"Ritkán van itt."

Translation:He is rarely here.

July 5, 2016

This discussion is locked.


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.


And which words would you prefer to learn in first lessons? "Rarely" is one of the basic adverbs so i think its usage here is quite appropriate.


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.


I agree. I think they made the beginning way too hard.


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.


i'm spanish. is there any book of hungarian in spanish pls


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 thought that Hungarian spanked hard until I tried Polish.


I'm learning random languages (why? because i can) and I came to this one after the Polish course. I enjoy learning Polish more than Hungarian (so far)... idk maybe the way they start you off is easier for me.


Rarely is in fact one of the easy words, because it is so close to the slavic "retko". My guess is that it is a loanword.


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.


AlvaroDumain - Oh, to be so "very incompetent" ! ? !


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.



Usually I'm the same, but now I'm trying to learn Hungarian this way and just absorb the grammar. Of course, being Finnish helps, as we share a lot of grammar concepts.


Thanks for that littlle tidbit of information! I like knowing which languages are like the one I'm doing so that I know which one to try if I get really good at Hungarian.


This sentence blew my mind


No wonder it took so long for Hungarian to become available. So many ways to interpret things! I will be AWESOME at speaking Hungarian if I ever pass this course :).


How do you know if it is he or she in this sentence?


It's not important for us.


And when it is important, we use a workabout, like "the girl", "the boy", Kitty, etc. "Kitty ritkán van itt" (Kitty is rarely here) or "A lány ritkán van itt, de a fiú gyakran" (She is rarely here but he is frequent).


This could also be referring to a bus, so it makes no difference. It is any and all subjects.


Right, Hungarian doesn't indicate gender in personal pronouns.


I guess it would be implied by the context of the conversation


"He is seldom here" should be an accepted translation as well.


But then the grammar would have been different in Hungarian.


I am native Hungarian; "He is seldom here" means "(Ő) ritkán van itt."; "Ő" means "she" or "he" in Hungarian, but we usually do not use it in spoken language, especially not in the example.


Is "it is rarely here" also ok?


Of course yes, because Hungarian is gender-neutral. ;) You're right!


not possible "seldom" ?


It's absolutely possible. Seldom / rarely = ritkán.


I keep getting dinged for writing "Rarely is she here", and I keep reporting it.

My translation is perfectly sound English, even if it does sound a little old fashioned to most native English speakers.


"she is rarely here" works. It's taking a little while for all of the suggestions about alternate translations to be implemented. Give them time!


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.


"He is here rarely" got rejected. Adverbs at the end of sentences are not uncommon, surely?


Should 'he/she' in this context translate as 'they' in English?


strictly speaking, no, because van is singular, but one could make an argument for it, given that we now sometimes use "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun in English.


the singular "they" has been there a loooong time (eg to each their own) and i do think it should be an acceptable answer, especially since its technically more correct


can we say " it is rarely here" ?


yes,check comments above.


Dont laugh at me im just a kid but what is seldom?


an adverb, meaning "infrequently," but coming from the old germanic word "Selten."


Have a lingot for the honest question—it is so important to dare ask questions even if they are obvious for others! I really appreciate it!


Where is the "He" in this sentence?


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].


Huh, sounds like Ritkán and the russian редко, are cognates. (They mean the same thing btw.)


I'm doing this course so that I can better communicate with my husband's family. This is such a trip! However, I'm noticing words that I hear them use often, so that's comforting.


So is a in Hungarian pronounced like the Danish å?


Using google translate that danish letter is more like a hungarian o? hungarian a is pronounced like a in alpha (english).


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".


What does itt mean?


Why is hardly wrong?

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