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They (and presumably also the Finns) are the descendants of probably the last wave of foreign invaders from the East, of whom the Huns and the Avars are perhaps the best known. As to the question "Where do the Hungarians and the Finns come from? It's just that their languages stick out like erratic blocks in an otherwise homogeneous Indo-European landscape that makes us wonder about their origins. FINNISH and Hungarian are members of the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic languages, some dozen or so that are still spoken in some countries bordering the Urals. Scholars disagree on dates, but over 4,000 years BC a group of hunters from the Siberian lands beyond the Urals split, with the Finno group going towards the Baltic and the Ugric group moving southwards towards present-day Hungary, becoming nomadic herdsmen through contact with Turkic peoples.

The presence of words of Turkish origin in today's Hungarian may presume that Finno-Ugric can be linked with other languages of central Asia.

The Uralic view is presented in all the books, and taught in all the universities, simply because it is true.

The common ancestor of these languages has been reconstructed in considerable detail, and the pre-histories of both Hungarian and Finnish are reasonably well understood.

If we did, we might conclude rapidly, and wrongly, that English is most closely related to French, that Basque is most closely related to Spanish, or that Japanese is most closely related to Chinese. I HALASZ demonstrates a lack of understanding about taxonomic linguistics.

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The words shared with Turkish are cultural items, which are most subject to borrowing.The words that Hungarian shares with Finnish, however, belong to the stable core of the language, such as personal pronouns, basic natural phenomena, body parts, etc.The Finno-Ugric hypothesis was denied by Hungarians throughout the last century - in the face of over-whelming evidence - on the irrelevant grounds that the Hungarians were conquerors on horseback whereas the Saami and the Udmurts, etc, were hunter-gatherers who had never conquered anyone. First, the question is where the languages come from, not whether they are related.About as similar as French and Russian." I don't think he was being facetious: French and Russian (or for that matter English and Albanian) are similar, since they are related Indo-European languages.But the Romanian's answer is a salutary warning against over-emphasising the similarities.I ONCE attended a lecture, delivered in German by a Romanian whose native language was Hungarian, and who also spoke Finnish.When the inevitable question as to the similarity of the two languages arose, he answered "Yes, they are quite similar.Not all the so called Turkish "loan words" can be considered borrowed.Some fundamentals are never borrowed and point to a common, cognate linguistic connection .Second, languages are not categorised solely by shared words.Finnish has more words derived from Swedish than the 600 common words with Hungarian, but nobody is claiming that Finnish has suddenly become an Indo-European language.


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