learning hungarian

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Dragonstein
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learning hungarian

Postby Dragonstein » 2008-05-28, 20:03

Hello all,

Ever since i've spent a few weeks in Hungary i've been interested in the language. (hah, i bought a grammar book while i was there :roll: ).
After months of neglecting the idea of learning the language, i decided to open the book and start reading.
Because i have to learn several languages atm for my study, i can't find the time to focus on learning word lists. So i've read through the grammar book and started to translate a novel. That is, the 2nd book of Harry Potter (thought it was handy to start with a book i also have in a language i do understand). I've translated my first few lines (started in the middle of the book) and don't happen to have the other book with me. And even then, it would be rather hard to correct from a free translation.

I came across some verbal forms i couldn't analyse/translate. I also had some trouble translating the sentences. I'll post what i have below. I hope someone is willing to take a look at them and tell me where i went wrong.

Meanwhile, i'll continue studying and maybe actually post some things in hungarian later on.


So far i have one specific question:
After numerals, like one, two three, do you get the singular form of the noun? I came across két fiút...

===============================================

Másnap harrynek annál kevesebb kedve volt vigyorogni.
Másnap = ‘next day’
harrynek = ‘Harry’ + Dative suffix
annál = ‘at that’, but ‘the’ with comparative
kevesebb = ‘less, fewer’, comparative of kevés = little, few.
kedve = ‘mood’ + 3sg possessive from kedv
volt = 3sg past indefinite from van = ‘to be, have’
vigyorogni = infinitive of vigyorog = ‘to grin’

‘Next day Harry’s mood was too bad to grin. Next day Harry’s mood was the worse ... (where do i put ‘grin’)?’

A szerencsétlen események sora már a regelinél elkezdö:dött.
A = ‘the’
szerencsétlen = ‘unlucky’
események sora = ‘series of events’
már = ‘already, before, ever yet’
regelinél = reggel ‘breakfast, morning’ + adessive suffix ‘at’
elkezdö:dött = 3sg past indefinite of elkésik ‘to be late’

‘(Because of) the unlucky series of events he was already late at breakfast.’

Az elvarázsolt (ma felhö:s és szürke) mennyezet alatt elnyúló négy hosszú asztalon hegyekben állt a zabkása, halmokban hevert a pirítós, de volt ott sózott hering, rántotta, tükörtojás és sült császárhús is.
Az =
elvarázsolt = 3sg past indefinite of elvarázsol = charm, enchant
(ma felhö:s és szürke) = today was cloudy and gray
mennyezet = canopy
alatt = below, under, underneath
elnyúló = present participle of elnyúlik = ‘stretch oneself out’
négy = four
hosszú = long, lank, lenghty
asztalon = asztal ‘table’ + superessive suffix ‘on’
hegyekben = hegy ‘mountain, hill, tip’ + plural suffix (ek) + inessive suffix ‘in’
állt = 3sg past indefinite of áll = stand
a zabkása = the porridge
halmokban = halom ‘bank, pile, heap, mass’ + plural suffix (ok) + inessive suffix ‘in’
hevert = 3sg past indefinite of hever ‘lie, knock about’
a pirítós = the toast
de = but
volt = 3sg past of van ‘to be’
ott = there, over there
sózott = sóz ‘salt’ + passive past participle suffix ‘salted’
hering = herring
rántotta = scrambled eggs
tükörtojás = ?
és = and
sült = baked, roast, fried
császárhús = ?
is = also

I lack a few words:
‘He stretched himself out below the enchanted ceiling (today was cloudy and gray), on four long tables in piles stood the porridge, in masses lay the toast, but over there was salted herring, scrambled eggs, ... and baked/fried/roast ... also.’

Harry és Ron természetesen a Griffendél asztalához mentek.
természetesen = certainly, naturally, of course
asztalához = asztal ‘table’ + allative suffix ‘to’
mentek = 3pl past indefinite of megy ‘go’

‘Harry and Ron naturally went to the Griffyndor table.’

