"Soha nem látok zenészeket és zeneszerzőket."

Translation:I never see musicians and composers.

July 27, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Actually, in natural English, it would be "musicians OR composers". meaning that I never see either category.


Agreed. Please report it!


I was going to report that as well for this reason. I do have a question though. In Hungary is it natural to use "and" in this case?


I have exactly the same question. Is the sentence natural in Hungarian? AND: Would it be phrased the same way to express 'I never (get to) see ANY musicians OR composers?

  • 1105

We have been accepting or for a while now. I wonder though, is and really that bad?

Imagine a bar that, someone tells you, is visited by composers and musicians. Whenever you go, though, you never see either. My impression would be that it's fine to say both I never see musicians and composers. and I never see musicians or composers.

In any case, in Hungarian both are fine — given a context like the one I mentioned. Logically, with and or és the sentence can be understood to mean that you never see the two together, but maybe one composer (and no musician) or one musician (and no composer). If there is no stress on és (or and), this interpretation is very unnatural, however.


"And" sounds quite unnatural (at least in British English). You'd only use it if, like you say, you see composers and you see musicians, but never at the same time. In that case you'd put stress on the "and."


Using mathematical logic, 'and' would mean you never saw them together (as in at the same time and in the same place). The same logic seems to apply in spoken English.


Exactly. And if you want to say you don't see one or the other (or possibly either), you have to use "or" in English. I don't think it applies in Hungarian, though. But the translation should definitely say "or" for this sentence.


In English, parantheticals are often spoken with a shift in tone or volume, so you do speak parentheses, in a way; however, I don't think that's the issue here. I can't imagine a native English speaker saying "I never see composers and musicians," without emphasizing the conjunction to mean never seeing them at the same time. We would almost always use or instead of and if we meant we don't or never see either type of people. This is unique to negation; "I always see composers and musicians" does indicate whether or not you see them simultaneously. If someone used "and" instead of "or" in a negation without emphasizing it, I might get the meaning but think the speaker learned English as a second language. It seem this is different in Hungarian, which would be an important distinction for an English speaker.


Using natural languages though, you don't put parantheses in your speech and that's a huge difference. There is no difference between the word that connects parts of speech as an enumeration ("and", "és") and the word that connects clauses ("and", "és").

So the difference isn't between applying mathematical logic and applying some kind of alternative logic - it's between where to imply parantheses. English seems to treat "and" with higher precedence, like "I never see {musicians and composers}". In Hungarian, a more natural precedence is "{Soha nem látok zenészeket} és {(soha nem látok) zeneszerzőket}". If you wanted to say the former, it would be pretty easy to make it clear by adding an "együtt" ("together") at the end and therefore close the paranthesis.

"Soha nem látok zenészeket vagy zeneszerzőket" isn't wrong but for me, adding yet another negated atomic thing feels much more comfortable than applying negation right to a union... this is also mathematics, the former is typically much easier to handle at deduction. :)


But what about the speaking part... if someone really say to me this.... after látok, I laught.


In natural English, it should also be Present Perfect. (I have never seen ...)


Not necessarily. If someone is talking about a situation that is ongoing (not seeing musicians or composers), then present simple is appropriate. I can imagine someone saying this as a complaint: "I NEVER (get to) see musicians or composers!"


Am I hearing it wrong, or is "és z" shortened to "ész" when spoken? Does a 's' sound followed by a 'z' sound get shortened to a 'sz' sound when speaking, even between word boundaries?

  • 1105

Hey JoelErisco1,

well heard! When és is followed by a word starting with sz-, zs-, z-, the sounds influence each other quite a bit in fast speech. To me, it sounds like she produces both the s and the z, but very faintly. In any case, this is not a rule you have to remember or anything, it's just a feature of fast speech.

I hope this helps!


Good. Always nice to hear from a native if I heard it correctly or if I'm going crazy. I like noticing sound changes things like that, in my own language and others. Hopefully it will help with hearing even if I won't be able to reproduce the fast speech bit fluently myself anytime soon.

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