"Excuse me, where can I find a good hotel here?"
Translation:Elnézést, hol találok itt egy jó szállodát?
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English is a bit freer with "can" in situations such as "I can't find my keys" or "I can see a man in the window" -- "can" here does not really express permission or acquired knowledge (I can swim = I have been taught how to swim, but I can't find my keys does not mean that you have never been taught how to find keys).
So the translation is not 1:1.
OK, but as a Hungarian learner who knows English I would see your answer the other way round. You explained to me when and how 'can' is used in English, but I know that. What I seemingly don't know is when to use 'tudni' in Hungarian.
So I interpret your answer like this (please correct me if I'm wrong):
Hungarian is more restrictive than English in this respect. While 'can' in English can reflect whether or not you are able to do something right now, the Hungarian 'tudni' reflects having been taught, having received permission or having acquired knowledge about something. And as you don't need permission or having been taught how to look for keys you don't use 'tudni'.
Did I understand this correctly? Thanks for your response!!!
If you are still interested:
The word 'know' can mean 'can' in some cases in Hungarian but not at all the cases:
'I can swim' - 'Tudok úszni'
I CAN learn many languages on Duolingo'- 'A Duolingon sok nyelvet tanulHATok'
So the world 'tudni' as an auxiliary word can mean 'can' as able to do something while the '-hat, -het' (you have to watch out vowel harmony for example 'BeszélHETek') can mean 'can' as having the possibility for something (there are no circumstances that can prevent this thing)
'Tudok úszni' - I can swim as I am able to swim
'Úszhatok' I can swim as I am not injured
'where can I find?' 'Hol találHATok?' is the natural Hungarian translation. So the official solution of this sentence is not word-by-word ( and it's not the biggest problem, as a native I succeeded to pass this sentence for the 4th try beacuse it only approves one not perfect translation :D)
So it is like the focus is not on my ability to find something but the possibility to find something beacuse I am asking it without knowing the direction (so I am confused and I expect help from someone else)
Edit: I should do some google searches first: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/hat-het-tud-can.2318993/
Interesting points have been made but it sounded a bit like "hol találhatok" would be the ideal translation, which I don't completely agree with.
It's right that "tud" is more about ability and "-hat/-het" is more about the choice/opportunity but they have something in common. They both sound quite general and hypothetical. If you take "Where can I find ..." literally as a Hungarian, it sounds like "in case I would ever want to find one" appended - and not something going on right now. "For what location do I have the ability/opportunity to find a hotel?"
You may feel that the "opportunity narrative" (-hat/-het) is much more suitable than the "ability narrative" (tud) - but it still sounds quite hypothetical in my opinion. "I will decide whether I take benefit of that opportunity and find one or change my mind and don't". "Hol találok ..." is much more determined, kinda.
As a non-native speaker living in Hungary I've made out this loose rule:
'Elnézést' is more like 'excuse me': getting attention, sneezing,...
'bocsánat' is stronger and resembles 'I am sorry'. It's when you want to apologize for something that just happened. It's for accidentally elbowing people in a full tram and such things.
Again, I'm not a native speaker, this is just a pattern I have observed in how people use it. However, in most situations they are interchangeable. I stick to this rule and never got weird glances, so I keep using it, even if it makes a distinction where there is none.
Maybe this could be the case some time ago but I don't feel too much difference now. For example I always say 'Elnézést (a késésért)' 'Sorry (for the late)' when I am late from a lecture. Another difference can be that 'Elnézést' is a bit more formal. You tend to use 'Bocsánat' 'bocsi' when you are with your friends. 'Elnézést' is rather sarcastic in that case: you say 'sorry' but the others can feel that you think 'but it is your fault and not mine' or 'why do you bother of this little mistake of mine so much'.
And vica versa: 'bocsánat' is rarely used when you speak to an older person or a teacher.
Disclaimer: I think that they are mostly interchangable and that's the main "rule" one should be aware of.
But... I have my own little theory.
In my opinion, the difference is that "Elnézést" doesn't imply regret. It's more like "Okay, whatever happened, has happened, please try to move on, I'm aware it wasn't comfortable for you".
"Bocsánat" is more like actually regretting what happened "Okay I know it was my fault, I hope you forgive me". And I think the reason this renders less formal is that it requires some honesty and mutual trust. It sounds a bit more involving while "Elnézést" sounds a bit more distancing.
What you describe fits exactly to how I use "excuse me" (more formal, can seem VERY sarcastic when used between friends) and "sorry" (which might seem inappropriate in some situations). But I agree. Those are definitely very loose rules. It's just the pattern I picked up living in Budapest (right now, 2016). Thanks for the feedback!
I'd say "hol itt" is as awkward as "where here" would be in English, generally.
More importantly, "hol" is the important detail you want to gather a new piece of information about - i.e the focus. The focus part should be followed by the verb. Most interrogative verbs should be immediately followed by the verb for this reason, I can only think of "why" (miért) and the likes, that don't necessarily ask about a part of speech of the original question but rather want to dig deeper, where you can keep something else in focus to indicate what detail you want to be explained.
I find it inconsistent that here "tudok" is not used when it is required in the "where can you have lunch"? question: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/17948921/Where-can-you-have-lunch
Because these questions represent completely different thoughts in mind. The mentioned question is actually about potential: "it's your business whether you'll have lunch or not... but what are your opportunities if you decide to".
On the other hand, this question pretty much implies you have decided already, you do want to find a hotel, not potentially but really. Probably you aren't asking for no reason or to change your mind and rather not find hotels that you are asking about.
So, while English keeps it more open (I'm not sure why, you must know it better, don't you), in Hungarian, you are likely to go more direct and hint you are looking for hotels and you are going to find them once you know the answer.