"Az is valami, ami van."

Translation:Something is better than nothing.

July 7, 2016

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

It's something!

February 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

Think about it, this sentence reminds me of the wonderful French construction "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" for "What is that?", which literally translates to "What is that, that there is?"

August 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/smauG566

I think the french is more like 'What is that which this is?'

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

Oh yes, that makes more sense, thank you. :)
My French is quite ... not there. I'm more of a Spanish nut.

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/clairelanc3

Yes if the given translation was "what is it" or even " what is that something".. but ""something is better than nothing"!

December 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Patricia460976

How did you get that cartoon up? It's cute!

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

You can post pictures (even animated ones) with the following script:

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So, exclamation mark, then alt text in square brackets, then the URL in parentheses. "Alt text" being the text that shows up in case the picture does not load.

The Duo comment section uses the Markdown language. You can see what you can do here.

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rka46820

I was wondering about that since a while... :)

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TakizawaHideaki

the translation is pretty chaotic does it mean that is something that is there too?

July 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97

It's something like "What there is is also something". It's confusing in both languages, though

July 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hatcher

I don't think it's chaotic in Hungarian. People do say variants of this. It means something like "we don't have much but it's something too and we can make do with it", "what we have is something too" even though it's not "amink van" in Hungarian.

July 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/marekpolacek

"Az is valami" is quite common, but I've never heard "Az is valami, ami van."

Not to mention that the translation is terrible and doesn't even match the original sentence.

July 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge

Might help me and other people if we could know one of the more natural use cases for "az is valami". As it is currently translated, I have barely an idea how it is supposed to mean what stands here right now.

But it reminds me of something, an ad by Pepsi iirc, I read probably over 20 years ago. "Ez az is." Iirc. What does that mean? This/It is that too. More or less like the PlayStation slogan "It only does everything"?

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/oskarb123

Borat deluxe

August 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi

I changed the solution to "Something is better than nothing" as some suggested it here. Not a word-for-word translation, but the earlier word-for-word attempt turned to be really awful.

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raphi_K

Thank you! Have a lingot!

Thanks for the explanation to you and everyone here. We have that expression and related expressions in English

  • At least it's something
  • Well, it's something
  • etc

Thanks for helping to improve the course!

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rka46820

The "At least it's something" version makes even more sense to me than the "Something is better than nothing" one. But probably because it's closer to the French "C'est mieux que rien !" ^^

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Patricia460976

"That what is there is something too," is accepted. They mean perhaps, "something is better than nothing." As in "algo es algo" in Spanish, which is (literally) "something is something."

August 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge

That what is, is something too. was now accepted for me, because I refused to use the currently suggested translation (something is better than nothing).
And this makes actually more sense to me than the nonliteral translation.

The very essence of "to be" is the existence of something. Someone, something, an idea, a place, anything. So any-/everything(=that what is), is something (too).

No idea about Spanish, but something in the line of: "any-/everything is something and something is any-/everything, too", may be the philosophic core of this rather weird sentence.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sineweaver

As a native Hungarian speaker, "That what is, is something too" is the perfect translation of this sentence. It makes sense in English too, if you think about it for a moment. "Ami van" = "What exists/"what there is" directly translated. "Az is valami" = "[That's/it's] something too", so " 'What exists'/'What there is' is something too."

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

Like so often, a German translation of the sentence might be more fruitful: "Das ist auch etwas, das es gibt." More commonly expressed as "Was es nicht alles gibt." Basically "Oh, okay. That's a thing, too."

EDIT: This assessment is inaccurate. Please read below.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge

But "ami van" is attached to "az" and not to "valami"? So shouldn't it then be: Das, das ist/es gibt, ist auch etwas. ?

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV
  • writes up an explanation discussing the focus
  • listens to the pronounciation of the sentence
  • hears her emphasise the az

Ach, shucks. I might have crashed head-first in a wrong direction. :´D

Yes, you seem to be right, also in accordance with the more native minds here. Were it amely instead of ami, my point would be more solid. But as it stands, the sentence is better to be interpreted as "Das, was es gibt / was wir haben, ist auch etwas."

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge

It is better for ones sanity. That is certain. :-D

Isn't it great that all long sentences are annoyingly long, often boring, and many short sentences immediately can be very hard to interpret since all context and intended meaning is missing?

Maybe it comes later, but how would one say "something is better than nothing"?
Valami jobb mint semmi. ?
Das ist auch etwas, das es gibt.
Az, ami van, valami is. ? Actually only is on another place?

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

What I learnt in this course is that English has some problems with relative clauses in addition to being inaccurate with locations and directions. So some pretty okay Hungarian sentences are hard to translate into proper English. But the "Directional Conjunction" lessons are just plain over the top.

For "Something is better than nothing" you're pretty close. The common expression is "Jobb valami, mint (a) semmi."

In case of "That is also something that exists" / "That's also a thing" / "Das ist auch was, das es gibt", I'm not able to find any reliable source, so I can only guess. Like I said earlier, I'd simply go for "Az is valami, amely van", so the dependent clause refers to valami. But I'm not super confident.

