Hungarian word stems make up the core vocabulary and are used in a complex system to form word trees. While this phenomenon is present in other languages, it is a major characteristic of Hungarian and a possible proof of its ancient origins.
The Hungarian language is agglutinative. This means that, contrary to most other languages, words are made up of smaller building blocks of other words or syllable-like structures. Thus, they receive their meaning by combining these blocks in a way that the new word will have its separate meaning that is at the same time related to the stems, and is frequently a “philosophical” combination of them.
Word trees are families of words that share the same stem. To give you an example, the root “kör,” means circle, which combined with the stem “oszt,” or to divide, will result in “kereszt,” or cross. Thus, Hungarian forms the word cross in a very philosophical manner by its reference to “that which divides a circle.” Furthermore, the root “kör,” is able to form countless other words, which will then make up a word tree, and it is exactly these word trees which make up the majority of Hungarian words.
Csaba Varga is the main modern proponent of the stem theory, while also claiming that such a system is proof of the unchanging and ancient nature of a language. He bases this supposition on the idea that if a language’s core vocabulary is made up of its own stems, then borrowing makes for a very small part of its formation, thus making it a language that has either been spoken from very early on in the history of man, or an artificial language. Both claims have been exaggerated by some over-enthusiastic scholars, into a description of Hungarian as the language of Babel or a gift from extra-terrestrials.