"Esik az eső?"
Translation:Is it raining?
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.
I'm so happy that I didn't need an extra effort to understand this sentence since the logic is very similar to Turkish, "Yağmur yağıyor" (The rain is falling) and "The falling thing is falling" would be "Yağan şey yağıyor."
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....
In English we would say "Is it raining?" or less often "Is the rain coming down?"
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.
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".
"Does it rain" sounds like a question about what happens over an extended period of time.
"Is it raining" on the other hand, is more a question about what's happening at the moment, as in right now.
For example, it rains quite a bit where I live, but not a drop is falling as I write this comment.
I reported it. Since it's in beta, we need to report it when something seems to be missing.
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!