Translation:The Chinese children are not standing by the trains but by the trams.
Calling these suffixes "cases" is unnecessarily scary. Cases are for Indo-European languages, and are far more complicate than these, but Hungarian belongs to another family.
In Hungarian, PREpositions are attached after the words, instead of before, therefore they could be called POST-POSITIONS (or "postposition suffixes"). That is all.
Using Latin expressions to describe these post-positions just makes thing sound more difficult. It also feels a bit weird to me, since Hungarian is completely unrelated to Latin.
"Inessive" comes from "in esse", Latin for "to be in". "Superessive" comes from "super esse", Latin for "to be on". "Adessive" comes from "ad esse", Latin for "to be next to".
I can't see the scare factor and difference between learning many prepositions and learning the very same amount of suffixes. It might not be ideal to try to bend any language into rule systems of other, foreign languages that have more in common with each other, but here it seems to work great.
At least "ben" was really "in" all the time. "on" was sometimes used where i expected "ben" (or "vel") but usually it was "on" and "nál" was always "by".
You say Latin is unrelated to Hungarian and therefore should not be used to describe it, but it describes it quite nicely to me.
Also Hungarian postpositions behave slightly differently to Hungarian cases. When there are multiple nouns conjuncted with "és", then a postposition is only provided for the last, whereas they would each have required a case ending. Also some postpositions also require a case ending. To call case endings "postpositions" would create a minefield of ifs, buts, and exceptions that would be truly scary.
Standing 'at' the trains (or trams) sounds strange to me (not being a native speaker of English). What does it mean? Next to (for which there is 'mellett', though that probably doesn't exclude other ways to express the same situation)? On (for which there would be the -en/on/ön 'postposition'? And is the sentence natural in Hungarian?
Which in no way contradicts my point.
I was contradicting this: ' "Kids" should always be correct wherever "children" are, they're exact synonyms', which is patently not true.
The base word in English is "children" in French "enfants" in German "kinder" in Swedish "barn", etc. and in Hungarian is "gyerekek". Hungarian probably has informal variants like most other languages.
"Kid" is an informal variant in a different register, but should probably be accepted here.
This "topic" is hard to get a firm grip on. Initially, I supposed that it was a reference to things already discussed in the conversation, only to find that the "topic" was a good place to introduce something new into the conversation. Now, I find that although we're discussing the Chinese children, since they have already been introduced into the conversation, they no longer belong in the topic.
This echoes my experience with "focus" as well. I supposed initially that it was where the emphasis lay, only to be later told that emphasis and focus are two different things. So I'm still a little shaky on the concept of focus (at level 5 of this course).
Vvsey referred me to an excellent Wikipedia page on all this, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_grammar#Word_order), but it needs to be read very carefully, especially that paragraph beneath the table that describes "topic" (which I felt should have preceded the table). Looking back at that page's examples of "Eva likes flowers"; it is no wonder that we find ourselves pinged when Mr. D. is not supplying the parenthesised portions :)
This is not written in any sense of frustration, but in the hope that it might help someone who has similar difficulties. Thanks.