Hungarian is a member of the Uralic family of languages. It is an Ugric language which is closely related to the Siberian languages of Khanty and Mansi. These similarities and those of other languages in the area were noted in the 1670’s and led to the formation of the Uralic language family, which was established in 1717. However the classification of the Hungarian language became an aspect of political controversy until well into the nineteenth century.
The first written documentation of Hungarian, which was mostly names of places, has been dated to the tenth century. The Hungarian people also had the Old Hungarian scripting but no significant examples remain from that period.
When Hungary was founded in 1000AD, it was a Roman Catholic state and so Latin was prominent. This script was modified to write the language of Hungarian and the Latin influences can still be seen today. Although the language has changed and developed since then, many Hungarians can still understand examples of early writings such as a Funeral Sermon written in 1190AD.
The language has developed since that time, with the original six tenses of verbs being reduced down to two. During the eighteenth century, the language was renewed with the shortening of some words, reintroduction of some extinct words and the spreading nationally of some dialectal words. The language was further standardized throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with the lessening of dialectal differences.