"Ön eladó vagy titkárnő?"

Translation:Are you a sales lady or a secretary?

July 1, 2016

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Djenthallman

Wouldn't it sound better as: Ön eladónő vagy titkárnő?

Or word eladónő is not commonly used in Hungarian?

July 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vvsey

I guess both eladó and eladónő are correct but eladó is the common one. Simply because when we say eladó, we associate to women. Compare with "nurse". We don't really need to say "female nurse", do we? I guess "titkár" started out being a mostly male profession, hence "titkárnő ". Or who knows why, this is just how it is.

July 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlissaHepp

I disagree with your comment "We don't really need to say "female nurse", do we?" Any gender can perform these roles.

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vvsey

Yes, they can. But it does not contradict my comment. Language follows reality, most of the time. When a profession becomes not predominantly occupied by one gender, the terms we use follow the trend. Maybe, in a few years, the English language will have "nurseman" and "nursewoman". Or, better yet, it will be gender-neutral. Who knows. For "nurse", Hungarian has "nővér" that literally means "sister". But it also has "ápoló" (gender not specified) and "ápolónő" (female). These mean "carer", "caretaker" or something like that.
Hungarian does not attach "férfi" (man) at the end of professions. I guess the reason is only because it is too long. There is the gender-neutral or male version of the word, without an attachment, and there is the female version, with "-nő" attached. Ápoló-ápolónő, titkár-titkárnő, rendőr-rendőrnő, tanár-tanárnő, etc. Once we stop caring about people's genders (either naturally or forcibly), I am sure it will reflect in the language, and the gender-neutral forms will survive.

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlissaHepp

Thank you! I appreciate your detailed response :)

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vvsey

It is my pleasure, you are welcome. I'm still trying to come up with a "rule" as to the usage of the above "profession" vs "profession-nő" words in Hungarian. Of course, the "-nő" versions would be used only for women. But that does not mean that the other one is used exclusively for men. Rather, the gender-neutral version can really be used for any gender, and the "-nő" version is used for women.
Most professions don't use a "-nő" version at all, because nobody cares. Or it just sounds bad, melodically. Nobody really says "gépészmérnöknő" - "mechanical engineerwoman". Or nobody says "sofőrnő" - "driverwoman". Even though there are many women in those professions. If it is important to state the fact that it is a woman, you can always say "női ... profession". "Női sofőr" - "female driver".
There are other professions that are almost exclusively occupied by women, yet the name still has the "-nő" at the end. The name without "-nő" may not even be a profession. It is sometimes just a simple word (adjective/adverb or something like that) and adding "-nő" makes it the name of a profession. For example:

védő - it simply means "defender".

védőnő - a certain healthcare profession (female) - I don't know of a male version of that word.

Or the kindergarten teacher, which you will encounter many times in this course. The word is "óvónő" - "protectorwoman". Without "-nő", "óvó" means "protertor/protecting". No such profession. But this is a traditionally female profession. A special distinction is made to the few male practicioners. They are slightly endearingly called "óvóbácsi". "Bácsi" is something children call an adult man.
So, there could be many factors in the evolution of words. Sometimes the only reason may really just have to do with how some words actually sound to the ear.
While I was writing this, I realized something else. Professions that are also used as titles in addressing people. Like professor, teacher, doctor, etc. When used to describe someone's profession, they can very much be used neutrally.
Tanár - teacher
Tanárnő - female teacher
You can say "Zsuzsa tanár" - "Zsuzsa is a teacher" for a woman. It is perfect.
But when you address said teacher by her profession, you would use the "-nő" version:
Elnézést, tanárnő! - Excuse me, Ms. Teacher
(And for males you add the separate word "úr", that is a polite way of addressing a man.
Elnézést, tanár úr! - Excuse me, Mr. Teacher)

Sorry, this one got way too long. I could continue....

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/picardy33rd

Don't want to report it because it may just be me, but I don't really hear the "gy" in vagy in the recording for this sentence. Can anyone else hear it?

August 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlsEenPoffertje

I can hear it a little bit, but it isn't very clearly pronounced. I don't have much experience listening to spoken Hungarian, but from what I have heard it seems as though the gy combination isn't always very clearly pronounced, whereas at other times it's pronunciation is rather clear. I don't know much about pronunciation, though, so perhaps a native can shed more light on this. ^_^

August 16, 2016
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