1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "Én nem látok feketéket."

"Én nem látok feketéket."

Translation:I do not see black ones.

July 9, 2016



FYI this would also translate as "I don't see black people."


Yeah, as a native speaker, I approve. Though, it could refer to something else either, but still...a bit racist lol


Disclaimer: I cringe when reading this sentence in Hungarian but I'm heavily influenced by the massive amounts of American shows I watch in English.

I don't think we have enough exposure to have a well developed vocabulary for this in Hungary. It was last year that I first ever saw a black person who obviously wasn't on holiday and was living here, I saw him driving a tram. This year I met someone who grew up here and I told about it to friends and family. Very few of them had similar experiences.

I think there is some confusion right now as to which designations are rude and which ones acceptable for African descent in Hungarian. I thought "néger" was ok and others here say that's worse, while "fekete" seems a lot worse to me and have read that it's ok in some places. You can contrast that to calling a Chinese person "sárga" meaning yellow is considered very rude by everyone without question. We have a significant Chinese minority for decades now. That helps clarify things.

We'll just have to wait and see, it'll happen in a few years, we have a more and more mixed population here as well. My best guess is we'll use some new untarnished word as the polite version something either official/scientific or newly made-up because none of the currently often used options can be considered clearly polite, but still, one of them might prevail as well.


Something like 'afromagyar' perhaps?


I dislike that african-whatever term. Sounds weirdly backwards to me. And also like anti integration, actually like a (possibly unwanted) separation, a special treatment for minorities. As though any person with black/brown skin color is and will always be an African first. Unlike all other humans, i.e. we all, who are also supposed to originate from Africa? It has some sense if the person actually speaks an African language and lives partly (or lived years or was born and raised) there, but when only one language and one country is his/her home, which is not necessarily an African country (just because of skin color someone must feel partly African....huh?), i think Africa is possibly not any more their (second) home than it is mine. Maybe the generation that immigrated into Hungary, Austria, Europe, is afromagyar, but all their children should just be "regular" citizens.

I guess i can't determine how someone else wants to be called and grouped, but i would not want to be defined by my recent ancestors origins forever, placed awkwardly in another country i possibly have nothing to do, due to skin color, and rather be called by what is currently a distinguishing adjective of mine. White, tall, skinny, dark brown hair, male, human ... whatever, anything that actually and obviously describes me, now. Afroamerican, black, colored, whatever was once considered acceptable language and before that was meant as an insulting term, that stemmed from latin niger... all mean just Black. The color is not racist by itself. Shifting every once in a while to a new word, won't stop racists from being racist, it just makes PC an awkward hurdle, a part of a language to tiptoe around, for everyone, when without meaning to, something can insult someone so easily in that minefield.

Servus (german) Szervusz (hungarian) is a nice friendly greeting. But means "i'm your servant", literally slave.

Nevertheless: Servus!


Why would it be racist? You simply state you don't see any black people. I don't see any black people right now either.


I don't know but isn't that a derogatory term for them? I mean in Hungarian..


No, I don't think so... But now I'm not sure... I'd be happy if someone cleared that up, I certainly don't want to accidentally insult people.


It's not a derogatory term. (The derogatory term, though widely used, would be néger. I do not recommend using it.) But the sentence out of context like this does sound a little weird and potentially racist. It seems an odd choice for Duolingo.


I think the thing is that the World is changing. The word "néger" used to be a perfectly neutral and PC and acceptable word in Hungary. It was used everywhere, there were (are?) even products named like that ("négercsók" - a chocolate-covered dessert). The word "fekete" was very rarely used for people (other than the chimney-sweep). You can also check many books, novels, etc., they had no problem using "néger".

There are several other terms, and they were also neutral, simply (I think) because there were no black people living in Hungary, hence no emotional issues.

But as more and more people are exposed to the English language, and learn especially about American history, they learn what is acceptable and what is not in America. And that emotional content of the English words seeps back into the Hungarian words, as well. People who spend enough time in the USA will start feeling uncomfortable saying "néger" anymore. The same can happen with the other terms, as well.

And on top of that, there are now people of various origins living in Hungary. And they have their preferences, too. And they might have arrived from countries where certain terms are very offensive to them. And the Hungarian translation of those same terms, no matter how innocent in Hungarian, may raise the same emotional issues for them.

So, bottom line, I agree, time will tell what words will end up being the consensus for a neutral term.


@vvsey, we had sort of a similar situation here in Mexico with an also chocolate-covered pastry, which Bimbo company decided to call "Negrito" (meaning something like "blackie") and they would show a boy wearing an afro wig and with his face painted of black. It seemed kind of cool and I didn't see any "pejorativeness" in the advertisement, but some international organisation "ordered" us to change that and now it is called "Nito".


Why does this sentence have to be related to people? There's no context, so the first thing that came to my mind was looking for a black jelly bean amongst all the multi-coloured ones. But it could be dogs, cats (haven't so far had those in Duo) cars, buildings, etc. Why people? Are we all so obsessed with PC that we can't use the word black without hang-ups?


Yes, exactly. The context for the questions in this block of Duolingo lessons is cars and apples. No need to assume anything negative here at all.


First thought I have was tables. Because I think there was an earlier lesson specifying black tables, and also black apples; or rather "not black apples" in that case.


Should "i don't see any black ones" be allowed?


I also translated with an additional "any" thinking this might be the better English


That could be translated as "Nem látok egy feketét sem". Still, I think it should be accepted here too.


Somewhere along the lines, "Én nem látok feketéket" means I don't see a single one, just like "egy feketét sem".


All these short ones, black ones, tall ones, new ones formulations - would they be assumed to refer to people by default, or can they also refer to eg short plants, tall buildings, new paintings etc depending on context?


It depends on the context.


Totally context-dependent.
A "fekete" can also simply refer to a black coffee.

"Kérek egy feketét" - A (black) coffee, please.

But we could very well be talking about sugar-coated chocolate candies. I see all kinds of colors but I do not see any black ones.


If I were to say, "Én nem feketéket látok", would it still be correct?


The meaning is slightly different; it means you see something other than feketéket. Since there's no context for the sentence, though, I don't think it'd be incorrect. The English sentence would be the same, just with different stress.


which one of these words indicates "any"? Because the hints surely didn't note that at all.


Was the sentence not accepted without any?


It wasn't accepted.


"I don't see black ones" is definitely a correct translation, I recommend reporting it next time. :)


I had the same problem and I reported it.


don't is identical to do not. Why is don't incorrect?


It could be about cockroaches

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