Lehrstuhl für Finnougristik




About us


1930s – Our first Finnish and Hungarian language and literature classes were conducted
1943 – In addition to an existing Hungarian lectorate, Finnish and Estonian lectorates were established
1946-1965 – Our first classes in Finno-Ugric linguistics were taught by Professors Julius von Farkas, Wolfgang Schlachter and Hans Fromm.
1965 – The Finno-Ugric seminar was established at the initiative of Professor Hans Fromm
1987 – Professor Hans Fromm was succeeded by Professor Gerhard Ganschow
1990 – Professor Ingrid Schellbach-Kopra was appointed as professor
2001 – Professor Elena Skribnik was appointed to succeed Professor Schellbach-Kopra, when she retired
2010 – The institute became an official partner of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest for internships in the field of Hungarian as a foreign language
2015 – The 3rd International Winter School of Finno-Ugric Studies was hosted in Munich


The Finno-Ugric programme of study is concerned with the languages and cultures of the groups of people in the Finno-Ugric (Uralic) language family. This includes the Finns, the Estonians, the Sami, the Hungarians, and other groups of people who live in the Russian Federation. Some of the latter have their own autonomous republics (the Karelians, the Komi, the Udmurts, the Mordvins, and the Mari) or autonomous okrugs (the Khantys and the Mansi, the Nenets). Other languages have very few native speakers and are highly endangered (Livonian, Votic, Enets, Nganasan, Selkup).

Instruction in Finnish and Hungarian as a foreign language is the responsibility of a Finnish or Hungarian lector respectively. For Estonian, there is an instructor who is a native speaker. The courses offered include practically oriented exercises such as translations from a Finno-Ugric language into German. The lectors also teach courses on the cultural and social backgrounds of their countries.

A list of courses and lectures can be found in the commented curriculum ("Kommentiertes  Vorlesungsverzeichnis").


Since its establishment, the institute’s research focus has laid on the Ob-Ugric languages of Siberia, Khanty and Mansi, spoken on the far side of the Ural Mountains around the river Ob. Together with Hungarian, they form the Ugric branch of the Uralic language family. Focal points of research have included grammatical categories such as possessive suffixes, genus verbi, and objective conjugation (object congruence), their role in the structuring of sentences and texts and information structure, evidentiality and mirativity in Ob-Ugric languages, and the formation of complex clauses (clause combining).

In the context of two international projects (see babel.gwi.uni-muenchen.de) that were initiated at and coordinated by our institute, the following resources were created for Ob-Ugric languages:

  • Annotated text corpora of both languages covering a wide dialectal spectrum.
  • Dictionaries and information on concordance.
  • An electronic library of scientific publications and teaching materials in PDF format.
  • Encyclopaedic data and links to online resources on Ob-Ugric languages and cultures.

Further research areas at our institute are the Samoyedic languages Selkup and Kamas, information structure in Permic languages (Komi and its dialects), Mari corpus linguistics (see corpus.mari-language.com), the creation of teaching and reference materials for Mari (see www.mari-language.com), the history of smaller Finnic languages, Finnish lexicography and phraseology, as well as Hungarian and Finnish literature.

International relations

Outgoing student exchange

Students at our institute have the opportunity to spend up to two semesters at one of our international partner institutes. These include: ELTE Budapest, PPKE Piliscsaba, SZTE Szeged (Hungary), the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku (Finland), the University of Tartu (Estonia), Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), and the University of Vienna (Austria) within the framework of the ERASMUS+ programme; and Novosibirsk State University (Russian Federation) as part of the LMU exchange programme.

Winter Schools

Along with our international partners, our institute takes part in the organization of the International Winter School of Finno-Ugric Studies, which brings together students and teachers from Vienna, Hamburg, Helsinki, Szeged, Tartu, Turku, and Uppsala. The first Winter School, 2013, in Vienna and the second Winter School, 2014, in Szeged were supported by ERASMUS. The third Winter School, 2015, was hosted by our institute in Munich. The fourth through sixth Winter School, funded by the Erasmus+ strategic partnership INFUSE, took place in Tartu in 2016, in Turku in 2017, and in Vienna in 2018.

Prospective students

Full-time students

All teaching is conducted in German, except for some courses which may be held in English at demand.

In lectures and seminars methods, results, and problems in the following areas are covered:

  • Synchronic grammar and typology of individual Finno-Ugric languages
  • Comparative, historical Finno-Ugric linguistics
  • The history of Finno-Ugric languages
  • The literature, folklore, ethnology and history of Finno-Ugric peoples

In addition to training in basic linguistic, active knowledge of Finnish and Hungarian is acquired. Optionally, language classes in Estonian as well as structural courses in smaller Finno-Ugric languages are offered for advanced students.

Click here for further information regarding examination regulations (German) and courses included in the curriculum.

Exchange possibilities (incoming)

Our institute has long-standing partnerships with the following:

  • University of Vienna (Austria)
  • University of Szeged (Hungary)
  • ELTE Budapest (Hungary)
  • PPKE Piliscsaba (Hungary)
  • University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • University of Turku (Finland)
  • University of Tartu (Estonia)
  • Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
  • Novosibirsk State University (Russian Federation)

Please follow the instructions and deadlines of our university, as well as your home university's guidelines.

Further information can be found on the university's main website. For special requests contact Gwen Janda.


Mailing address

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Institut für Finnougristik / Uralistik
Ludwigstr. 31 / III
80539 München

Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 3430
Fax.: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 3005
Our Facebook page

Student guidance

Contact person: Gwen Janda
Secretary’s office (Mon-Fri, 9-13)
Student representatives / Students' union: Tobias Weber