Leültek Hermione mellé, aki evés közben is a Véres napok Vámpírföldönt bújta, a nyitott könyvet a tejeskancsónak támasztva.
Leültek = 3pl past indefinite of leül = sit down
mellé = beside
aki = that, who,
evés = gerund (because of the suffix ‘és’, denoting action) of eszik ‘eat’
közben = köz ‘break, pause, public, passage’ + inessive suffix
Véres = bloody
napok = plural of nap ‘day’ > days
Vámpírföldönt = Vámpír ‘vampire’ + föld ‘earth, of earth’ + ön ‘on’ + t ‘accusative’.
bújta = 3sg past definite of bújik ‘hide’
nyitott = open
könyvet = könyv ‘book’ + Accusative
tejeskancsónak = tejes ‘milky, dairy’ + kancsó ‘jug’ + nak ‘Dative suffix’
támasztva = adverbial participle because of ‘va’ of támaszt ‘support, lean’

‘They sat down beside Hermione, who was eating in public (in a public place) and hid /Bloody days in Vampireland/, the open book leaning against a jug of milk.’

Minden lelkesedés nélkül köszöntötte a két fiút, amibö:l Harry rájött, hogy még mindig neheztel rájuk az autós kaland miatt.
Minden = any
lelkesedés = enthusiasm
nélkül = without
köszöntötte = 3sg past of köszönt ‘greet, welcome’
a két fiút = the two boys (accusative)
amibö:l = ami ‘that, this, which, what’ + elative suffix ‘out of’
rájött = 3sg past of rájön ‘find out’
hogy = how, that
még = ‘even, yet’
mindig = always, ever, every time
neheztel = resent, being a huff (which form?>)
rájuk = ráj + 3pl possessive
az autós = autó ‘car’ + ‘s’ suffix, denoting occupation or collective (so, cardriving?)
kaland = adventure
miatt = because of

‘She greeted the two boys without any enthusiasm, out of which he found out that she was still resenting because of their idea of the cardriving adventure.’

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Re: learning hungarian

Postby Aleco » 2008-05-28, 20:27

Dragonstein wrote:So far i have one specific question:
After numerals, like one, two three, do you get the singular form of the noun? I came across két fiút...

This is the only thing I am capable of answering:
after numbers, Hungarian nouns do not stand in plural ;)
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Postby CoBB » 2008-05-28, 21:15

Dragonstein wrote:After numerals, like one, two three, do you get the singular form of the noun? I came across két fiút...

Not just numerals but any word that makes it clear that you are talking about more things: egy ember, két ember, három ember, néhány ember, sok ember... The plural is reserved for cases where there’s no other indication of quantity.

Dragonstein wrote:annál = ‘at that’, but ‘the’ with comparative

It’s ‘than that’; both ‘than’ and ‘at’ are typically expressed with -nál/-nél; it’s clear from the presence of the comparative that you have the former here. And the articles cannot be conjugated, so it can only be a demonstrative (which doesn’t point at anything particular in this case).

Dragonstein wrote:volt = 3sg past indefinite from van = ‘to be, have’

One little note: lenni has no definite forms at all, not even its prefixed versions.

And you shouldn’t associate it with the verb ‘to have’ either, since it’s only part of the possessive construct with the same meaning.

Dragonstein wrote:‘Next day Harry’s mood was too bad to grin. Next day Harry’s mood was the worse ... (where do i put ‘grin’)?’

I’m not sure how to express it in English, but the essence of the sentence is to contrast Harry’s bad mood with his good mood on the preceding day:

[As much as he was enjoying himself previously], Harry was much less in the mood to grin on the next day.

This is all hidden in the innocent-looking annál, which can express such a contrast without the need to explicitly mention what this contrast is measured against.

Anyway, your first translation is not bad at all, it just misses this aspect of the meaning.

Dragonstein wrote:reggelinél = reggel ‘breakfast, morning’ + adessive suffix ‘at’

Just the spelling. ;)

Dragonstein wrote:elkezdődött = 3sg past indefinite of elkésik ‘to be late’

I’m not sure how you got that. Stems don’t change so wildly in Hungarian. The verb is elkezdődik, ‘to start’.

Dragonstein wrote:‘(Because of) the unlucky series of events he was already late at breakfast.’

Okay, you also added a nonexistent subject (‘he’) because of the above mentioned misunderstanding, so the sentence got completely broken. This should be it:

‘The unlucky series of events has already started at breakfast.’

