
     
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    nightwica

    New Member
    Hungarian
    A Hungarian doesn't understand Finnish and neither vica versa, and maybe they don't find their languages just by hearing similar. But I'm sure a foreigner would find these two similar - because of the often usage of vowels:D
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    When I started studying linguistics we learned that both are in the Finno-Ugric family - the only two members, I might add - and that linguists have an on-going debate whether they are related or not. I've heard mostly for-arguments.
    You might not: there are many more, like Estonian and a number of lesser-known (and surely lesser-spoken) Finno-Ugric languages in Russia.

    But intelligibility does not necessarily have anything to do with the relationship between two languages. An example: Swedish and Danish (mentioned earlier). Linguists place these two languages on the same sub-chain, whereas Norwegian is further apart, but I speak Danish and understand Norwegian much better than Swedish (I have a personal theory that it has something to do with the development/expansion of vocabulary, but that is not proven...). When the crown prince of Norway got married I had no problems following the ceremony, but if you're from southern Sweden, me might be better off speaking English!
    I think the good intercomprehension between Danish and Norwegian is due to the fact that Norway stayed a little bit too long under Danish reign and that Bokmål (the less puristic norm of the Norwegian language) is heavily influenced by Danish, whereas Nynorsk (the more puristic, but lesser-spoken norm of the language) is based on more conservative western Norwegian dialects.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    A Hungarian doesn't understand Finnish and neither vica versa, and maybe they don't find their languages just by hearing similar. But I'm sure a foreigner would find these two similar - because of the often usage of vowels:D
    I agree, the mutual intelligibility is zero, but I wonder how many false friends we could find between Hungarian/Finnish and let's say Hungarian/German. And I do not mean international, Latin words in the latter case. Just open a Finnish-Hungarian dictionary, and I am not speaking about words after conjugation or declension, that's why I think there is some similarity to feel. Or if we could not find many false friends, we could find rhyming words easier.
    Italian also uses many vowels but I cannot say it sounds like Hungarian, so I think the important things should be intonation and maybe the music or what you call it.
     
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    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    Italian also uses many vowels but I cannot say it sounds like Hungarian, so I think the important things should be intonation and maybe the music or what you call it.
    Exactly. Finnish is claimed to sound "dull" and "monotonous", but would you, Encolpius, call Hungarian "dull"?

    There are more differences in the pronunciation. Hungarian has many... what do they call them in English... suhuäänteet, eg. ʃ, tʃ, ʒ, dʒ, dz, z. Finnish has only s and ʃ. Besides, there aren't many diphtongs in Hungarian. In Finnish, they're more common.

    Italiassa on ms paljon vokaaleja, mutten sanoisi, että se kuulostaa unkarilta, joten uskon, että tärkeimmät asiat voisivat olla intonaatio — ja ehkä ms melodia vai miksi sitä kutsutaankaan. (Encolpius)

    160 sounds, of which 78 are vowels. Vowel percentage 48,75 %.
    6 diphtongs, that's surprisingly little!*

    I would love to see a similar calculation in Hungarian, or Italian! Ci sono molte vocali nella lingua italiana... ;).

    * I counted the letter frequencies with this tool: http://rainbow.arch.scriptmania.com/tools/word_counter.html
     
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    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    When comparing with Italian I'd say Hungarian sounds dull, too, but I think I should listen to those 2 languages simultaneously to feel the difference.

    I checked a book which says this about Hungarian.

    vowels : consonants = 42:58
    the most frequent vowel is definitely the E (26% of vowels) and the A (24% of vowels)
    the most frequent consonant is the T (13,3%) and L (10%)

    I'm trying to translate my text into Hungarian, but I am afraid I am not sure how that counting machine works. I got different results in Finnish. But maybe you can check it and compare the results.

    Az olasz is sok magánhangzót használ, den nem mondanám, hogy úgy hangzik, mint a magyar, tehát szerintem az a fontos, hogy milyen az intonáció vagy talán a zene, vagy hogy is hívják ezt.

