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  5. "Te iszod a sört, ő csinálja …

"Te iszod a sört, ő csinálja a vacsorát."

Translation:You drink the beer, he makes the dinner.

August 25, 2016



This might be too meta, but why are there a definite conjugation AND two articles (definite and indefinite ones) in hungarian? Isnt that redundant? I mean by using one of the two conjugations you must use one of the two articles. If it is possible to drop the person pronoun because it is known from the conjugation form, why that isnt the case with the article?


My native language has no articles at all, so I believe they're just not needed :) And it's a fact that all languages are redundant by one way or another... One thing you can see is that the constant articles help to identify a noun quickly.


With the definite conjugation, you must use the definite article. Except when you can drop it. For example, in some cases when the object is in a possessed form. "Látom arcodat" - I see your face. Definite article dropped. The indefinite "egy" can be dropped more frequently.
These tools have been handed down to the language. Maybe they had a more important role at one point. Now, language being as good using all tools it is given as it is, some of these tools are now used for emphasis and nuance. Maybe this is one of those things that only a native can use correctly.
These conjugations certainly went through a lot of change during the times. Ask your question a few hundred years from now and you may get a completely different answer. Or people won't even understand the question. "Articles? What articles??"

Some bonus info here:
In the past tense, the first person singular definite and indefinite conjugations are identical.
Also, as we know, with "-ik" verbs, the present tense first person singular definite conjugation is usually the same as the indefinite conjugation.
So those two situations can make good use of the definite article in distinguishing the definite from the indefinite.

Otherwise, it may be (I am not sure, this is just a total guess) that the definite-indefinite happened earlier and the articles appeared later for a different reason. Or the other way around. And they found a good match in one another.
Also, for example, proper nouns are frequently used without a definite article. "Látom (a) Pétert". Some people prefer with, other people prefer without, a definite article.


What I find very interesting is that Hungarian has articles while Finnish doesn't and I think it never had them. So did Hungarian pick this grammatical feature up at some point and when? What was the language it was adopted from?


As I can see from a few articles online, the definite and indefinite articles usually arise more or less naturally from within a language. Usually, from the demonstrative (English: "that" -> "the", Hungarian: "az" -> "az"/"a", etc.). So, this is a natural process. But there could be significant outside influence, as well. As magyars came into their current location in Europe, the language started to develop more rapidly. Many new words were made, many words were picked up from other languages, the grammar became richer, a lot of cultural influence happened (Latin!), and somehow the definite and indefinite articles came to be. Traces of them can already be found in the earliest written documents, from the 14th-15th centuries, but they probably started appearing much earlier.
Another thing I read is that Hungarian split from its closest relatives at least 3000 years ago, so there was lots of time for these languages to go their own way. For some reason, Finnish did not have the need for those articles to appear. I certainly don't know why. It would probably take a professional linguist.


Languages are usually redundant for multiple reasons. First, they weren't designed purposefully and consciously. :) Second, redundancy of information can be a benefit with communication - if you lose something, you still may be able to decipher to message.

Other than that, from what I read, definite conjugation is an older feature than articles - also, it used to work differently than it does now so probably the very development of articles influenced the use of definite conjugation.

And I don't know... I think this "you can drop something thanks to some feature" is just a retrospective rationalization. As vvsey pointed out: this "dropping" often makes a stylistic difference. Of course everyone likes to save a couple of words in speech but it's far from universal what one considers ambiguous or clear enough.

For example, anton_t13 said articles weren't needed because their native language has no articles. I know there are languages like this (I am learning Polish and I learned Latin at school) but I cannot consider a sentence with the articles missing just as unambiguous. And at the same time, I could just use "Látsz?" for "Do you see me?" and wouldn't feel anyone was missing. :D


I think some languages without articles can use word order to distinguish between definite and indefinite nouns. I see that in Turkish and I think that is also happening in Finnish (correct me if I am wrong).
Other than that, Turkish uses a fun trick with direct objects: if it is definite, it gets the accusative suffix; if it is not, it doesn't. As if Hungarian said "vacsora csinál" for indefinite, and "vacsorát csinál" for definite. I wonder if Hungarian ever did that, before articles and specific conjugations. It may have.


Relationship goals


Ő is for both genders tho, so its not necessarily "he"


Yep. It refuses to accept "they" instead of "he" for me. So frustrating that it wont let me answer gender neutrally


In most courses I know of, the decision was to not accept "they", mostly because of the way Duolingo works (HUN-ENG and ENG-HUN sentences are shared, same for all pairs).


You are drinnking the beer and she is preparing the dinner. ???


You are drinnking the beer and she is preparing the dinner. Te iszod a sört, ő pedig készíti a vacsorát.


Is "You drink the beer, he is making the dinner." acceptable?


Your English sentence is OK grammatically, but stylistically it's a bit off. It would be better to have both verbs in the simple form or in the -ing form


Parallelism! Which seems to be important in such contrastive structures - so did someone mention "pedig"?


You could, it is a good candidate.


I am not ready for prime time as to a discussion of pedig, etc. A perhaps simplicistic question here is: Cannot the sentence be more poetically translated as "You are drinking beer, and she is making dinner." (?)


Poetically, for sure, it can.


While true, there are times that we don't hace to have the parallel - i just got home, grabbed a beer, and realized someone was making dinner and get up to help. Beside me, a third party say "you drink the beer, he/she is making dinner." (implying they do not need help) In that situation, keeping the parallel structure would actual make the sentence sound less natural, as i was not yet drinking, but he/she is already in the middle of making food, and so needs and "-ing" verb.


Good point.
And in the Hungarian sentence, when the parallel is not needed, we can play with the word order. For example, your sentence could be translated as:
"Te iszod a sört, ő vacsorát készít."

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