Knowing the culture of the people who speak the language you're learning is important for complete fluency, I agree. But Lord of the Rings didn't originate in Hungarian culture, even if the books and movies are popular there. Why should someone know those stories to be fluent in this language?
Without a physical teacher present to build relationship with, and understand they are having some fun with us by using this quote, this is an unwise translation to force on the simple reading of the Hungarian words used in this sentence. Please understand you will not be able to do this kind of thing with remote students - because there is no person present to help us understand the other meaning intended by this kind of quote. In addition, when the only English words available to choose, for the translation of this sentence, exclude what is the simple meaning of the Hungarian words, the result is frustration and anger. If a physical teacher was here to lead the class, then she could help us understand the "cool" loose translation of this sentence and we could all experience a warm fuzzy feeling inside after her explanation. But, Duolingo is not winning "cool" points by doing this to remote students. Please change the other instances of this kind of thing in your curriculum also - this would actually be a way of showing you care about your remote students.
I agree with much of what you say. However, the problem here has nothing to do with whether a physical teacher is present or not. The problem here is simply that the English translation DL offers is a poor one. The Hungarian should be translated as "one ring above all". That way, those who do not get the cultural reference to Tolkien will still be correctly translating the Hungarian.
Yes, I would agree with you in calling this translation "poor" - only if that means a remote learner cannot understand this expected English translation from that Hungarian - - without human assistance.
And as a result, I would say the translation is wrong.
But, I am going further than faulting the translation. I am saying if a method of "coolness" is being attempted here, which requires human assistance to understand, then that method - at least with remote learning - is also wrong.
Even more than these two items, I am asking for all other instances of this kind of thing to be removed, as a kindness and demonstration of care toward their remote learners.
This seems reasonable to me ... and like this would be helpful to Duolingo for achieving their ultimate goals.
I translated this as "a ring is above all" ... didnt realize that this is LoR reference, as I dont understand these references in a foreign language... I think the "a ring" should be accepted as well - since there's no way of knowing that this is a special sentence taken out from a movie that needs one exact translation.
I agree with you. You didn't get the reference in a foreign language, and someone else might not get it at all. Because, you know, there are actually people in the world who haven't read the books or seen the movies. I've read the books, but I still didn't remember the exact quote. I don't have a problem with using popular culture references, but getting the translation right shouldn't depend on knowing the reference.
In your translation, where does the 'is' come from? Wouldn't the Hungarian sentence here require 'van' if 'is' was intended? How about without a verb: 'a ring above all' or 'one ring above all'?
(I realize that 'van' is omitted in some Hungarian sentences where English has 'is', but the sentence here is not one of those, is it?)
Well, I'm no expert, but here are a couple of thoughts. First, it is not just physical locations, but any adverbial complement that requires van:
1. János a hazban van.
2. János jól van.
Existential constructions also require 'van': Van Isten?
To look at the matter from the other direction, it is only with predicate nouns and predicate adjectives that van is omitted (in the present tense):
1. János gazdag.
2. János tanár.
That is my understanding. So it comes down to whether 'mindenek felett' is an adverbial complement. It seems to me that it is, and that therefore a translation into Hungarian of the sentence 'A ring/one ring is above all' would be constructed using 'van'.
Therefore, the words we are given are a fragment, not a complete sentence. (Notice that neither the DL Hungarian sentence nor the DL English translation end with a punctuation mark -- a sign, perhaps, that a fragment rather than a complete sentence is intended.)
Well, I'm already above my pay grade on this, so I'll stop now -- but you see where I'm coming from.
Good point... I frankly did not think about whether there should be "van" or not. I got this in Hungarian without van to translate to English ... I know that "van" is sometimes not used in senteces (in which there is "is" in English) and I was implicitly expecting to translate a sentence, not a fragment. Somehow I really did not analyze that and used my gut. My Hungarian gut is still quite embryotic though... So I guess "a ring above all" should be accepted, which it maybe is :) - I'll try next time I get to this sentence.
Well, "mindenek" is nominative plural, whereas "minden" is nominative singular. So I think the Hungarian here is saying "above all (the rings)" = above (them) all"; whereas "minden" would be saying "above all" = "above everything".
In other words, this is a ring greater than all other rings, but not necessarily greater than anything else at all.