    Anche l'italiano ha molte vocali, ma non direi che suona come l'ungherese, allora penso che la cosa piu importante sarebbe l'intonazione e forse la musica o come si chiama.


     
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    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Exactly. Finnish is claimed to sound "dull" and "monotonous", but would you, Encolpius, call Hungarian "dull"?

    There are more differences in the pronunciation. Hungarian has many... what do they call them in English... suhuäänteet, eg. ʃ, tʃ, ʒ, dʒ, dz, z. Finnish has only s and ʃ. Besides, there aren't many diphtongs in Hungarian. In Finnish, they're more common.
    suhuäänne would be sibilant in English, although [tʃ, dʒ, dz] etc. are usually called affricates rather than sibilants.

    By the way, when you say that Finnish has the sibilant [ʃ], are you thinking of recent loanwords like shakki etc.?
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    But I'm sure a foreigner would find these two similar - because of the often usage of vowels
    Well, I personally do not. Yes, the both use vowels willingly, but it seems that in Finnish much more words end in vowels. For instance, in the last example provided by Encolpius I've found only two such words ("a" :) and "zene").
    Finnish is claimed to sound "dull" and "monotonous"
    I'd rather call it "viscid". :) Hungarian doesn't make such an expression. But that may depend on a native language, of course.
    I agree, the mutual intelligibility is zero.
    Furthermore, even between Komi and Finnish the mutual intelligibility tends to be zero. Both language belong to Finnish (Finno-Permian) subgroup of Finno-Ugric languages and even have a noticeable number of cognates (which sometimes are even evident :)). Nevertheless, there are too few clear cognates to ensure communication, and that is aggravated by different phonology and different grammatical suffixes. No wonder that Hungarian and Finnish appear to be mutually unintelligible as well.

    The main reason is that Finno-Ugric group is extremely old, and so are its subgroups or even separate branches. For a comparison, the entire Slavic group is probably of the same age as the Baltic-Finnic (also known as just Finnic) linguistic branch (which includes Finnish, Estonian, Karelian and some minor languages).
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    I'm trying to translate my text into Hungarian, but I am afraid I am not sure how that counting machine works. I got different results in Finnish. But maybe you can check it and compare the results.
    That did demand a bit more work than Finnish, because the machine didn't recognize foreign letters. So, I had to convert the texts into a format that people can understand ;).

    Az olas iʃ ʃok magaanhaŋgzoot hasnaal, dɛn nɛm mondanaam, hoɟ uuɟ haŋgzik, mint a maɟar, tehaat sɛrintem az a fontoʃ, hoɟ mijɛn az intonaatsioo vaɟ talaan a zɛnɛ, vaɟ hoɟ iʃ hiivjaak ɛzt.


    148 sounds, of which 63 are vowels, that's 42,57 % (we won!!).
    The most common vowel is "a" – 49,21 % of all vowels. Then comes "o" with 20,63 %.

    Anke litaliaano a molte vokaali, ma non direi ke suona kome lungereeze, alloora penso ke la kooza pju importante sarebbe lintonatsioone e forse la muusica o coome si kjaama.


    142 sounds, of which 66 are vowels, that's 46,48 %.
    The most common vowel is "a" – 31,82 %. Then comes "o" (28,79 %) and "e" (27,27 %).

    By the way, when you say that Finnish has the sibilant [ʃ], are you thinking of recent loanwords like shakki etc.?
    Exactly. The sibilant has been more common in the past, but as "š" is slowly disappearing, the sibilant does so, too. Many borrowings have originally been spelt and pronounced with that sound: tussi used to be tušši and so on. I don't believe that original Finnish words would use that.

    Yes, the both use vowels willingly, but it seems that in Finnish much more words end in vowels.
    That's a good point. Besides, when we compare open and closed syllables in Finnish, French and German, we find out that French prefers open syllables, German closed syllables and Finnish uses the both equally much.

