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  5. "Nem, nem megyünk a Balatonra…

"Nem, nem megyünk a Balatonra; esik az eső és cápák vannak a tóban."

Translation:No, we are not going to Lake Balaton; it is raining and there are sharks in the lake.

July 1, 2016



Cápák a Balatonban. Biztosan. :D


Nem tudhatod...lehet, hogy a harcsát annak látták a sötétben ;)


Tőzsdecápák (Sharkus Wall Streetus)


I don't think the English version is good in this case. The Hungarian sentence implies that it is happening now or in the near future so it shouldn't be the simple present.


Do you mean it should be "No, we aren't going to go... it is raining..." instead or something like that?


It's been 3 years and still not fixed.


The present continuous tense is correct but was disallowed in my translation.


Are there actually sharks in Lake Balaton


It is a freshwater lake, so that rules out most sharks straight away. Unless a pet river shark native to asia and australia escaped, I think it's safe to assume "no" to this question. Duo, why are you scaring the tourists away from Balaton? Bad owl! The kindergarten teachers will be very sad!


Is "going to the Balaton" instead of "going to Lake Balaton" really such a terrible mistake? Even if the former were wrong, it seems quite commonplace: Googling it gave over 42K hits. :(


why can't i just say "it rains and sharks are in the lake"?


The computer wouldn't accept, "No, we aren't going to the Balaton; it's raining and there are sharks in the lake." I've reported it because the computer is obviously wrong. There is no need to say Lake Balaton and the question itself doesn't say Lake Balaton. Everyone knows that "the Balaton" means Lake Balaton. It is commonplace in Hungarian speech in Hungary.


Richard, maybe it's that in English you wouldn't say "The Balaton", you'd say "Balaton", without the article. Isn't that what they say in Hungary, too? From what I remember, people didn't use the article. It has been accepting "Balaton" most of the time, here. In English, you use "the" with rivers, but not normally with lakes. You'd say The River Danube, or The Danube, but if you have a lake, you write Lake Tanganyika or Loch Ness, etc.


This is both complicated and not. Many native English speakers in the Balaton region have had their English "Hungarianised" and it certainly is common practice for such people to say "The Balaton." I count myself among their number. It gets more complicated, though, when there's scope for ambiguity. We're fine with the Danube or "a Duna." It's more difficult with the Tisza because that could mean the lake or the river. On the other hand, if an English speaker says the Zala, they probably mean the river but a Hungarian really needs to say "A Zala folyó" or "A Zala megye" if they mean the county. Indeed, the use of "the" in Hungarian has some fascinating differences from its use in English. For us Lions roar and we don't need to say Az oroszlán üvölt as a Hungarian would. Conversely, Vvsey has made it clear to me that Hungarians would say, for example, Kovácsék szegények whereas we would say the Kovács family is poor or the Kovács's are poor. Going back to the Balaton, it may be that it is an exception to the general rule. I think I'd say Derwentwater rather than the Derwentwater for the lake just as I would say the Thames or the Avon for the rivers. I had never given it this much thought before. Do English speakers living near Lake Baikal say the Baikal? I have no idea.


And in the same way, I may have met Hungarians who have had their Hungarian anglicised! I never heard any Hungarians say The Balaton in either language- but that doesn't mean that they don't. Perhaps Balaton locals would.

It may be that Hungarian itself varies, too, just as rakott krumpli and halászlé vary between families and some of those families certainly think that their way is the only right way!

Yes, with lakes with water in the name- Ullswater, Coniston Water: you'd leave out the word "lake", maybe because "water" is doing an equivalent job.

I assume, though, that from the English side of things, The Balaton isn't accepted as that would not be standard English, even if it's a more direct translation, if they say A Balaton, as you've said.


It's a fair point, legitimacy by text book grammar versus usage. I have children who say "gotten" which, to my British English ear sounds.......well.......I hesitate before choosing an epithet. I don't think I've heard any British people say, I'm going for a swim in Balaton but going for a swim in the Balaton is commonplace. Indeed, very often the word, "lake," is missed off altogether because, in this region, what else could it be? I don't think this is one of those things where there's a definite answer which is correct to the point where all the others are wrong. My only beef with Duo is that it says that "The Balaton" is wrong and that simply means that usage doesn't count for much and now, perhaps, I'll come back to that word, gotten!


Yes, the "gotten" always sounds strange to me, although I should be used to it by now- sorry, I should have gotten used to it by now... Mind you, as far as I'm aware, it's the US retaining older English, as apparently is the unlikely-sounding case. Shakespeare used "gotten". It seems that UK Eng has actually changed far more over time. I didn't believe I heard that correctly the first time somebody told me that, but it seems it's true.

I find the irregular 3rd person endings interesting. When my kids were tiny, they'd use "putten", "hitten", etc- just naturally made up their own 3rd person irregular endings- presumably wanting to retain the pattern. The other one they did was, "We'd better do this now, bett'n't we?" I'm curious to see how many of the newly-invented verbs end up being irregular.


Living in Budapest many of my Hungarian friends say in English "The Balaton" using Lake seems unnecessary and even makes you stand out as a foreigner as "everyone knows Balaton is a lake".



In Hungarian you would never say "Balaton" without an article in a sentence. "Lemegyek a Balatonra" + see the original Hungarian sentence at the top ot this very page. It's the same with "Duna": 'úszik a Dunán'. Hungarians never talk about "Balaton tó" nor "Duna folyó" - it would not make sense. You can say "Balaton tava" if you are talking about lakes and want to distinguish them from each other.

I am not sure about the English version but I guess it could be "Lake Balaton" or "the Lake of Balaton". But you can never know with Duo, it speaks a unique version of English...

I am just thinking about an other big lake in Hungary, the "Velencei-tó", where you cannot leave the word "tó" as it is part of the name of the lake. Wonder how Duo would translate that one, haha. "Lake Velencei-lake" :D :D :D

Ps. I think Duo wants us to add "Lake" to the Balaton in the English translation and marks us wrong without it. I call it 'Duo-English'


I agree entirely. I live here and Balaton Tó is rarely said. A Balaton or the Balaton is common. By contrast, Velence means Venice so there's an immediate scope for ambiguity, hence the need for tó.


yet another fear...

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