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Ugric languages: Khanty and Mansi!

In the past time, I looked after, what languages are do related with Hungarian, and I wanted to know:

Is there ANY language what I can understand without learning "too much"? (If I'm a Hungarian speaker)

The answer: YESSSS (there are actually two of them):

KHANTY: • In Khanyt: ханты ясаң (hantĩ jasaň) • Also known as in Hungarian: "Hanti" or "Osztják" (the second one come from Russian) • Number of speakers: 9,600 (from 30,900 Khanty peoples --- 2010) • Dialects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khanty_language#Varieties • Alphabet usage: Mainly modified Cyrillic, formerly modified Latin • Spoken in the Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug

MANSI: • In Mansi: Мāньси лāтыӈ • In Hungarian: "Manysi" or "Vogul" • Number of speakers: 940 (from 12,300 Mansi people --- 2010) • Dialects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansi_language#Varieties • Alphabet usage: Mainly modified Cyrillic, formerly modified Latin • Spoken in the Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug


  1. Khanty vs Hungarian: https://dailymagyar.wordpress.com/category/hungarian-words-all-posts/hungarian-vs-khanty/

  2. Mansi vs Hungarian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansi_language#Comparison_with_Hungarian

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug:

Flag: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Flag_of_Yugra.svg/2000px-Flag_of_Yugra.svg.png

Position in Russia: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/Khanty-Mansi_in_Russia.svg/1200px-Khanty-Mansi_in_Russia.svg.png

Hopefully Duo will add just one of them, because – I guess you’ve figured it out - they’re almost extinct… So, we can say they’re endangered.

What do you think? Would you like to see one of those in Duo? Which one?



P.S.: If sb has some time, would he/she make a golden owl from the Region's flag, 'couse I think it's pretty awsome ;)

September 13, 2017



Shame those languages are almost extinct.


Khanty has 10,000 speakers and Mansi 900. Not many people speaking those languages indeed.


The major languages related to Hungarian are Finnish, Karelian, and Estonian, though they're about as close to Hungarian as Icelandic is to Hindi.


That's not true at all. There are tons of similarities between Hungarian and the finno-uralic languages. They're are agglutinative, they have certain grammatical features in common(like lack of almost all prepositions which is compensated for by numerous grammatical cases and a similar way of "word building" etc. & also by the vowel harmony.). In fact some of the most basic words in the languages are extremely similar. For example the numbers 1,2,3,4,5: Finnish: yksi kaksi kolme neljä viisi kuusi. Hungarian: egy kettö három négy öt hat. The thing that makes them seem so different is that hungarian was strongly influenced by turkish and also lightly by russian/polish. But the similarities are certainly there.


Very interesting, thanks! Unfortunately most of the Finno-Ugric (Also Uralic in a wider sense) languages are endangered. Only the two major languages are strong. I've been reading and thinking about how to save languages since a while.

There are some projects where you can adopt words but for many I doubt they are any help.


I think it helps a lot if there are for example Android and iOS keyboards and apps to save languages. If let's say the script can't even be typed on phone or computer, people won't use it much anymore. Also voice recognition software is growing in many languages but speakers of smaller languages will have to rely e.g. on English or, in this case, Hungarian or Russian if they are spoken on Russian territory.

Any of these two languages would be a great addition to Duolingo. But since we have to choose there are several points to take into account. We should discuss and collect them.

I'm not sure if we should just pick the larger and more vivid language because the chances to save it are higher. What is your opinion?


And for foreign language learners it is important to bring them together with native speakers. They should build their friendship in the language they want to save.

We could ask for example HelloTalk for adding any of these languages.

If native speakers are not interested in saving it we must analyse why. For example if there are no technological possibilities or no media in these languages we must start there instead of telling them to go on using it. That would also attract more learners.

I suppose they already have a strong national identity.


H-Ural - The Crow Song (Khanty) This rock group performs in Khanty and Mansi.


Which one? Both. They're both endangered, so putting them on a well-known language-learning app/site like Duolingo could benefit them greatly. However, arguments that could be made for Khanty only may be that there's probably more data on it due to its larger number of speakers and that saving it might be more realistic than saving Mansi; arguments for Mansi only could be that it has fewer speakers than Khanty and would need revival even more desperately, as well as the fact that it's the closest relative of Hungarian and might be a tad easier to learn (for Hungarian-speakers*, obviously) than Khanty.

*as much as I personally dislike English becoming the global lingua franca, if either of these languages was to be put on Duolingo, having them for English speakers first would probably be the best choice for exposure purposes. Hungarian Duolingo is pretty bleak at the moment, having only English as an offered course, and on a global scale, English speakers far outnumber Hungarian speakers. Besides, a) learning English as a second language in Hungary has taken off, so there'd probably be plenty of Magyar Duolingo learners who could easily navigate the English Khanty or Mansi course, and b) there would without a doubt be English-speaking people outside of Hungary who would want to learn Khanty or Mansi for the novelty.

The biggest issue, which will probably result in these courses never being made, would be finding fluent speakers of both English (or Hungarian) and Khanty or Mansi. There's few speakers of these Ugric languages to begin with, and most are bilingual with Russian rather than any other language.

Final note: Khanty and Mansi don't seem to be on the guide for suggested languages. cc: Lrtward

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