Translation:From what direction are those cars turning in?
I'm not even sure I understand what the English sentence is saying. Is it like this: You see some cars making a turn, and you want to know from which direction they turned/are turning? Does that mean an east/west type of direction? Or right/left?
Also, I don't quiet understand the function of "in" (still talking about the English here). Since the Hungarian sentence contains "be," I'm assuming it's necessary there, but is it necessary in the English sentence? I think asking "what direction are those cars turning from" would make sense.
Hmm, maybe "turning up" would be a neat translation?
If it's any similar to German, let me make this guess: you see the cars turning into your street (befordul here means they're taking a turn in your direction), and you ask from which direction they are coming. Can be from the north, from the left, from the direction of the Netherlands.
Von welcher Richtung biegen diese Autos ein?
Even with the answer given, I have trouble understanding in what situation I would ask that instead of "Honnan jönnek azok az autok?
I must imagine a city planer looking at trafic jam statistics and one street is always problematic and he wants to find out where those cars come from before they end up in the traffic jam. "From what direction do those cars take a turn into this street?" Still weird to ask so convoluted.
You need to realise here that the respective translations "From which direction" and "Aus welcher Richtung" are much more unwieldy than the Hungarian "Merről". Hungarian has a dedicated question word for it where English and German have to make three-word constructions. That's why the two-syllable options "From where" and "Woher", respectively, are the much likelier choices.
You can ask this question for instance if you're interested where the cars entering the street are coming from. The city-planner example is good for this, even if just to evaluate how to make a new traffic light system. To use a Budapestian example: you might stand on Erzsébet körút in the 7th district and are interested in how many cars come from each direction. The crossing street is called Király út (lots of food places there). The problem is, its name is the same on either side of the intersection, so you can't use honnan, at least not directly.
Instead, you can say "A belváros felől sok autó jön" - "Many cars are coming from (the direction of) the inner city." And the question of a bystander, very interested in a group of cars, "Merről jönnek azok?" - "Where are those coming from?" Slightly convoluted situation, but it's not an unnatural sentence, at least in Hungarian.
Merröl jönnek? and merröl befordulnak? are still slightly different (in expecting them in a question) to my limited understanding.
And I guess felül should mean felől. :-)
Yes, felől, gosh. Unless there is a mysterious source of cars somewhere above the city centre. (I have corrected it.) :´)
I used jön here because that's still a bit more natural, more casual, than the rather specific befordul. Which might beat the purpose of my earlier comment a bit, but hey!
Jön is the more likely word when you're speaking, and befordul is more exact when writing a report.
1) "are those cars" - conjugation error
2) "from what" isn't wrong, but it's more natural to split it up by putting "from" at the end. (Cue grammarian feud)
Yes, with many of those prescriptive-but-"unnatural" constructions, they can start to sound natural to people who have been exposed to the prescriptive versions enough. So a blanket "unnatural" would also hit the mark; there are people who have internalised the prescriptive versions if their parents/teachers/peers were conservative enough :)
I think the big problem is the word "in" in the English translation. It doesn't make any sense or add anything to the meaning of the sentence. "From what direction are those cars turning?" is fine - unwieldy, and stiff, but fine. "In" just makes a mess out of the sentence. I know it's necessary to make sure people understand "fordul be", but it's messy.
From what direction are those cars turning. Perfectly fine grammatically. Adding "in" at the end is wrong, wrong, wrong. I shudder to think what their English course is like.
That's exactly what I wrote. "Turning in" has a totally different meaning, e.g. fugitives turn themselves in. I keep writing almost daily about the poor English of the program.
We all are aware of the poor English. I think it's a lot more impactful to use the report function of the sentences instead of commenting about it, since the moderators rarely look into the comment sections.
Why not "do those cars turn"? And what does the "in"add to the meaning,which is not very clear?
The Hungarian sentence is saying that the cars are turning into a specific street, most likely the street in which the speaker currently is. The English translation tries to reflect that, but I don't think it's doing a good job.