It should still be "az is", not "valami is", since we're adding "that" to the group of "something that exists", not the other way around. To make that more evident, in German you can also say "Auch das ist etwas, das es gibt" (more clearly connecting "auch" and "das") without changing the meaning.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge

Jobb valami, mint semmi.
I would guess for rhyme reasons in that particular word order?

Amely does not refer to the marker, az? That flew right over my head. This is what differentiates it from amelyik/amelyek?

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

As often with idiomatic expressions, there is no real reason why a certain choice or order of words is used. It just sounds a bit off if you mess around with it. For "Jobb valami, mit semmi" it might be for the symmetry. Hungarian likes to be melodic. :)

Amelyik refers to the noun that's marked with az, and amely refers to the last noun in front of the relative clause. vvsey made a [great explanation of the differences between ami, amelyik, and amely here], as well as some other things. You should read this thread.

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/skyonestar

This sentence makes no grammatical sensr in English

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Takaaritamo

The Hungarian sentence is a failure! "A semminél a valami is jobb" fits much better. And if we treat it as a saying, there is a Hungarian version: "Jobb ma egy veréb, mint holnap egy túzok."

November 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelC.B7

er... right? it that English? or just some random words?

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

It's an attempt at English. The Hungarian sentence is almost idiomatic, but missed the target a bit. On the baseline it means something like "Now that's something that exists as well".

It's a terrible sentence in either language. It has a meaning, but the Hungarian translation hijacks the common phrase "Az is valami" (which means something like "It's something. We can make do with that.") and tacks this relative clause on that blurs the meaning. And it's hard to translate into English.

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelC.B7

thank you! since it is hard to translate, why is it here anyways? after 56 lessons I've learned a lot about the whereabouts of flying kindergartners (here called: nursery teachers), but there was nothing useful for shopping, chatting, etc.

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

While I'm in favour of having some idioms in the course, I have no idea why this sentence is in here. There's still a lot wrong in this course, and having so many flying kindergarten teachers is tiring after a while (especially since the word is awfully long).

The course focuses a lot on spaciality (where something is or moves to), and neglects important things like definite conjugation, expressions of time, conditional, or imperative. I can partly understand why it's made this way - Hungarian is very hard to learn when you start from English, and you need to relearn a lot of grammar before you can make useful sentences. All while the restrictions for making a Duolingo course are pretty tight. But yes, large parts of this course need to be reworked, which - as far as I know - requires that it gets out of the Beta stage first.

At least the first few and last few lessons of the course are pretty good. The middle part needs some polish.

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raphi_K

What there is, is something (???)

July 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

That seems like a fitting translation as well. You just should add a "too" or "as well" to translate the Hungarian is, too.

July 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raphi_K

Aha... I find this an interesting point...

In Hungarian is is not always "too" in English and this shows a different way of thinking about things in the Anglophone mind than in the Magyar elme.

  1. This site always translates is as "too", but forgets about the word "also" as well as "as well". This makes some translations awkward, especially if combined with "to" or "two". Additionally, "too" has multiple meanings, so use an alternative if you can when you mean "also". Overusing "too" may sound childish.

  2. The word order is often quite different to the Hungarian, and sometimes the placement of the "too" in the English translation makes unintentional changes to the meaning or makes it ambiguous (when it's quite clear in Hungarian).

  3. too/also/as well in English is used far less frequently than in Hungarian. When I read signs, books, quotes, ads, etc. Many expressions add is in where it is unnecessary or not even considered in English.

For example, there's that sentence here, on Duo, that is like Valahol van különleges hely ahol az állatok is beszélnek "Somewhere there's a special place where animals speak too". In English, we wouldn't usually/necessarily add the "too". In Hungarian, it's added for emphasis and/or to add some variation of or similar meaning to "in addition to the what you'd usually expect".

In English, we don't tend to use too/also this way. You usually need to have a prior subject or object to what the too/also is being applied to. For example, "There's a special place where cats speak. Some other animals can speak as well."

However, in Hungarian, you want to add the is as you are indicating in addition to humans and other regular things/entities that can speak - or at least that is my impression and understanding of it.

Anyways, I really notice this - how frequently used is is in Hungarian compared to English, and I've glad you've brought it up. Thanks

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge

I wholeheartedly agree! To something.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/csipke100

The actual ‘correct translation’ I was shown in the lesson was ‘that is something too that there’s’. The translation above is way too idiomatic for me to guess from the sentence.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raphi_K

Even idiomatically, it doesn't make sense!

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lili920420

This solution may be correct as a proverb but to me it is not what I would call a translation. The Hungarian for your English translation should have read "Valami job mint semmi".

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/timike1

Több mint a semmi.

December 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/clairelanc3

Can valakik explain this valami? Word for word I "understand"(??) : that which is is that something too...

December 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

It pretty directly translates as "That what there is is something, too" or "That what exists is something, too" or "The things we have are at least something". "Az, ami van, is valami."

December 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ariellaa

A kedves nagynénikéd, az.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewTiho1

Valami job mint a semmi

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Elloughton

This is just ❤❤❤❤ on ❤❤❤❤!

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Steve313302

This is why I use the word bank. I have learnt my lesson earlier on trying to translate by actually learning. I treat the exercises like cryptic crossword clues and it is better for my sanity.

February 12, 2019
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