Dragonstein wrote:elvarázsolt = 3sg past indefinite of elvarázsol = charm, enchant

That’s true, but not here. This is a participle-like part of speech called melléknévi igenév in Hungarian, i.e. ‘adjectival verb’. It can be characterised by the time (past, present or future), and this one is of course the past tense. Its form often coincides with the past tense of the corresponding verb, but not always (e.g. in the case of ír there is a difference: írt vs. írott).

In this sentence it is an adjective that means ‘under spell’ (I can’t think of a good word to reflect that meaning).

Dragonstein wrote:(ma felhős és szürke) = today was cloudy and gray

No ‘was’, this is not a sentence.

Dragonstein wrote:mennyezet = canopy

No, it means ‘ceiling’.

Dragonstein wrote:elnyúló = present participle of elnyúlik = ‘stretch oneself out’

That’s a possible meaning, but not the most typical one. It is more often used as ‘occupy some space’, ‘be situated at’, and that applies to this sentence too. I’d simply leave it out from the English translation.

Dragonstein wrote:sózott = sóz ‘salt’ + passive past participle suffix ‘salted’

A little note: there’s no such thing as ‘active’ past participle anyway.

Dragonstein wrote:tükörtojás = ?

Fried egg, like this.

Dragonstein wrote:császárhús = ?

I guess we can simply translate it as bacon.

Dragonstein wrote:‘He stretched himself out below the enchanted ceiling (today was cloudy and gray), on four long tables in piles stood the porridge, in masses lay the toast, but over there was salted herring, scrambled eggs, ... and baked/fried/roast ... also.’

You added the extra subject again, and took an adjective as the predicate, so it’s completely wrong. One possible translation could be the following:

On the four long tables under the spellbound (?) ceiling (today: cloudy and grey) in piles stood the porridge, in masses lay the toast, but there was salted herring, scrambled eggs, fried eggs and fried bacon as well.

Note that elnyúló didn’t even make it in the English sentence, because it’s sort of a filler word that’s only needed to be able to move the phrase ‘under the ceiling’ into adjective position.

Dragonstein wrote:asztalához = asztal ‘table’ + allative suffix ‘to’

You overlooked the 3sg possessive suffix -á-. So it’s ‘to his table’.

Dragonstein wrote:mentek = 3pl past indefinite of megy ‘go’

This is also a verb without definite forms, just for the record.

Dragonstein wrote:‘Harry and Ron naturally went to the Griffyndor table.’

Only the possessive is missing: ‘the table of Griffyndor’.

Dragonstein wrote:evés = gerund (because of the suffix ‘és’, denoting action) of eszik ‘eat’

No, it’s a noun. ‘The act of eating’, to be precise.

Dragonstein wrote:közben = köz ‘break, pause, public, passage’ + inessive suffix

That’s a possibility too, but not here. This word primarily means ‘meanwhile’, and cannot be taken apart.

Dragonstein wrote:bújta = 3sg past definite of bújik ‘hide’

Correct, but in this particular case you are dealing with the expression könyvet bújni, which means ‘to be immersed in a book’. This is the only expression where bújik can be used in definite.

Dragonstein wrote:‘They sat down beside Hermione, who was eating in public (in a public place) and hid /Bloody days in Vampireland/, the open book leaning against a jug of milk.’

Apart from the little misunderstandings the big mistake is taking ‘evés’ to be a verb and using it as the predicate. My translation looks like this:

‘They sat down beside Hermione, who was immersed in Bloody Days in Vampireland even while eating, leaning the open book against a milk jug.’

It’s not a jug of milk. It’s a jug used to keep milk in, but it can be empty too. As for közben, it can never mean ‘in public’ (that would be nyilvánosan).

Dragonstein wrote:Minden = any

Without any context it means ‘all’, ‘every’.

Dragonstein wrote:neheztel = resent, being a huff (which form?>)

This is just the basic dictionary form, i.e. 3sg indefinite present.

Dragonstein wrote:rájuk = ráj + 3pl possessive

The j belongs to the ending too, so the stem is .

Dragonstein wrote:az autós = autó ‘car’ + ‘s’ suffix, denoting occupation or collective (so, cardriving?)

No, -s is a general adjective forming suffix. Something autós can be anything car related. You can simply translate it as ‘car’.

Dragonstein wrote:‘She greeted the two boys without any enthusiasm, out of which he found out that she was still resenting because of their idea of the cardriving adventure.’

