Finno-Ugric Languages

Spectrum Translation has worked with all of the main Finno-Ugric languages:  Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian.  Please contact us to learn more about the services we offer for these languages.

The Finno-Ugric languages represent the largest non-Indo-European language family in present-day Europe.  The student of Indo-European languages – often mutually intelligible in their written forms – will be hard pressed to make out a text in Estonian, Finnish or Hungarian.

Originating in the area of the Ural Mountains in Siberia, their closest living relatives are Siberian languages of a few thousand speakers spoken in small towns and villages, most of which are endangered by the expansion of Russian.

The westward migration and establishment of three of these languages as national languages in Central Europe and the Baltic region represent a true success story – Finnish, for example, has survived centuries of language shift and encroachment by Swedish, and the Estonian language has regained its official status in Estonia following decades of Russian immigration during the Soviet period.

Our company has worked with texts in these languages since 2005 and will be glad to handle your projects from Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian to English and vice versa.

Some Language Notes

Among linguists, the Finno-Ugric category is a contested one:  by some estimations the Finnic branch (Estonian and Finnish) is as different to the Ugric branch (Hungarian) as all of these languages are from their Indo-European neighbours. 

Nevertheless the three languages have at least 200 basic words in common, all to do with fundamental daily activities – present from the languages’ earliest origins – such as fishing, farming and hunting.  It is partly on this basis that the three languages are grouped into a single family.

The three languages’ link to surviving languages in the region of the Ural Mountains has been attested in various ways through some common vocabulary and other building blocks of language such as numbers and syntax.

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* The lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is the national flower of Finland.