"Mi van a kicsi táskákban?"

Translation:What is in the small bags?

July 28, 2016

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What is the difference between words for bag and backpack ?


There are several words involved here:

  • a small plastic bag for your snacks - "zacskó"
  • or generally, small plastic bags without a handle - "zacskó" (for chips, for example)
  • a plastic shopping bag, and many similarly shaped open bags - "szatyor"
  • a sack, usually large - "zsák"
  • a briefcase, ladies' purses - "táska"
  • a special word for ladies' purse - "retikül" or "ridikül" (one of them is probably the official spelling but you can hear both)
  • travel bags, anything that's not a suitcase - "táska"
  • generally, bags that can be closed and are not generally shaped like a shopping bag - "táska"
  • backpack - "hátizsák"
  • suitcase - "bőrönd"
  • bag under your eyes - "táska"

There are various qualifiers that can be added, especially to "táska":

  • duffel bag - "sporttáska" - but it can also be "sportszatyor", I think
  • shoulder bag - "válltáska"
  • backpack - can also be "hátitáska" but I don't think it is much used anymore
  • the bag for your cameras - "fotós táska"
  • shopping bag - "bevásárló szatyor"
  • fanny pack - "övtáska"
  • handbag - "kézitáska"
  • those classic, very square briefcases that were once fahionable, we used to call them - "diplomata táska"


Oh, and a small postman - "postáska" (not really)

And those portable novelty items that could be carried in their own case (táska), which used to be a big thing:

  • a portable stereo/radio - "táskarádió"
  • a portable sewing machine - "táskavarrógép"
  • a portable typewriter - "táskaírógép"



That's ridikülous. :D
In the very last line, you called the typewriter "varrógép", too. Should be "írógép", I guess. Awesome compilation, though. : )


Just wanted to check if anybody read the whole thing. :D
Wow, good catch, thanks for that! Corrected it now.


Köszönöm a tudásodat


Thank you very much :-), a great list!


a small postman - postástáska

  • 3097

Kicsi János - Jánoska ; Joke! Kicsi postás - postáska:)


Manbag = férfitáska? :)


I am not sure manbag is well defined enough to find a definite equivalent in Hungarian. But sure, you can just call it "férfi táska", and it can be anything.
There was a time when men used to walk around with small sized (usually) leather bags, able to fit a wallet, keys, documents, etc. That would be called "autós táska" (car bag, ie. a bag for the car stuff), and be used very typically by men, as women had their purses cover the same need.
Do a picture search on "autós táska", and you will see what I am talking about.


Informal russian word for "autós táska" is "педераска" (pederaska) :)


Why kicsi and not kicsik if the bags are in plural?


Because it's before the noun.

Hungarian is sort of the opposite of German in this respect :)

German only inflects adjectives when they are used attributively (ich sehe die roten Bäume / die Bäume sind rot), Hungarian only when they are not used attributively (a piros fákat látom / a fák pirosak).

They both inflect an attributive adjective that does not modify a noun but stands by itself, though (ich sehe die roten / die roten sind hoch -- látom a pirosakat / a pirosak magasak).


Fákat, not fákot, otherwise correct. :)

Btw, this is an noteworthy point. If the word "fák" were a singular noun, it would be "fákot" in accusative. Like the word "mák" (poppy seed") :

mák - poppy seed
mákot - poppy seed in accusative

But "fák" is a plural noun, the plural of "fa" - "tree". So its accusative form is:
fákat - trees in accusative


Thanks, corrected now!

I think this bit with the endings will take a while to sink in....


What a difference :-)) Thank you!


(not a native English speaker) Is it grammatically correct to say, 'what is (instead of are) in the small bags?'


Many people (me included) argue that "What are in the bags?" is never grammatically correct. "What" is singular, and "What are..?" is only appropriate in copula sentences (sentences of identity), for example "What are those things?"

A singular thing in multiple bags is also logically good if you're talking about mass nouns: "There is bread in the bags."

In any case, the Hungarian sentence is singular, too, so a plural translation would be quite off here.


Plural interrogatives are fine in English. Here is a simple example:

You: "They are in the bags." Me: "What are in the bags?"

I already know there are several items in the bags, because you just said "they are," which is plural. Beyond that, here is a well reasoned explanation with citations that provide more examples of plural interrogative pronouns outside of copulas: https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/30443/which-is-the-correct-question-who-has-vs-who-have/31139#31139.


Inside means the same thing as in!!!


Or does it? :)
Like in English, there's a different word you can use in Hungarian for "inside" - bent or benn. It's useful if you don't have an object, like you cannot say "I am in" instead of "I am inside". Conversely, "inside" can't be used if there is no physical inner side to your object, as in "You speak in riddles." I agree that there is some overlap between those words, but they are really separate entities.

Anyway, a proper translation of "What is inside the small bags?" into Hungarian would be
"Mi van bent a kicsi táskákban?"

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