Why don't you get on this bus? Are you waiting for a tall one?
"Miért nem szállsz fel erre a buszra? Te egy magasat vársz?"
"Magasat" does NOT mean a tall person at all. Yes, it can be implied in context but otherwise it just means a "tall one", a tall anything. This translation is misleading, in my opinion. It is not like "fiatal", which idiomatically means "a young person". A "magas" is just a "tall (whatever)". Which may be a person, too.
True adjectives very rarely imply a person without context. But adjectives that became de facto nouns may indeed. And these adjectives had been derived from other words, usually. Just like RyagonIV's examples:
work - worker - munka - munkás
direct - director - rendez - rendező
manage - manager - igazgat - igazgató
Both English and Hungarian are full of words like these. They may not be the same type of word but the idea is very similar.
On "the poor" vs "the poors", Hungarian tends to use the singular much more often than English does. Think of sentences like "Are there any apples here?" vs "Van itt alma?"
But Hungarian can treat adjectives just like nouns. They can be plural, they can have suffixes, just like nouns. English likes to use the phantom noun "one". In Hungarian, that phantom is built into the adjective, so to speak. "The poor" would be "the poor ones". "The English" would be "the English people". But that noun, phantom or not, may be omitted in English. Hungarian does not need that because Hungarian can attach the suffix directly to the adjective: "a szegényEK", "az angolOK".
Whatever you do, don't describe a beer as "tall" when in Hungary. At a bar in Budapest, I asked for a "magas" sor, and the bartender had a good laugh at that... all in good fun though. Lesson learned!
I'm assuming "Nagy" would have been a better descriptor? As in "Egy nagy sort szeretnek kerni." (sorry, no accents on this keyboard.)
I just feel so sorry for the people who actually want to learn Hungarian..
To my surprise, I'm actually finding it easier than some other languages I've dabbled in - it's very different than others, but there's a kind of logic to the way that Hungarian compiles words out of small kernels (like magas - magasat) which appeals to me.
No need to feel sorry for anybody :-)
Aaand yet another nonsensical sentence. I can tell you guys it doesn't sound any more meaningful in Hungarian either... Why can't these sentences simply be removed? As someone has pointed it out, this sentence is that kind of nonsensical where you start questioning whether you can read and this is a full sentence... much worse than flying kindergarten teachers stuff. Those sentences have a clear structure and happen to have an absurd meaning - this sentence, on the other hand, just sounds lame for whatever context you can even imagine.
Imagine you're meeting a friend standing at a corner and he informs you that he's waiting for somebody. You look around a bit and see an exceptionally tall man strolling your way, so you ask "Are you waiting for a tall one?" Bit awkward-sounding in English, but fully acceptable in Hungarian.
The letter 'gy' makes a specific sound that doesn't appear in English. It's pretty much always the same sound, but its surroundings might change the pronounciation a bit.
"Gy" makes a [ɟ] sound, a so-called "voiced palatal stop". It sounds a bit like a combined sound of English 'd' and 'y'. The sound is formed similar to pronouncing a 'd', but instead of laying your tongue tip behind your teeth, you press the middle of the tongue flat against your hard palate.
Why is it "magasat" instead of "magasot"? I read the bit in the introduction to this lesson about some nouns taking an -*t ending in the accusative, with * depending on vowel harmony, but the earlier vowel harmony explanation said if the stem had "a" then suffixes should have "o" in the vowel slots. So is it different for nouns than verbs? What are the rules here?
Actually the introduction brought an example with -at as well. Bad news: vowel harmony uses more than the same two vowels. It uses a,o,e,ö at the very least and it depends on suffix (frankly, even on the position of the suffix i.e is it following another suffix or not) which one you should use. So yeah, for example, falok (I gobble) vs falak (walls). But at the same time, lapok (pages). I feel o is more productive for the first linking vowel at nouns but still, there is a high share of words that get a. I'm not sure whether this is a rule but it seems to me adjectives hardly take o as a linking vowel - in some situations, you can even pick o for an adjective to make it a noun more explicitly.