"Ritkán van itt."
Translation:He is rarely here.
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Do you really think "rarely" is the kind of word we should learn in the second lesson? The level is really hard compared to German or Spanish... They should take it easy. I guess most of people are learning Hungarian just for fun and I already feel like stopping even tho I love this language.
Well let us consider basic words and maybe lessons specifically introducing them, that way tips can be provided by content contributors to help learners actually understand how to use them. Or we could follow this example and throw random words in every tenth sentence, thereby confusing the student and cementing their chances of forgetting the word.
For everyone who doesn't have any previous experience with Hungarian, I recommend this precious little jewel (https://hunlang.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/tmthtgfinal.pdf, Credits to László Ragoncsa). It's intuitive, clear yet makes a great introduction into the Grammar of the Hungarian language. I got started with this, and I think if someone studies it before starting the course (it has a brilliant introduction with pronunciation and assimilation rules as well), you won't be going into this blind, and after learning the basic grammar (at least until the dative), you can center on learning vocabulary and contextual expressions, which is what duolingo is really good for.
La página de wikipedia es lo primero que se me ocurre, está completísima como una introducción a la gramática (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gram%C3%A1tica_del_h%C3%BAngaro), después está ésto (https://aprendiendohungaro.wordpress.com/) y ésto, que parece incompleto (https://es.wikiversity.org/wiki/Curso_de_h%C3%BAngaro) pero te puede ir dando nociones.
Lo siento, pero en español es todo lo que se me ocurre, ya que la bibliografía (gratuita) disponible es muy limitada.
I started with grammar books, and came here mostly for vocabulary. I feel very incompetent when I can form the conjunctive/subjunctive/imperative, the conjugated infinitive, the conditional, the past tense and apply personal posessive endings, as well as postpositions and such, yet sentences like this get me because I'm too much of a grammar junkie.
It sounds a lot like a humblebrag, but it really is frustrating. Learning grammar rules is often made to sound worse than it actually is, while basic spoken proficiency is, at least for me, much harder. It depends on the person, but I still think it's generally easier to memorize grammatical rules and parsing/reading/translating than actually organically and effectively communicating in any language.
Alvaro, have you tried Memrise? That is another free language-teaching site that focuses a lot more on vocabulary. It won't give you the ability to form sentences, because you have to speak the language to get used to doing that. But you could build up vocabulary.
I think (and I am not sure!) that your version changes the emphasis slightly and in Hungarian the emphasis is often expressed with the word order (and intonation) that makes your version very different from the one in the Hungarian example. For me, this seems to be the reason—and also the fact that DL doesn't really like the arhcaic or simply old fashioned versions. I often fall to the trap to write "elder" instead of DL's "older", for instance.
There is no "he". The referred "person" may be she or even it, too. There is no hint that would make you sure that it is a living creature, a person, a train (for example the Venice Simplon Orient Express turns up in Budapest, but not too often - "ritkán van itt.") As Hungarian is gender-neutral, you have to rely on the context.
On the other hand, "van" is third person singular therefore you can know that it is either one person, or one animal, one entity, etc.
I hope it is not unique, Italian and Spanish (along many other languages) supress the personal pronoun, too, when it is possible. In Hungarian you can use "ő ritkán van itt" if the person is ambiguous, but the gender-neutral pronoun won't give too much help. We often use it with name instead ("Zoli ritkán van itt" – he (Zoli) is rarely here [Zoli is diminutive for Zoltán]) or describing the person ("a szőke lány ritkán van itt" — the blonde girl is rarely here [as she usually works at the other building].
Hungarian 'a' (no accent mark) is pronounced more like English 'o' as in "dog". I don't know how you are pronouncing "alpha," though. In American English, that 'a' sound (the first 'a', not the second), doesn't exist in Hungarian.
I'm not sure how "alpha" is pronounced in British English, but it might be pronounced like "ahl-pha", which is more like Hungarian "á".