"Hol találok jó orvosokat?"

Translation:Where can I find good doctors?

August 3, 2016

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Abroad. They all emigrated. Sad, but true.




What is wrong with "Where do I find good physicians"?


It's also correct.


Why not "jókat orvosokat" ?


Attributive adjectives (those that are directly before a noun) always stay in their base form. ("egy orvos", " orvosok", " orvosokat)"

An adjective can only be pluralized if it's the predicate of the sentence: "Az orvosok jók." -- "The doctors are good." As a predicate it can't be in any case other than nominative, so no other suffixes can be attached to it.

The only time an adjective takes all of the suffixes of its noun is when it substitutes it:

  • " orvosokat keresek" -- "I'm looking for good doctors."
  • "Jókat keresek" -- "I'm looking for good ones."


To say it another way: as Calvin noted, "Verbing weirds [the English] language." But in Hungarian, you can noun-ize adjectives. Once you noun-ize them, you otherwise treat them as nouns.

You can also verb nouns, but that adds an ending, so is more transparent: e.g. sör (beer) vs söröz (drink beer).


Simple and quite expressive way to put it. Let me note that this of course doesn't mean there aren't nouns derivated from adjectives: szabad+ság = freedom, egész+ség = health, literally wholeness, and so on.


Is "where will I find" not acceptable?


It should be accepted. As a matter of fact the sentence "Hol találok jó orvosokat?" is a good example of the common feature of Hungarian language - to describe a future action with the present tense. So "where will I find good doctors" sounds perfectly good to me. "Where can I find good doctors?" has the same meaning but we used the verb "can" which we didn't use in the Hungarian version. The Hungarian translation of this sentence would rather be "Hol találhatok jó orvosokat?"


For me, "Hol találok" for future sounds quite lame, not much more legit then "Where am I finding" or "Where do I find"... It doesn't emphasize the "eventually"/"later" nature of the action, it sounds more like "reasonably soon, close to now". (Talál hardly has a progressive aspect because of it's meaning, obviously you can't be finding something right now.)
It seems to me people here often behave as if the present tense was just another way of future tense in Hungarian, this is not true. If you use the right temporal adverbs, you can refer to future using present tense - just like in English. In Hungarian, this is more prevalent but definitely not a 50% choice.

I think, if the question was about mapping present tense to English future tense in a sentence like this, it's actually right NOT to accept the translation. "I will do" is "csinálni fogok" generally, not "csinálok".
I think the question wasn't about that, it may have been about "can find" and "will find" being similar, as "will find" doesn't emphasize future the way "találni fogok" would. I think this is a similar case to "can find" - I wouldn't say "találok" expresses the same modality as "találhatok"/"tudok találni", it's just English usually uses a different modality with "find".


This is discussed a little here already, but I'm still a bit confused. If the English translation is "Where can I find good doctors?" wouldn't the Hungarian version be "Hol tüdok találni jó orvosokat?"? Or is that just inelegant Hungarian (which is what I learned as a child).


I can understand why it can be called "inelegant". I'd say it's because "can" and "tud" (not "tüd", by the way) or even "-hat"/"-het" not being that similar in use.

In English, you use "can" with "find" because finding or not finding isn't your decision. You modulate "find" to express it's not a consciously controlled action.
In Hungarian, if you used "tud", it would sound like finding something is an ability that you have developed/you can train. Now asking "where" makes it even more odd, as if a certain location was required for your ability to function. :D
For "-hat/-het" (hol találhatok), it's less "inelegant" - it talks about theoretical possibility, a bit like "may". This includes asking for permission. "Where do I have any chance to find good doctors?" You may say this but it's more hypothetical then "can I find" in English, it doesn't really suggest you are going to look for the doctors given the chance.

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