This paper presents a test that examined the linguistic capabilities of English and Hungarian search engines. Three English-language search engines were tested: Google, AltaVista and AlltheWeb. For comparison, five significant Hungarian search engines were considered: Heuréka, Origo-Vizsla, Kurzor, Góliát and Altavizsla. The analysis was based on the following aspects: stemming, handling of stopwords and diacritics, truncation and searching for synonyms. The results indicate that while the Hungarian search engines are motivated to take into consideration the specific characteristics of the Hungarian language, on the whole the English-language search engines ignore the special characteristics of the Hungarian language. In the cases examined none of the general search engines handled diacritics well; that caused their resulting weaknesses in finding information relevant for Hungarian users.