    ... and even have a noticeable number of cognates (which sometimes are even evident ).
    True; for example, Estonian is famous for its "false cognates" here in Finland :):
    häät = pulmad ('wedding', 'problems')
    siivooja = koristaja ('cleaner', 'decorator')
    haamu = vaim ('ghost', 'wife')
    maailmantuska = ilmavaevad ('Weltschmerz', 'flatulence')
    kallio = kalju ('rock', 'bald')
    kirja = raamat ('book', 'Bible')
     

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Some decades ago, I visited Hungary and the Russian-speaking interpreter told us that there was no mutual intelligibility between Hungarian and Finnish. She told us that there was an expression, "Поезд отправляется." ("The train is departing.") which sounds identically in both languages. However, the Hungarian word for "train" means "is departing" in Finnish and the Finnish word for "train" means "is departing" in Hungarian.

    I am not sure about the story as I know neither of those languages. Also, I am not sure if she really knew Finnish.
     
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    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    It would be a really interesting story, but since I know no Finnish, it is hard to prove, but checked my little dictionary and I am starting to believe the interpreter just fooled you or was misinformed. :)

    Hungarian train = vonat; Finnish train = juna? (reminds me of the Hungarian "jön a (vonat)" = the train is coming)

    Hungarian it departs = indul
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    It would be a really interesting story, but since I know no Finnish, it is hard to prove, but checked my little dictionary and I am starting to believe the interpreter just fooled you or was misinformed. :)

    Hungarian train = vonat; Finnish train = juna? (reminds me of the Hungarian "jön a (vonat)" = the train is coming)

    Hungarian it departs = indul
    In Finnish "(a/the) train departs" would be juna lähtee. But how about vonat? Palaa (returns), tulee (comes), saapuu (arrives)... Are there any close verbs in Hungarian? And how about your double conjugations which I've heard so much about. ;)
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In Finnish "(a/the) train departs" would be juna lähtee. But how about vonat? Palaa (returns), tulee (comes), saapuu (arrives)... Are there any close verbs in Hungarian? And how about your double conjugations which I've heard so much about. ;)
    None of the verbs you mentioned match any Hungarian word. :( And the vonat can't be because -t is the second person singular. So how about vonaa or vounaa or something like that. Double conjugation makes no difference here because it is an intransitive verb. :) But checking some infoes I have found these false friends now:

    tiedän (Finnish: I know) - tieden (Hungarian: on yours)
    tiedät (you know) - tiedet (a funny Hungarian swear word of sort)
    meri (sea) - meri (he/she dares)
    kuka (who) - kuka (funny word in Hungarian: dustbin or Hungarian name of Dopey, the dwarf)
    eräs (some) = eresz (eaves)
    apu (help) = apu (daddy)
    heti (right away) = heti (week as adjective)
    ken (who) = ken (he/she smears)
    marja (berry) = marja (he/she bites (like acid))
    hinta (price) = hinta (see-saw)
    rokka (pea soup) = rokka (nice word; spinning wheel)
    muki (cup) = muki (a bloke, very funny word)
    puna (blush, flush) = puna :warn:(vulgar and funny for female genitals)
    karja (cattle) = karja (his/her arm)
    kasa (pile) = kasza (scythe)
    kives (testicle) = kivesz (he takes out)
    alku (beginning) = alku (negotiation)
    apina (monkey) = a pina (the cunt:warn:)

    And what's more I think one could find more Finnish - Czech false friends, like:

    matka (Finnish: road) - matka (Czech: mother)
    kolo (hole) = kolo (bicycle)
     
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    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    None of the verbs you mentioned match any Hungarian word. :( And the vonat can't be because -t is the second person singular. So how about vonaa or vounaa or something like that. Double conjugation makes no difference here because it is an intransitive verb. :) But checking some infoes I have found these false friends now:

    tiedän (Finnish: I know) - tieden (Hungarian: on yours)
    tiedät (you know) - tiedet (a funny Hungarian swear word of sort)
    meri (sea) - meri (he/she dares)
    Vonaa... nope, unfortunately. But wasn't Hungarian v the Finnish p or something like that? Ponaa, pounaa, ponaa... Äsch, palaa is the closest one. I am starting to believe that there's no connection.

