"The railway stations are where the hotels are."

Translation:A pályaudvarok ott vannak, ahol a szállodák.

July 28, 2016

This discussion is locked.


I've seen this construction a few times, with the "ott" that disappears from the English translation, and I still don't understand how it works. Can I translate the Hungarian as "the railway stations are there, where the hotels are"? There's no problem with this as an English sentence.

Conversely, how would i translate my English sentence into Hungarian? It does have a different flavour to duo's sentence; theirs is a general statement that wherever the hotels are, the stations are there too, whereas mine specifies that I know the location and I'm pointing it out. But it seems I can't do that in Hungarian as "ott" is already in the sentence that apparently DOESN'T indicate the "there"...

Am I over thinking this? :-)


Your English sentence has two interpretations.

The one I had at first means pretty much exactly the same as Duo's.

But from your description I think you mean what I would punctuate as "The railway stations are there -- where the hotels are."

That is, "where the hotels are" could be a restrictive relative clause that identifies the "there" (my interpretation) or a non-restrictive relative clause which merely provides additional information but plays no part in identifying "there" (what I understand to be your interpretation).

I wonder whether Hungarian can make a distinction.

German, for example, also doesn't make a distinction between "The students who are smart will succeed" (restrictive) and "The students, who are smart, will succeed" (non-restrictive), always requiring the commas.


Hungarian works like German here: "A diákok, akik okosak, sikeresek lesznek." -- the commas are always necessary.

And we don't make a distinction in this sentence about the railway stations either. With this structure both translations are correct.


Wouldn't Hungarian make a distinction between A diákok, akik okosak, sikeresek lesznek (non-restrictive, just additional information) and Azok a diákok, akik okosak, sikeresek lesznek (restrictive, identifying which students you mean)?

Because Duo always uses azok a ..., akik/amelyek ... for its (restrictive) relative sentences.

Is that merely common but not really necessary?


Yes, it's common (and preferable) to use that as distinction, but it can also be understood as "Those students will succeed. By the way, they're smart", so that's why I didn't include it in my comment.


Ah, that makes sense - thank you!


Would it be correct with a "vannak" after the comma? (Since one is indicating existence.)


"A pályaudvarok ott vannak, ahol a szállodák vannak."

This is a grammatically correct sentence, which should be accepted, but the second "vannak" is redundant.


I take it that the "ott" needs to come before the verb? What is the word order rule here?


Yes, in ott ahol constructions, put ott before the verb. (most of the time)

Ott is in the focus here, since the main information is: where are the train stations?

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