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Hungary provides for a simplified naturalization procedure for spouses of Hungarian citizens. With this procedure, there is no requirement that the applicant be or have been resident in Hungary; it is necessary only that the applicant have been married to a Hungarian citizen for the last ten years (or for the last five years, if the applicant and their spouse are raising a child with Hungarian citizenship) and that the applicant can demonstrate knowledge of the Hungarian language.

Does Hungarian citizenship law, or any published government directive arising therefrom, give any further details on the language level required? I am hoping specifically for something that corresponds more or less to a standardized language assessment level such as those of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Some websites of Hungarian consulates abroad do discuss the matter of language proficiency, albeit too vaguely for my purposes. For example, the consulate in Vienna states,

Antragsteller über 14 Jahren müssen über ungarische Sprachkenntnisse verfügen, die bei der Einreichung des Antrags in einem Gespräch mit dem Konsularbeamten nachgewiesen werden müssen.

This translates as follows:

Applicants over 14 years of age must have command of the Hungarian language, to be demonstrated on submission of the application [for naturalization] in an interview with the consular officials.

And the Washington, DC consulate writes,

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that when applying for Hungarian citizenship in the simplified naturalization procedure, one of the basic legal requirements is to understand and communicate in Hungarian language on a sufficient level, to be able to present the application for naturalization independently, without external assistance, and to answer the questions asked by the officer independently, in short sentences.

Still, without knowing exactly what sort of questions the officer may ask in the interview, it's hard to pin down what language level on the CEFR scale is expected. From what little information is available, I am guessing that proficiency in the CEFR B1 range would be acceptable, though it would be nice if this could be confirmed with an official or at least a more authoritative source.

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I've found a source from the Budapest Government Office in Hungarian.

A nyelvtudást nem kell nyelvvizsgával igazolni, a magyar nyelven történő kommunikáció az elvárás; a kommunikációnak kétoldalúnak kell lennie, azaz mind a megértésnek, mind a kifejezőképességnek középszinten kell állnia. A magyar nyelvtudás vizsgálatánál nem probléma a nem magyar irodalmi nyelven, tájszólásban, esetleg törve történő kommunikáció.

Which roughly translates to:

The language proficiency must not be proved with a language certificate, the requirement is communication in Hungarian; the communication must be two sided, so both understanding and expressiveness must be on an intermediate level. In the evaluation of language proficiency, not using the literary language, speaking with dialect, or broken speak isn't a problem.

Emphasis mine.

Another source states that the proficiency evaluation can be done by filling the application form in Hungarian and by speaking or answering questions about a hand-written CV. I'd agree on your guess of level B1, maybe in the upper part of the range.

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  • Based on the apparent discretionary determination, I would recommend that one get a B2 (CEFR) language certificate for the case an immigration officer tries to decline the application. That will challenge any false, fraudulent or malicious determination. They can be more than hostile with someone having difficulties speaking Hungarian.
    – kisspuska
    Jun 26, 2021 at 0:52

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