This is almost perfect. :waytogo: I don’t see where that ‘idea’ comes from though, it’s simply ‘because of the car adventure’.

Bottom line: you can parse individual words very well, but you need to study sentence structures more in order to be able to tell what the predicate and the subject are (the rest usually follow from that).
Tanulni, tanulni, tanulni!

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Postby Levo » 2008-05-29, 14:46

I respect those people so much who start to study Hungarian seriously.

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Postby Dragonstein » 2008-05-30, 8:11

Thanks!

Levo, in a way hungarian is so much different from other languages i've seen. It did surprise me, but i like it.

Wow, CoBB, what a post. Thank you for your explanations; i understand things much better now.

I do have some questions.

About lenni ‘to be’, i’ve only found it as ‘van’. Is ‘van’ the 3rd singular form?

Does the suffix ‘és’ transform verbs in verbal nouns? Or is evés a specific form, with a different origin?

What would tejeskancsó look like if it would mean jug of milk? Two separate words?

Ah i understand rájuk now, i couldn’t figure out the stem, so i cut off ‘uk’. Then, since ráj is in the word ‘to find out’, i came up with finding > idea.

I do know now that my dictionaries (one offline, one online) are a bit limited. Can’t find all words.

Anyway, i'm gonna reread some chapters of the grammar book and then try to translate some more.

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Postby CoBB » 2008-05-30, 9:52

Dragonstein wrote:Wow, CoBB, what a post. Thank you for your explanations; i understand things much better now.

I’m always glad to see new students. Hope you’ll stay longer than most. ;)

Dragonstein wrote:About lenni ‘to be’, i’ve only found it as ‘van’. Is ‘van’ the 3rd singular form?

Yes. The six present forms are: vagyok, vagy, van, vagyunk, vagytok, vannak.

Dragonstein wrote:Does the suffix ‘és’ transform verbs in verbal nouns?

To be precise, it’s a derivational suffix that transforms verbs into nouns that typically name the corresponding process (enni → evés is an example) or its result (e.g. kér → kérés, which can mean both the act of requesting and the request itself). The suffix is -ás/-és depending on vowel harmony.

But it’s not so simple or regular in general, since it is also possible that a word gets a richer meaning when this suffix is added (the same can be said about all the derivational suffixes). For instance, if you use it on the factitive form of ás (to dig), i.e. ásat (to make someone dig), you’ll get ásatás, which can only mean ‘archaeological excavation’.

Dragonstein wrote:What would tejeskancsó look like if it would mean jug of milk? Two separate words?

Precisely. Quantities are usually expressed by saying the quantity followed by the material: egy kancsó tej, egy kiló kenyér, három méter szövet etc.

Dragonstein wrote:Ah i understand rájuk now, i couldn’t figure out the stem, so i cut off ‘uk’. Then, since ráj is in the word ‘to find out’, i came up with finding > idea.

There’s no such word as ráj. :nope: Rájön is the prefix rá- combined with the verb jön.

Actually, I wasn’t entirely correct about rájuk. You have to be aware that the conjugation of personal pronouns is a rather weird construct. Except for nominative and accusative, you need to take the case as the stem (or something closely related to it), and add the possessive suffix for the given person and number. Therefore ők + -ra/-re → rá + -(j)uk/-(j)ük → rájuk.

Dragonstein wrote:I do know now that my dictionaries (one offline, one online) are a bit limited. Can’t find all words.

Yes, that’s inevitable. But you still did pretty well with the individual words. :yep:

Dragonstein wrote:Anyway, i'm gonna reread some chapters of the grammar book and then try to translate some more.

Go ahead, you surely won’t be left without a correction. ;)
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Postby darkina » 2008-05-30, 20:25

Levo wrote:I respect those people so much who start to study Hungarian seriously.


I envy those who can do that, with any language. "Go and read my grammar book" is never something I would do spontaneously :?
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Postby Dragonstein » 2008-06-05, 6:56

Just to provide an update... I've continued translating (about 5-10 more sentences), but i don't have my stuff with me at the moment. I've also ordered the TYHungarian, even though i hate Teach Yourself books, just to get the basics of E>H right.

