The present study describes the process of adapting the Norwegian “Ringerike Materialet” Language Awareness Screening Tool (Lyster and Tingleff, 1992) to Hungarian. Forty-two kindergarten children were tested with the material, which in addition to language awareness abilities had measures of verbal short term memory, listening comprehension, and letter knowledge as extra tasks. Fifty-eight first graders were tested with the tasks, plus nonverbal IQ, rapid naming and reading after tree months of reading instruction. A cross- sectional comparative and correlational- predictive part were conceptualized in the process of mapping Hungarian children’s metalinguistic abilities by this battery and to examine factors accounting for early reading performances in Hungarian, a transparent orthography with a clear grapheme- phoneme correspondence. The comparative part proved a clear developmental progress in children’s linguistic abilities. The correlational part gave evidence about inter- correlations between the cognitive and linguistic variables measuring the underlying construct of language awareness as a preliminary demonstration that the awareness of large units of the language may bear a close relationship to reading development in this transparent language. The predictive part of the present study additionally gave more specific information about which cognitive- linguistic factors predicted the growth in reading. The findings supported the relevancy of language awareness theory in the process of learning to read. Phonological, morphological, grammatical awareness as well as broad linguistic skills presented a large contribution to reading after controlling for the effect of intelligence and letter knowledge. An interesting finding was the sensibility of rhyme awareness in predicting reading development in Hungarian. Short term memory and rapid naming did not uniquely predict reading if IQ and letter knowledge were controlled, but were related to reading performances. The contribution of morphological and grammatical awareness was explained by the complexity of the language. Additionally this work describes the method of teaching reading and the effect of home environment on Hungarian children’s literacy development in Transylvania.