Here is the thing. I would like = ke'rek, I want = akarok. Someone pointed out years ago that it is more appropriate to say "I would like" in a restaurant, than "I want". On the other hand, you never say in a Hungarian restaurant "akarok" (I want), you say "ke'rek" (I would like).
My answer was "water, not wine please." It was marked correct, but another translation was given as "I want water, not wine." Is "kérek" more "I want" or "please"?
"kér" is "ask for" but when you order something it would be more like "I would like to have a ...., please".
Yup. But if you want to come across a bit more polite, use kérek szépen or szeretnék kérni.
Wouldn't kérek szépen mean "Very much water"? I thought szépen meant very much or does it mean please as well?
Ah, no no. That doesn't work that literally. :)
Szépen is the adverb form of szép - nice, so it more literally translates to "nicely". "Vizet kérek szépen." - lit. "I ask nicely for water." (= "I want some water, please.") "Köszönöm szépen" - "I welcome it nicely." (= "I thank you kindly for it.")
Hungarian expressions are a bit on the weird side sometimes.
"I want very much water" would translate to "Nagyon sok vizet kérek".
Ah thank you so much! It's starting to make more sense now haha. Hungarian seems like a logical language which I really like!
Like I didn't know that Köszönöm is used for greeting and means that. I thought it just meant thanks which is why I was a bit confused with this https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23083568$comment_id=23086703 especially when someone wrote that köszönni valakit = to great someone haha.
Thanks again! Hope to visit Magyarország one day! Are you a native?
Yeah, the language has a lot of different associations than English, so it's a bit unintuitive to learn starting from English.
I'm German, but I've been dealing with Hungarian for a couple of years now, so I have a bit of expertise and feel qualified to help in this course. Plus, Hungary and Austria had a lot of shared history, so German and Hungarian are pretty close to each other, at least from a grammatical standpoint. "I thank you for that" can translated in German as "Ich begrüße es", which literally is "I greet it." :)
Just wondering if the literal translation of this would be: "Water, not wine I would like." because someone said "Ke'rek" is "I would like" and "Akarok" is "I want"?
So would the literal translation of "I want water, not wine." in Hungarian be "Akarok vizet, nem bort"?
Yes, kind of.
The standard translation for the verb kér is "to ask for", but it is mostly used to express that you politely "would like to have" an object, for instance while ordering in a restaurant or making a request in a shop. Akar, on the other hand, has the translation of "to want" and sounds quite a bit ruder or childish when asking for an object, a bit like in "I want this, I want that!"
There's another verb that's a more literal translation of "would like", including the conditional tense that English uses here: szeretne (originating from szeret - to like, to love, and the conditional marker -ne). It can be used on its own, "Vizet szeretnék" - "I would like some water", or together with other verbs: "Vizet szeretnék kérni" - "I would like to ask for some water."
A more literal translation of "I want water, not wine" would be "Vizet akarok, nem bort." Now why this word order? You're contrasting two objects here, water and wine, so you want to emphasise that it is water that you want, and not wine. That's called a focus, and the focal point in a sentence is right in front of the verb. If you said "Akarok vizet, nem bort", with the focus on the verb itself, it sounds more like "I want water, not wine."
Saying "Vizet, nem bort akarok", like in the original sentence, works as well, of course.
Why is "Water please, not wine." wrong translation? Does not kirem mean please?
No, Hungarian doesn't have a word that directly translates to "please". (At least the interjective "please" like you're trying to use.)
The verb kér that is used here, has a meaning of "to ask for" or "to order". That's a bit clumsy in English, so in such a situation you'd rather say "I want" or "I would like", maybe followed by "please", but you should not leave the verb out. It wouldn't be a full sentence anymore.
No, that would be even less correct.
Hungarian works a bit differently from most European languages. The word order is more flexible, but it has an important meaning: the thing that's important in the sentence (the "focus") has to be in front of the verb. And since you want to focus here on what exact drink you're ordering, that drink needs to be in front of the verb kérek. So you have two possibilities here, both of wich are pretty much equal: "Vizet kérek, nem bort" and "Vizet, nem bort kérek".