"Esik az eső?"

Translation:Is it raining?

July 1, 2016

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Is this a Hungarian idiom?, or are the hints wrong?


It is not an idiom, and I don't think that the hints are wrong. But Hungarian does not have the "placeholder" subject, like the English "it is".

And what Hungarian also does not have is the sophisticated tense system of English. There is only simple past and simple present. The future is expressed partly with the simple present, partly with a helper verb plus infinitive. There are other ways of expressing continuing action, completed action, previous events in the past, future, etc.

So, what remains here is literally "Falls the rain" - "Esik az eső".

The most important part of this statement is "esik" - "falls". We can even omit the rest. This is already a little play with the famous flexible word order, as the regular order would be "Az eső esik". But that would be just a general statement on the usual behaviour of the rain.


But "falls" isn't given as a translation of "esik" in the hints, just "raining"/"rains". So using the hints directly you are left with something along the lines of "Raining the rain".


Good point! Maybe it should be reported.
Well, let's say that the idiomatic meaning of "esik" is "it is raining". Because, without a subject, everybody automatically thinks of the rain. But to Hungarians it still means that something is actually falling. Only it goes without saying that it is the rain that's s doing it. Attach any other non weather-related subject to "esik", and the English translation will include "falling".
Now, you may notice that the word for the rain itself, "eső", is very similar to the word "esik". It is not a coincidence. It is what English would call a present participle, most probably. The present participle form of "esik", meaning "(the) falling (thing)". (In Hungarian it is used as a noun or a modifier, but never as a verb.) So, very literally, the sentence means "the falling thing is falling". In other words, it is raining.
In a different context, these words will regain their actual literal meaning:
The glass falls on the ground - A pohár a földre esik.
The glass falling on the ground breaks - A földre eső pohár eltörik.


You deserve a golden lingot!

  • 1538

What a wonderful explanation! Thank you!


Nagyon köszönöm szépen!!!!!!!!

[deactivated user]

    Isn't "Nagyon köszönöm" kinda the same as "Köszönöm szépen" in the sense that using them like "Nagyon köszönöm szépen" is at least weird if not also non-idiomatic or even wrong? Asking for learning purposes, not criticizing!


    All three versions work, they are not wrong.


    One of the best replies here. Nagyon köszönöm szépen!


    Thank you vvsey and all who have participated here, So wow, would my hunch be too far off, that this seemingly redundant "rain is raining" structure shares a flavor or texture, more like those tangible senses evoked in onomatopoeia?


    same as Polish 'falls rain'-pada deszcz.


    If only the Polish would use an alphabet specifically made for Slavic languages, we'd only need 3 letters to write deszcz = дещ.


    Similar to russian pronounce of "rain": дождь - [дож']


    No, it is quite ordinary sentence. "Esik" - is a verb in third person singular present tense meaning "falls/rains" or "is falling/is raining". "Eső" is a noun (subject in this sentence) meaning "rain". "Az" is just a definitive article meaning "the". So literally translation of this sentence is "Is the rain raining?" This is an interrogative sentence but the same word order would be in a declarative sentence only with the different emphasis.


    it seems something like Japanese, where it's said 雨が降っている, which is roughly "the rain falls". it's quite interesting their resemblance....


    Falls the rain? -Sounds very poetic to me. There must be some really wonderful Hungarian poets! Loving this language... Also: "Falling the rain is?" -Yoda (?)


    So there is similarity to Polish, we say "Pada deszcz" Literally Rain falls/ rain is falling. But we can say "pada" (it falls) only, and everybody knows that you have to take umbrella with you!


    Duolingo doesn't make clear the meaning of each individual word.


    Would "Esik az eső." mean "It is raining"?


    Or in other word only: "Esik." It rains., It's raining.


    is it possible to say "Is the rain raining?"


    In English we would say "Is it raining?" or less often "Is the rain coming down?"

    • 1538

    There are variants of an old joke in the U.S., something like: "Do you know why the rain's coming down?" "No, why?" "'Cause it can't go up!" It would catch people off guard.


    does this literally mean. is the rain raining?

    • 1538

    Here is a little part of vvsey's excellent explanation above: "So, very literally, the sentence means 'the falling thing is falling.' "


    Yes it does. "Eső" is a noun and means "rain" and "esik" is a verb and means "to fall" or "to rain".


    Is "Esik" a verb for falling? So in English literal trabslation "Falling is rain?" Is that correct?


    "esik" is indeed "fall" or "falling".
    Literal translation could be "falling the rain".


    How to say, "is it snowing"?


    Or "Esik a hó?"


    Alright, thank you very much


    This is something like: is the rain raining?


    Yani deyür ki eşik eşer mi?


    How can you type these weird lines on top of the vocals? I mean I have the german äöü, but these look notably different.


    You could switch to Hungarian keyboard and find it. These "weird" lines on the top of the vocals mean the vocals should be pronounce with emphasis, longer. For example "ö" is the same vocal as "ő" and "ü" is the same vocal as "ű", but the one with dots you should pronounce short and the other one long.


    These are not about emphasis, and the length is not always the case either.
    a and á are different vowels, and the difference is not length based. Same with e and é.
    Length difference are between i and í, o and ó, ö and ő, u and ú, ü and ű.
    The web app should offer you the special vowels. Not sure about mobile app.


    If we pronounce one letter longer than the other why couldn't we say that we give an emphasis? I don't say that it's the same as the accent. The letters "a" and "á" are different but as I know we always pronounce "á" longer than "a".


    Maybe a linguist can correct me, but emphasis feels like the wrong way to describe that some vowels are long ones. Emphasis gets close to "stress", and stressing a syllable could / would affect loudness as well. [ I'm going with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(linguistics) ]


    This sentence (especially after reading vvsey's explanation) is structurally very similar to Turkish "yağmur yağıyor." On an unrelated note, this sentence reminded me of a Hungarian anthem I once heard and the lyrics were saying "esik eső (...)" and I want to ask why we do or don't put the "az" in there.


    Do you mean https://mek.oszk.hu/06200/06234/html/nepdalok0020300009.html ? That is is more of a folk song than a hymn.

    For songs, poems some freedom needs to be present to make it "fit". I dont want to say that it's grammatically wrong, but in a common situation I would probably rather say "esik az eső a karikára".


    Yes that was what I meant, thank you

    [deactivated user]

      Doesn't sound like a question when she voices it, reported it, but got it wrong twice so far! Amazes me that I'm the only one bothering to even comment about it :) but btw, this isn't the only time where the intonation for a question is wrong and thus sounds like a statement, but I never fell into that trap before, maybe I'll be more careful at what's written on screen and thus notice the "?" next time ?! may be


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