Translation:Israeli students sit at the tall tree.
In the case of the verb "sit", I think it would be enough to differentiate between the suffixes -hoz, -hez, -höz, and -nál, -nél by using "sit down" instead of just "sit".
The makers of this course seem to force everywhere the preposition "to", but as several people have noted, it just doesn't fit certain verbs in English, like stand or sit, which can't contain any movement apart from the change in one's position if accompanied with up or down.
My English is far from perfect, but Hungarian is my native language, and as the translation of "we sit down by the tree" I don't feel any difference in meaning between the constructions "a fához ülünk", "leülünk a fához", or even "leülünk a fánál". "We sit by the tree" (without "down"), would be "a fánál ülünk" (without the prefix "le-"). And in this case I would certainly use "leülünk" instead of just "ülünk", it sounds more natural.
As you can see, despite your comment from two years ago, this mistake still exists. I am a native Hungarian (just in case a language teacher, who wants to help develop a more flexible Hungarian module) and I report every such case. Sometimes there is an immediate reaction (I receive an e-mail message, that my suggestion is accepted), but in many cases a long time passed by without any reaction from the developers. That is why I also started writing comments in the forum.
I agree. In addition to what has already been said, use of "at" accompanying the verb "sit" is only appropriate in limited situations like sitting at a table. Even putting aside the issue of "sit" not implying motion already discussed, I can't imagine anyone ever sitting"at" a tree. "By" would be much more common, or "next to" or "under". And in those cases I would probably lean towards "a fánál" or "a fa mellett" in Hungarian. I'm not a native speaker, but "a fához ülni" seems akward and doesn't carry much meaning to me.
It is correct. A diákok a fánál ülnek does not imply any change whatsoever, it just means the students sit by the tree (not as in sit down). Mellét is spelled wrong. If you meant to say A diákok a fa mellett ülnek, that would be similar to the former translation. A diákok a fa mellé ülnek would be interchangeable with the -hoz version.
I wonder if the source of your confusion is the verb sit, which can mean both being in the position and getting into the position. If you interpreted the English sentence with the former meaning, then you're right that the Hungarian sentence doesn't match. Perhaps it would be better if they used the unambiguous sit down instead.
IIRC, the main translation used to be Israeli students sit to the tall tree, but it was later changed due to the complaints that the usage of the preposition was unnatural. This new translation (Israeli students sit at the tall tree) might have presented a different problem :)
So let me get this straight. Duo asked me to translate " I go and stand at the mirror." I said "A tükörhöz megyek és állok." I was marked wrong. It wanted "A tükörhöz állok." Now, when I am asked to translate this sentence, I say "Israeli students go and sit at the tall tree." Marked wrong. Is there actually a fundamental difference between the relationship between ülni + -h_z and állni + -h_z? Or what?
Looking back at the Hungarian from the point of view of topic focus verb, it seems that this sentence is: Now, talking about the tall tree, you know there are Israeli students are sitting by it. It would be far more likely the the Israeli students would be the topic. Most of us struggle with word order and it certainly doesn't help to receive such mixed messages as this.
I tend to have a problem with such translations myself, but the argument goes that that the English "sit" (rather than "are sitting") describes the action of getting into the sitting position rather than being in it. In this case, that action involves movement towards the tree and hence "-hoz". Had they already been standing by the tree, when deciding to sit, then, in all likelihood, the tree would not have been mentioned.