"A bíró mit lát?"

Translation:What does the judge see?

August 1, 2016

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Can you say, "Mit lát a bíró? or is this an absurd question in Hungarian?


That's absolutely correct.


Where does the emphasis lie in the Hungarian? Is it on the front, or the back? I.e., in Mit lát a bíró?, is the emphasis on the what, or on the judge? And is the emphasis reversed in A bíró mit lát??


Yes, it is reversed. In 'Mit lát a bíró?' the emphasis is on 'Mit', while in 'A bíró mit lát?' it is on 'bíró'. E.g. 'A: Józsi egy sátrat lát. B: Jó, de a bíró mit lát?' = 'A: Józsi sees a tent. B: Okay, but what does the JUDGE see?'


This is a well-disputed topic.
So, it all depends on what we call "emphasis". In fact, in both sentence the focus is "mit" - that's why it precedes the verb immediately. The new piece of information is going to relate to the question what, hence you could say it has to be emphasised.
And then there is another thing you were referring to as "emphasis". That's the topic. It's not new piece of information, it just sets up what the new piece of information will be about. With "Mit lát a bíró?", you don't set up a topic, you just go ahead for the detail that you really want to know. On the other hand, with "A bíró mit lát", you set up "a bíró" as topic.
Of course, this is a kind of "emphasis" as well. "Mit lát a bíró" suggests that it's kinda obvious that we are talking about the judge anyway while "A bíró mit lát" explicitly redirects the context to the judge, just in case it wasn't obvious. But still, it's not a new piece of information.


Very informative, thank you!


Can we use this translation: What is the judge seeing? ?


Better judge than referee...


Would ' Mit a Biro lat?' be incorrect?


I would rather translate your version as "The thing that the judge sees?" or "What the judge sees?"
But, "Mit lát a bíró" would be better.


Yes, it basically would.

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