    Is tieden "on yours"? In Finnish teidän is the genitive of "yours". It would be nice to find other false friends. It's a pity that I don't own a F-H -dictionary...

    EDIT: It seems that you've added some more. :)
    EDIT2: Week as an adjective... Did you mean weak?
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Vonaa... nope, unfortunately. But wasn't Hungarian v the Finnish p or something like that? Ponaa, pounaa, ponaa... Äsch, palaa is the closest one. I am starting to believe that there's no connection.

    Is tieden "on yours"? In Finnish teidän is the genitive of "yours". It would be nice to find other false friends. It's a pity that I don't own a F-H -dictionary...

    EDIT: It seems that you've added some more. :)
    EDIT2: Week as an adjective... Did you mean weak?
    Yes, it seems they just wanted to find a connection. :(
    Yes, tied (informal) or tiéd means yours tied-en (on yours).
    I don't have any Hungarian-Finnish dictionary either, just a vocabulary at the end of my textbook, but I just need to open any text and would ran into a lot (funny) expressions. For Hungarians short words with a doubled consonant and ending especially in -i sound funny and pleasant (like: kukka, kuppa, tutti)
    heti is the adjective form hét (week; viikko?)
     
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    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Check your dictionary for paszkot, I can give you a clue: it's not a bird. ;) And persze isn't "of course"...
    I know the Finnish word paska :warn: and knew what it meant. :) It is a nice sounding word for me. The Hungarian pászka is a Jewish term.
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    I know the Finnish word paska :warn: and knew what it meant. :) It is a nice sounding word for me. The Hungarian pászka is a Jewish term.
    OK. Paskot :warn: is the 2nd person singular form of the corresponding verb.

    As for hét: I thought you had confused weak with week. But I think I now have an idea of the "adjective form" of viikko. :)

    Encolpius: There are also some "humorous" karaoke videos in Hungarian–Finnish on the most-popular-video-site-on-the-Internet-owned-by-the-most-popular-company-on-the-Internet (are we allowed to mention its name here?) I am not going to post any links or advertise them, but perhaps you find them funnier than I.
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    The adjective you are looking for is weekly (= heti). :)

    N° 34
    tiedet - its first meaning is simply yours (in Accusative) - like "I took yours" (e.g. your book).
    (I would not think many people would actually use it in the sense of something like :warn: Up yours! - the meaning mentioned first because we usually swear less often than not.:))

    N.B. Tiéd(et) and tied(et) are simple variants, there is practically no difference between them.

    kuka - originally means deaf and numb (= neutral description of a handicap) and I would warn anybody not to follow the old example when simple people found certain handicaps funny.
    Even if it was originally that attitude that gave birth to its other meaning: a person who (being a bit thick) doesn't know how to grab his chances (= mafla or mamlasz). Now that is slightly funny, especially if you try to visualise such a person.

    The expression seemed to go through the same evolution in English and the word dumb would be the translation for these 2 words above - even if in English I don't think it goes with such a funny image of such a person. (= A slightly useless, bit dim but totally harmless - personage, who is just "standing there" with a spider-biter look on his face.)

    So when Kuka is used as a dwarf's name in Snowwhite (or in other tales), this it is why it seems funny.

    N°28
    I read ages ago that in Finnish the ratio between vowels and consonants is the highest for vowels compared to all the other European languages meanwhile French and Hungarian followed closely with the same ratio. But I do not remember the source anymore. I wonder if these sort of measures are really scientific or what they indicate really...

    According to some of my foreign friends, Hungarian does sound monotonous.
    I find it a bit strange because if you make an effort to speak "nicely" (in Hungarian), the idea is exactly to care about intonation, among other things. (And certainly not to rise it towards the end of a sentence that is not a question - as was said before.)
    But maybe people in general don't do it so the general "buzz" is monotonous...
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech kuka means dust van/garbage truck (szemeteskocsi). It is an acronyme: Keller und Knappich Augsburg, a German company.

