"Merre mennek azok az autók?"

Translation:Where are those cars going to?

August 8, 2016

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What would be the difference between "merre" and "hova" in this sentence?


Merre specifically asks for a direction (eg. nyugatra - to the west), while hova refers to a place (eg. strandra - to the beach).


I was taught by my friend Zsolti that "merre" meant "which way". We were walking from the train station in Pécs to my hotel, and I was trying to work on "right", "left", "straight", etc.


Wouldn't it be then "hova mennek azok az autók"?


That is possible, too. English doesn't have a specific word for "in which direction", so it mostly uses "where" to cover that meaning as well.


My answer was accepted, (In which direction are those cars going?) but the model answer seems strange. Hova mennek azok az autók? I would translate as where are those cars going to? Isn't merre mennek a question aimed at direction rather than destination? I see that this came up 2 years ago and RyagonIV gave the answer I would have expected but the model answer still conflates destination and direction.


The sentence as given should be Hova. Which way or to what [not to where] is what they mean here.


The preferred translation into English is actually inaccurate. If that is what needed to be said in Hungarian the closer translation would surely be "Hova mennek azok az autok?". Merre refers to direction and begs a much broader answer rather than a destination - where a specific place is the required answer to the question.

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