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Postby dibdab » 2008-06-09, 17:13

the best way with Hungarian is to learn the basic root words and then the affixes - how new words are created. you understand the pattern you'll have a pretty good vocabulary.

samples>
root phonemes
affixes

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Question

Postby Riks » 2008-07-27, 0:15

Sziasztok.
I have one question about Hungarian: the words "hány" and "mennyi"are used equally? For better understanding one example:
A sentence "Hány ablak van a szobában?" means the same as "Mennyi ablak van a szobában?" or one of the sentences doesn't have any meaning?

Köszönöm szépen. 8)


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Re: Question

Postby CoBB » 2008-07-27, 11:14

I2i50 wrote:Sziasztok.
I have one question about Hungarian: the words "hány" and "mennyi"are used equally? For better understanding one example:
A sentence "Hány ablak van a szobában?" means the same as "Mennyi ablak van a szobában?" or one of the sentences doesn't have any meaning?

Well, they are similar, but not exactly the same. A rule of thumb could be using hány for ‘how many’ and mennyi for ‘how much’. In many cases mennyi can be used instead of hány, but not the other way around, i.e. hány is strictly countable. I guess that’s why mennyi doesn’t really sound right to me in this particular sentence, even if there’s nothing technically wrong with it.

Nos, hasonlóak, de nem egészen egyformák. Jó ökölszabály a „hány”-t megszámlálható, a „mennyi”-t pedig megszámlálhatatlan értelemben használni. Sok esetben a „mennyi” helyettesítheti a „hány”-t, de fordítva nem igaz, azaz a „hány” szigorúan megszámlálható. Valószínűleg ezért sem hangzik túl jól a „mennyi” a fenti mondatban, még ha elvileg nincs is vele semmi baj.
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Kérdés

Postby Riks » 2008-08-16, 19:06

:?: Which one of these phrases is correct?
Két virág / Kettő virág
Tizenkét virág / Tizenkettő virág


:?: Is there any difference between words: itthon and otthon?
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Re: Kérdés

Postby CoBB » 2008-08-17, 9:41

I2i50 wrote::?: Which one of these phrases is correct?
Két virág / Kettő virág
Tizenkét virág / Tizenkettő virág

This is not a black and white issue. Using the 'két' version is better in both cases, since it's in adjective position, but 'kettő' is not strictly incorrect either, it just sounds weird (as if you wanted to ephasise in an anal-retentive way that it's exactly 2/12, not a different number).

I2i50 wrote::?: Is there any difference between words: itthon and otthon?

Yes. The former is used to refer to 'home' when you're at that home (be it your country or your house), while the other one is used when you're referring to it from far away.
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Re: Kérdés

Postby ''' » 2008-08-29, 15:10

CoBB wrote:
I2i50 wrote::?: Which one of these phrases is correct?
Két virág / Kettő virág
Tizenkét virág / Tizenkettő virág

This is not a black and white issue. Using the 'két' version is better in both cases, since it's in adjective position, but 'kettő' is not strictly incorrect either, it just sounds weird (as if you wanted to ephasise in an anal-retentive way that it's exactly 2/12, not a different number).


Which is often since két and hét rhyme. It is often done that one says kettő to avoid confusion.

CoBB wrote:
I2i50 wrote::?: Is there any difference between words: itthon and otthon?

Yes. The former is used to refer to 'home' when you're at that home (be it your country or your house), while the other one is used when you're referring to it from far away.


In case you didn't notice, 'itt' means here and 'ott' means there and 'hon' is an archaic word for "home" preserved in words like itthon otthon and honvédség (national defence)
so roughly translated it would be "home which is here" and "home which is there"
Last edited by ''' on 2008-09-08, 10:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: learning hungarian

Postby Dragonstein » 2008-09-08, 9:26

I haven't been able to spend time on hungarian over the summer. And i forgot the questions i had. But i hope to return to the language when daily life settles down again.

I'm glad my thread is being used though. :)

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Re: learning hungarian

Postby ghoezeke mate » 2008-09-22, 22:43

CoBB on Sun 2008-08-17, 10:41
Yes. The former is used to refer to 'home' when you're at that home (be it your country or your house), while the other one is used when you're referring to it from far away.


Jól magyarázol, de az otthon (mint lakás) jelentése is megérdemelt volna egy-két szót. Most szegény, ha azt hallja, hogy valaki otthonában elvárja, zavarban lesz.


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