"Small and big ships sail on the deep seas."

Translation:A mély tengereken kis és nagy hajók úsznak.

July 21, 2016

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So what's the difference between the use of kis & kicsi?


We use 'kis' when you want to say something like: ' Can I have a little salt?' or 'here is the little girl' (kaphatok egy kis sót?, itt a kislány) And we use kicsi when we want to say 'the girl is small', or 'my shoe is too small' (a lány kicsi, a cipőm túl kicsi) So 'kicsi' is something like small, and 'kis' is like little, but sometimes we mix it up For example: I need a little salt can mean that 'Kell nekem egy kis só' (it is better I think) but it can also mean that 'kell nekem egy kicsi só' (It is just a little bit weird but that's not a big deal). But sometimes we just can't mix them up 'cause it would be very weird, like "my shoe is too little"-"a cipőm túl kis". Do you see? It sounds weird.


As a Swedish speaker with no distinction of small/little; no, I don't see how it's weird


absolutely right.

It's a matter of usage, that is too hard (impossible?) to learn by studying, but comes naturally by immersion (conversation, reading, movies, use, etc)


Absolutely none. Duo must be confused. I keep suggesting that he accept both equally.


And why is kicsi marked wrong as a translation of small?


yeah, it sounds a bit strange, but really should be accepted. the difference is too small.


The literal translation of the word "sail" is vitorlaz. If you mean Mennek, you should say the ships go, or travel.


I would agree with this, I thought that a ship "vitorlázik", not that it "swims".


Hello, I am sorry, I don't understand now. :( Is úszni correct here?


Yes, the verb "úszik" is often used with ships and boats.


That's not true.


Well, what other verb would you use then? I find úsznak a lot more natural than vitorláznak. And mennek is far too... simple.


I did not know, I stand corrected.

I thought Duo invented it.


Yes (?), 'uszni' is what Duo wants, but it's very poor.

'Sailing' works in English, b/c it has become the common reference from the days of the 'tall ships' - before engines.

'Vitorlazik' does not work in Hungarian, b/c it has remained to mean only wind-driven sails (although it also means 'floating'). Duo had to find an alternate translation. I suggested 'navigalni' (to navigate)


Especially as most modern ship does not even have a sail. :)


True, but we still talk about "sailing"....

Don't we also still "hang up" the phone and "dial" a number even though the receiver does not hang anywhere nor is there a round dial?



The literal translation of "sailing" doesn't work. But ships SWIMMING??? Is that REALLY better? (hey, hey, I know that one! -- No.).

How about 'navigating'?


Kis és nagy hajók a mély tengereken úsznak?


It's a correct sentence, though it means that small and big ships only sail on deep seas.

  • Tegnap láttam egy kis és egy nagy hajót a folyón.
  • De kis és nagy hajók a mély tengereken úsznak!


I get it- so my sentence is emphasising "small and big ships" and not "something else" sailing on the deep seas.


I think my comment was ambiguous or I messed up the English word order. I meant that big and small ships sail on the deep seas and not somewhere else. It might help to get familiar with the parts of the sentence called topic and focus.

The phrase that starts the sentence (in yours: "kis és nagy hajók") is the topic. This is what you will form a statement about in the rest of the sentence.

The phrase preceding the conjugated verb (in your sentence: "a mély tengereken") is the focus. The focus is the element that excludes every other element of the same cathegory; in this case any place other than the deep seas is excluded.

This is not valid for all possible sentences, since it's not obligatory to include a topic and/or a focus, but it can be helpful when you're experimenting with word order and how it changes the meaning.


Your word order was fine, the italic threw me! (italicising "deep seas" would have been clearer). Thanks for such a good explanation of topic/focus- I think I get it now!


Okay, then I'll edit it so it will be clear to others, thank you!


I really appreciate you explaining this in depth, because it is a difficult idea for me to grasp - I had no idea what "focus" or "topic" were, as my mind simply does not work in this way. I know that to improve in Hungarian, I need to totally retrain my mind, and I hope that is possible at my advanced age !


I think he is accepting this now.


A hajók nem nagyon úsznak. Az emberek, vagy az állatok úsznak de a hétköznapi nyelvben nem igazán használják ezt.

Mondhatod így de nagyon furán hangzik.


Ismét csak azt tudom mondani, hogy számomra teljesen természetes ez a kifejezés, sőt, el sem tudom képzelni, hogyan lehetne természetesebben megfogalmazni.


Ez igaz, talan a 'hajózni' igét gyakrabban használjuk, bár itt általban az ember az aki a cselekvést végzi...


Vitorláznak, nem úsznak.

Sail and swim is not the same thing ffs.


You can't say ships swim, but hajók úsznak is natural. I'd say that makes it appropriate to translate sail as úszik in this context.


dublen I know swim and sail are not the same thing FFS. Just to be clear, I asked if swim and sail are the same, meaning in Hungarian, can úszik be used interchangeably for both verbs because in this exercise, úszik is being used for sail when earlier it was used for swim.


Are swim and sail the same verb?


Should kis be kicsi?


no (somebody above convinced me), but it should be accepted, b/c 1) the difference is too small, and 2) impossible to learn accept by immersion in the language (I think).


The use of uszni is similar to the dual meaning of German "schwimmen" swim, float


Why not "a melyek tengeren?"


“Mély” means deep. “A mélyek” means “the deep ones” but using tengerek after that doesn’t create a correct anything that I know of personally.


'melyek' could mean 'depths' also?


please explain the difference between kis and kicsi


Can the verb not precede the subject? For example "a mély tengereken úsznak kis és nagy hajók"?


I can't really explain (unfortunately, but to me, that at least sounds the strangest. A mély tengereken kis és nagy hajók úsznak Kis és nagy hajók úsznak a mély tengereken Kis és nagy hajók a mély tengereken úsznak I can't explain much otherwise, other than to say word order in Hungarian is always about emphasis. So each of the above sentences focuses on a different part of the sentence. So, it's like by putting the verb first you're saying their sailing rather than sinking or something.


Makes sense. Köszönöm!

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