"A városnál arab nők és gyerekek jönnek."

Translation:Arab women and children arrive at the city.

July 15, 2016

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Wrong. You don't say "arriving by the city" you say " arriving AT the city"


Agree. Many of these "by the.." and "at the..." sentences don't translate well into English. The translations sound unnatural and the meaning is not at all clear either.


how am i supposed to know that jonnek is now arrive- when usually it translates to come?!!!!!!!!!!


"Coming" is a movement to a place, which would warrant using the suffix -hoz in this case. But here you have -nál, so the movement already has taken place. They are not 'coming' anymore but they're now at their destination.
It's a bit a weird concept, I admit, but you can't transcribe everything literally into English.


But in that case, you need to supply "arrive" as one of the translations of "jönnek" This is similar to the sentences with "-hoz áll" -- the apparent mismatch of motion and stasis is a feature that conveys something in Hungarian that is difficult to translate into English.


This was brought up elsewhere in this thread. Érkezik or megjön are the Hungarian words to "arrive" so really only "come" should be accepted here.


In English, we would say either "arriving at" or "coming to" the city. Since the Hungarian used "jön" instead of "érkezik", I think only "coming to" should be the valid english form here.

Unless "jön" can situationally be used to imply arrival...


The Hungarian sentence does not mean that the women and children are "arriving at" or "coming to" the city. I think that "arriving by the city" is a valid English phrase if their destination is near(by) the city. The Hungarian sentence says nothing about entering the city, that would be városba or városban, depending on whether the city is their destination (and they are outside of it), or their destination is within the city (and they are already inside).

  • Arab women and children are arriving (or "coming to") near(by) the city.

I think this is why the author of the English translation used 'by.'

However, you're right about the meaning of jönnek, which indicates that their journey has not come to an end: megjönnek or érkeznek would be the translation of arriving. The weird thing is that the Hungarian sentence uses jönnek together with városnál instead of városhoz.

This could only mean, as I imagine, that their destination is not the city (not even closeby), they are just sort of "coming around" it: -nál indicates that they are already nearby.

  • Arab women and children are coming around the city.


But this is a problem with a few of the sentences here on Duolingo. The English sentence is basically meaningless. If you say to me you are "arriving by the city" in English, I don't know what you're trying to say - it's not a natural sentence. Maybe that's because if you "arrive by" something in English it's more likely to be followed by a mode of transport - e.g. "I arrived by car". Arriving "near" the city would be a lot clearer. That said, when I asked a native speaker about this sentence they told me it doesn't sound natural in Hungarian either.


I was highly uncertain as to what the Hungarian sentence was intended to mean. (The English sentence is not well-formed.) It sounds like that's not entirely a problem with my Hungarian!


That makes sense, but in that case, in English we would use simply "near". "Near" is a target. "Nearby" is a location. (like the difference between ba/be and ban/ben).


Yes, I agree that "Arab women and children are coming near the city" is the most natural translation that conveys the same meaning as the Hungarian sentence. Still, it could be understood as városhoz instead of városnál...


Ooops, I have heard "a rábnők" :D


yet another confusing sentence.


Another instance ....... is it "at", or "by"? "At the city" makes sense in English, but it is wrong........or at least it is not accepted as a correct translation.


"Coming at the city" is being given as my model answer. That is just terrible, nonsensical English!


Wrong, wrong, wrong! Traps in nearly every sentence! Is this the Hungarian version of "Verstehen sie Spaß" in German? If "arrive" is the correct answer in English, it should be "megérkezik" in the Hungarian.



However I have also heard the verb "jön" used in this context as well.


I am native Hungarian and I can say: arrive means in this case megérkeznek, not jönnnek, jönnek = they are coming


The problem is rather with the English sentence. You can't really "come" (jön) "at a place" (valaminél). You only can "come from" or "come to" somewhere.


How about "come along"?


Nah. "Along" implies a route or a path being traversed. This sentence is designating a point at which they arrive.


"A városnal arab", yet Duo does not accept "the". It seems to be completely random


I think you might have interpreted the phrase wrong. It's the object "a városnál" - to the city, and the subject "arab nők és gyerekek" - Arab women and children, without a "the".

The way you phrased it sounds like you expect something about "the Arab city", which is not the case here.

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