    I think it is also the origin of Hungarian kuka = szemétláda (dustbin).
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Yes, the half automatic rubbish collecting van as well as the dustbins that were introduced at the same time (I suppose) are both called kuka in Hungarian as well and we borrowed the word from the Czech.
    But I didn't know that the original was that acronyme, very interesting!
     
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    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Can we say that Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language at all? I am asking that because I ran into some statistics about the Hungarian language where I read that about 55% of all Hungarian words is of ancient, Finno-Ugric origin (5% onomatopoeic, 3% Slavic, etc.). Unfortunately I was not able to find any complete information about the Finnish vocabulary but read something that only about 300 words in Finnish are of Finno-Ugric origin. Has Finnish been influenced mostly by Nordic Languages? Thanks.
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    Can we say that Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language at all? I am asking that because I ran into some statistics about the Hungarian language where I read that about 55% of all Hungarian words is of ancient, Finno-Ugric origin (5% onomatopoeic, 3% Slavic, etc.). Unfortunately I was not able to find any complete information about the Finnish vocabulary but read something that only about 300 words in Finnish are of Finno-Ugric origin. Has Finnish been influenced mostly by Nordic Languages? Thanks.
    Well that is an interesting piece of information! Unfortunately I don't have any reference tables, but don't forget the Baltic influence to Finnish. We have many cognates to them, too. Russian and Swedish affected us later. Besides, you were the first to separate from the Finno—Ugric group. I can see the images from the past in my mind: The Ugrians left us, NOW we can make up a secret language! ;)

    But I'm not a linguistic. It would be interesting to hear more.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I find this link very interesting, after checking it my résumé is there are only two mutually intelligible words: kopp-kopp / kop-kop (I think they are no false cognates, because I doubt there were doors when we were together :)) and the second word is sarvi / szarv (horn).
     

    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    First, we have learned at school about Ugro-Finnic tribes and languages always, not Finno-Ugric. Isn't that relevant?

    Secondly, which and how philological position seats Estonian among Finnish and Hungarian?

    I ran into some statistics about the Hungarian language where I read that about 55% of all Hungarian words is of ancient, Finno-Ugric origin (5% onomatopoeic, 3% Slavic, etc.).
    Tertio, I ran into these statistics, check out the references.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I checked in Wikipedia and some languages (Slovak, Spanish, Italian..) seems to prefer the Ugro-Finnic compound, while other ones (Hungarian, English, German...) the Finno-Ugric variation. The Oxford Concise Dictionary shows only the word Finno-Ugric.

    I read the mutual intelligibility between Estonian and Finnish is like that between Spanish and Italian.
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    I read the mutual intelligibility between Estonian and Finnish is like that between Spanish and Italian.
    That's very true. There are closer languages to Finnish than Estonian.

    PS: I used to think that Finns are the only people in the world who say Finno-Ugric. All the others say Ugro-Finnic. ;) But the truth seems to be something else.
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    Can we say that Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language at all? I am asking that because I ran into some statistics about the Hungarian language where I read that about 55% of all Hungarian words is of ancient, Finno-Ugric origin (5% onomatopoeic, 3% Slavic, etc.). Unfortunately I was not able to find any complete information about the Finnish vocabulary but read something that only about 300 words in Finnish are of Finno-Ugric origin. Has Finnish been influenced mostly by Nordic Languages? Thanks.
    I love statistics, so I made a short survey (~ 70 words) around some nouns and verbs of J.L. Runeberg's Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat: Sven Dufva. :) (That's a great book! Try it, if it has been translated into your language)

    Results:
    43 % original (Uralic or Baltic-Finnic)
    19 % unknown
    18 % Germanic
    7 % onomatopoiec
    4 % Indo-European
    3 % Baltic
    3 % Swedish
    1 % Russian
    ------------
    98 % in total

    Naturally, Vänrikki Stool was written in 19th century (and originally in Swedish), so modern words aren't included. Besides, my methods aren't very scientific. ;) But I think we all can see where the Finnish words come from. In my opinion, the figures of Swedish, Russian, and Baltic should be higher.
     
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