In the notes for the Nationality lesson, it talks about generic statements and says that "a" or "az" is required in Hungarian even when "the" isn't in English. The specific example there is: "Dutch people are tall. A hollandiak magasak."
This sentence just told me I was wrong when I translated it as "What are English firefighters like?" Is this an error or a subtlety I'm missing in Hungarian?
Hi Shamarth, I was wondering about the "az" in the sentence. Does the "az" force the translation "What are English firefighters like?" to be incorrect and thus making "What are the English firefighters like?" to be the correct translation? My first thought is to translate it like FletcherSA did so I am wondering about the difference.
Whether you refer to a specific group or to English firefighters in general, the article is necessary in Hungarian. Both "What are English firefighters like?" and "What are the English firefighters like?" translate to "Milyenek az angol tűzoltók?" Only context can tell which meaning is intended in Hungarian, so both English sentences should be acceptable here.
That sounds like you're asking about their health or something, just like in "How are you?" So your sentence would rather translate to "Hogy vannak az angol tűzoltók?"
I do not think that it necessarily implies that I am asking specifically for health or something, especially since we are talking about not one person but several people. If I am asking how are these cars, I am not asking if they are healthy? However, I think that I understand now the difference between "hogy" and "milyen". Thank you.
"How are these cars?" sounds quite unnatural to me in English, as a native speaker. If you want a description, you ask "What is/are ... like?"