"Kik harcolnak ott?"

Translation:Who is fighting there?

July 5, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Why the correct translation is not "Who are fighting there"? I think the interrogative pronoun "ki" and the verb "harcol" are in plural.


They are plural in the Hungarian.

But in English, we use singular verbs with "who" most of the time.


I agree with mizinamo on this one. Even if the hungarian sentence uses kik harcolnak the best translation is who is fighting, because English generally prefers the singular is even in cases where it's obvious who refers to a plural. who are just sounds strange, unless it is clear from the sentence (or neighboring sentences) grammatically (not implicitly) that who is a plural: who are those people fighting there?


Yes, "Who are" does sound strange. But since there is no context one is disposed to be literal. Why include a sentence like this at all?


If you literally translate this sentence, the correct translation is: Ki harcol ott? Egy katona. A soldier. In Hungarian we use singular or plural verbs, depending on the subject/s.


Why does this plural verb not translate as "they" in translation?


Actually, then there should be chosen in English another way to express that in Hungarian the question refers to many people, otherways the question would be "Ki harcol ott?". There must be a way in English to make a difference, right?


If we saw a group of people fighting, we would say "who are all those people fighting in front of the store?" Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of places where Hungarian and English use quite different sentances to mean exactly the same, which then means that people try to literally translate the other language and end up with a sentance that is either nonsense or far removed from the meaning of the original... :(

Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.