1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "Nem az angolokhoz beszél a p…

"Nem az angolokhoz beszél a politikus, hanem a brazilokhoz."

Translation:The politician is not talking to the English people, but to the Brazilians.

August 28, 2016



Certain adjectives in English can be used with "the" but with no noun to mean a general class of people (the elderly = elderly people; the blind = blind people; the poor = poor people etc. etc.)

For some reason, nationality adjectives ending -sh, -ch, or -ese can be used this way (the English = English people; the French = French people; the Japanese = Japanese people). However, nationality adjectives ending -an cannot be used this way. Instead you use a nationality noun in the plural (Brazilians, Americans, Iranians etc. etc.)

There's nothing incorrect or even informal about it, it's just one of those littke quirks of English grammar that native speakers do naturally, and no one remembers to tell foreign language learners. (I am an English teacher, by the way!)


Actually, you can use it with the -an nationalities, but primarily in a comparative sense:

"Due to their different languages and dialects, the customs agents were assigned to translate for the 3 groups of South American tourists: the first for the Columbians, the second for the Brazilians, and the third for the Peruvians."


@Steven, that was sheepishangel's point -- you can say the English, the Japanese and use these adjectives as collective nouns, without having to change the adjectives at all. However, with the -an adjectives, you need to add the plural -s on the end to use them this way: exactly as in your examples. :)


Bah, reading is hard......:-p


"English" in singular?


No, in the plural, but adjectives do not inflect in English, and English here works grammatically like an adjective (but Brazilian does not, though it can also be an adjective).

French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese are like English, but German, Russian, Italian like Brazilian. I suppose it has to do with the ending.


I know, but in this case, it should be "English people"


I disagree; "talking to the English" sounds fine to me.

"talking to the English people" is not wrong, of course.


Present simple and Brazilian people instead of Brazilians is wrong?


Translating beszél in the present simple as "The politician talks to..." should be fine. Likewise, translating brazilokhoz as "to the Brazilian people" should also be fine.

Please report that as an error if these are marked as "wrong".


I am tired already because of the hungarian language on my phone i don't see the hell screen and what I type. Pleeeease fix it already


Talking to the English is incorrect English; it should be Englishmen or English people.


"Talking to the English" is not really incorrect, it's understood as plural. It would be incorrect in the singular however since we wouldn't refer to a single person as "the English."


This is true, it is correct, but very uncommon in it's use that way. It is far more common to hear Englishmen or English people.


As a native speaker of American English, "talking to the English" sounds just fine to me. Likewise, "talking to the French" or "Chinese" or "Spanish" would all work as well. I would describe this use as "less common", but not "very uncommon".

Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.