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  5. "Az óvónő felül a kéményre és…

"Az óvónő felül a kéményre és énekel."

Translation:The kindergarten teacher sits up on the chimney and sings.

July 29, 2016



As for sitting on a chimney, peasant houses in Hungary and Transylvania had a round stove (called "kémény") with a built-in stone bench encircling it. The stove was the heating for the house, and the bench served as a bed for the old people and the children, since it was the warmest place in the house.


In English, the words 'chimney', 'fireplace' ('hearth') and 'stove' denote different things. What does the Hungarian 'kémény' really mean in the DL sentence here?

If it really means 'chimney', then the teacher would have to be up on the roof sitting on the column of bricks that pierces the roofline. Is that what was intended, or is it the round stove you describe what DL means?


I assumed this was one of the flying kindergarten teachers and she is, in fact, sitting on a chimney and singing (à la Mary Poppins).


Exactly what I assumed as well. Crystal clear.


Kémény means chimney, the sentence is strange, but grammatically correct.


If this is what is meant in the sentence, then I agree, chimney is not the translation word in English which should be used. It should probably be "hearth".


This is yet another of the horrible(!!) examples which confuses more than it teaches. ---
Here's the "felül" enry in the Akadémiai Kiadó's Hungarian−English Comprehesive Dictionary: felül tni 1. [ágyban] sit up 2. [magasabb helyre] perch (oneself) on sg, [lóra] get on, mount (horse), [kerékpárra] get on (bicycle), [kocsira], get in, climb into (carriage, car), [vonatra] get on, board (train), [madár ágra] perch on, go to roost on (branch); felül a magas lóra átv biz get on one’s high horse, put on the high-and-mighty 3. átv biz vknek be taken in by, be duped by.
-- How about changing this example to: "A madár felül egy ágra és énekel." = = "The bird perches on a branch and sings." Note: in this case, "perch" has the sense of movement, of flying to and standing ony.
-- Another example for felül could be: "A fiu felül az égyban és énekel." = "The boy sits up in bed and sings." Note: in this case the movement is sitting up from a lying positiony.
-- I hope this is helpful.


I do like this example much better, however, one thing to consider is that the creators may be limited in their choices due to limits in the numbers of words they can add into the program, etc. I "branch" was not a word they were able to include, then they might have to replace with "tree". Either way, though, it's an improvement.


"felul" is not really "sits down" by any stretch of the imagination... not that we would ever sit on a chimney to begin with. What can I say, we sure have to live with the image for the rest of our lives.


Kind of funny, a few dozens comments and I still don't see a clear "this is it" how this should be expressed in English.

Felül seems so easy with a horse or a bike, it is mount, but any other "upsitting" seems to be weird (since "sit upright" was turned into sit up?), although some comment seems to suggest that elevation is crucial and then I would think "sit up" seems perfectly right...

I am fairly confident that in German it is expressed like this:
Die Kindergärtnerin setzt sich auf den Kamin (rauf/hinauf) und singt. (the fel element feels optional to me)

There must be a way to express: I am standing here (eg in front of my house, or already on the roof) and xyzabc onto the chimney. Now I am sitting on the chimney and can sing.


How would you translate felül? Because fel means up and ül means sit. And how can one sit up and down at the same time?


I'd translate it as "sit down" (= take a seat), because "sit up" means something else in English (= sit upright / straighter; or rise from a lying position to a sitting position; but not move from a standing position to a sitting position on a surface that is higher than you are).

Hungarian, on the other hand, can apparently make a distinction in whether the movement to a sitting position has you end up higher or lower than where you were before. But I don't think you can translate that directly to English.


I am Hungarian, so I would say you can translate "felul" to "sit up" though I totally agree that it has another meaning as well in English.


Yes, "felül" can also mean "to rise to a sitting position", so "sit up" can be a correct translation, but not in this sentence, I think. For that it should be "... felül a kéményen."

A kéményen feküdt, -- she was lying on the chimney,

aztán úgy döntött, felül. -- then she decided to sit up.


--------- there is a lovely english word, "upon " that can be used here. to sit upon the chimney .. .

Big 30 jan 18


And not only Hungarian. I was always confused with the English "sit up". The verb felül is perfectly understandable to me.


Agree. Sit up (felul) I would think. Not according to the writers, though.


I suggest that it should be "The kindergarten teacher gets on the chimney and sings". This would match the usage with getting on public transportation. What do y'all think?


You are correct with the public transportation meaning, but here she sits on top of something high, is another use of "felül"


Fel is up, ül is sit. We used to "sit up" on higher things, for example: a horse.


How about "sits up onto"?


Ezek a magyar óvónők nagyon furcsák.


"sits up and is sitting down" are both accepted, but "is sitting up" is rejected.


Can one of the Hungarians here help differentiate between this usage of felül and leül. I've heard people telling children (or dogs) to "sit down" using "ülj le" (imperative).


"Leül" means sinking into a sitting position. You end up lower than before.

"Felül" means rising into a sitting position. You were either lying before sitting up, or you sat on a surface that's higher than a usual chair (for instance usually one "felül" on a bar chair too).


I get those, however, from the discussions here, and in other example questions, felül seems to be getting used in contexts where we in English would only use "sit down". This very question, in English, bears absolutely no inference that the person was about so sit on anything taller than a chair. Unless, of course, the implication is that the basic fact that the chimney was on a roof requires felül, even if the person is standing on the roof already, and is a fairly short chimney.

These are the things I'm hoping to get clarified, because in English we only "sit up" if, as you noted, we were first lying down, were slouching in the chair, or there was an explicit change in elevation from where one was standing in order to reach the object to be sat upon. Examples:

The audience was seated in front of the stage, while the speaker sat up on the edge of the stage.

"Billy, why don't you come sit up here with me?" (In this context, "up" could mean a change in elevation, or meaning to come to the front of a room)

Mr. Phillips sat up on the roof looking down at the garden."

In all of these examples, there is a difference in relative elevation/position which makes "up" necessary. The impression I get is that in Hungarian, these rules work differently, and that is what I wish to understand.


At this point in the course it should be obvious to everyone that the sentences are designed primarily to teach linguistic and grammatical structures and patterns, not everyday expressions. One of the best ways to highlight structure is to de-emphasize the lexical content (vocabulary) by providing somewhat unrealistic, even absurd, sample sentences. We obsess over the content of sentences at our own peril.

We must avoid the trap of expecting one-to-one equivalents between English and Hungarian (or between any two languages, for that matter). In the present sentence, the context -- change of place/the presence of a destination with the sublative suffix (-ra/-re) -- clearly shows that the verbs “felül” and “leül” imply movement. English rarely does this with a single verb. Yes, there is “sit up there”, “sit down here”, “sit over there” etc. (as well as the examples provided by RMattlage from the Akadémiai Kiadó dictionary), but English often expresses “felül”, “leül”, etc. with two verbs, one to show movement and the other to show the final position; for example: go down there and sit, come over here and sit, get up on the roof and sit, climb up on the chimney and sit.

Learning a foreign language requires us to open our minds and exercise our imagination. Once this has been done, most of the above frustration, consternation and quizzical cogitation evaporates.


Where is she sitting? She's sitting up on the chimney.


-ra/-re are directional, not positional.


Would this be like leaning against the chimney? Because that would make sense both with sitting UP and on the chimney.


Makes sense to me in so far as this kindergarten teacher ( of miraculous abilities and bizarre habits) is UP on the chimney, sitting and singing. Hope the neighbours are not too disturbed.


The hints when hovering over felül say "is sitting down on, sits down on/onto" rather than up. Reported.

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