"There is also a Turkish girl on the Hungarian ship."
Translation:Van egy török lány is a magyar hajóban.
Etymological question: did all the Hungarian position suffixes (-ban/ben etc) start out as postpositions like fölött, mellett etc, becoming appended to the preceding words over time? I notice that all the postpositions we've been introduced to so far are polysyllabic which would make it harder to graft them onto other words.
That is an interesting question. Which I cannot answer, but I can think of an oooold text that also has both suffixes and postpositions. So this is nothing new in the language.
It's worth noting that postpositions are capable of some interesting things that suffixes are not: Nem ismerem a szomszédaimot, akik laknak a lakásom alatt és fölött, I don't know my neighbors, who live under and above my apartment (though please pardon any errors in this example :) )
Under what circumstances would "van" go at the beginning of a sentence? What is being emphasised?
The focus is on the verb itself, so this sentence emphasises the existence of the girl.
Can I put "is" on different places in the sentence ? I wrote: Van is ... It was marked wrong.
I believe that is goes right after the word that you are emphasising.
Van is... would therefore mean that the girl not only ...s on the ship but she also is on it. I'm not sure whether that even makes sense as a sentence.
You can put is in different places, but only behind nouns (or behind adjectives, for that matter. Or adverbs. Or verbal prefixes. Anyway, not behind a verb.)
- Van egy török lány is itt. - There is also a Turkish girl here.
- Van egy török lány itt is. - There is a Turkish girl in this place as well.
Could we get some guidance on this matter? In translating from English to Hungarian, is there any rhyme or reason to suffix selection? English "on" translates to Hungarian -on... but, wait, not in this case. Here it is -ban. Next time "at" or "by" will translate to -ban. Are these suffixes more or less interchangeable according to the situation? Are you just spoofing us that there is a right translation?
Although I am no Hungarian pro, but I guess the problem here is that you can't give a direct and fixed translation (for example, that -ban/-ben is only "in", and nothing else) because that is not how languages work. You have to choose what is suitable for a certain language. Sometimes -ban/-ben has to be translated as some other preposition. Prepositions in any lingo are quite a pain in the neck, to be honest :D