"Az idős nő odaül az ablak mellé és olvas."

Translation:The old woman goes and sits next to the window and reads.

September 21, 2016

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Fascinating and insightful discussion here. Thanks to all participants, I appreciate your valuable thoughts!


Why not mellett?


She is in the process of going there. But she isn't there yet. egs:

The old woman is going to sit (there) next to the window. - Az idős nő odaül az ablak mellé.

The old woman is (already) sitting next to the window- Az idős nő (már) az ablak mellett ül.


Maybe it would sound better in English if it said, "The old woman sits DOWN next to the window and reads." That expresses the motion, in the direction of the chair, to a sitting position. English uses "sit down" to express that.

On second thought, "sits down" doesn't include the part about going over to the chair (or whatever she sits on). We need a more elegant way to say this in English.


Yes, that's very good.


In this sentence the duo Translation is: The old woman sits there next to the window and reads. She is not going to sit there! My question arised from the English translation, which says something else, than the hungarian sentence.


You know how they are trying to express a motion to a place by adding "there" after a verb. It can be seen all over the course. Maybe even a "to" is added. "Walks there to" for "odamegy", "lies there to" for "odafekszik", and the list goes on.
In the same spirit, they were trying to convey the meaning the she is in the process of "going there and sitting down to that place". It is an unfortunate translation. But it is a struggle everywhere to accurately convey the meaning of these motional verbs.
A better translation could be "... goes and sits down next to the window...".


I"m actually replying to your comment that had this: "Unfortunately (or not), you have to learn not only the words and the rules but also the logic behind the language." (For some reason, that comment doesn't have a Reply button. Maybe because the number of indentations reached a limit?)

Anyway, this comment made me stop and think about whether I should be so concerned about the quality of the English translations. I would prefer them to be better, but maybe they wouldn't impede my learning, as long as I understand them. I'm not here to learn English, after all.

I just worry that bad translations will give me the wrong idea of the nuances in Hungarian speech. It's a little like seeing a movie that's supposed to take place in another country, but the script was written in the language where the movie was made. So the actors are speaking poorly and with heavy accents to give it a "foreign" flavor. But then the audience thinks that the people speak badly, when in fact, they would be speaking naturally in their own language.


Yes, there is a limit to the indentations, we must have reached it.

I know exactly what you mean. Yes, the logic of the two languages is very different. It is especially difficult to grasp the reason behind those seemingly unnecessary, extra words. "Why are they there? What do they mean? Why do we need them, when the sentence would mean the exact same thing without them??"
Usually everything has a reason in a language. Nothing is just decoration, or only there to make life more difficult. But it takes a lot of time to figure things out. A tiny tiny change in one language may result in a completely different sentence in the other language. For example:
"Megyek a boltba." - I am going to the store.
"Bemegyek a boltba." - I enter the store.

Small difference, but significant change in meaning. And these are difficult to learn while you are trying to digest the very basics of the language.

By the way, it works both ways. For example, Hungarian does not have all those verb tenses that English does. Therefore, the same meaning is expressed differently, sometimes with different words:

"I was there" - Ott voltam.
"I have been there." - Jártam ott.

And let's not even get into word order, stress and emphasis, etc. It is not easy.

I don't know, maybe translation is not the very best way to learn at this early stage. Or the course should really teach very very simple sentences, and be very very consistent, so you could concentrate on noticing the little details without all the other "noise".

The English sentences should still be natural, in my opinion. But maybe some "patterns" could be set up and agreed upon to translate certain structures. But then it would need to be done consistently.

The Hungarian sentences in the course are sufficiently natural, I would say. Sometimes weird, but I could actually imagine that some people actually talk like this. Especially in the remote, high, alpine mountain regions of the country, swarming with flying kindergarten teachers, always eager to fly there to sit down across over next to you.


Yes, you are right with the motion and i understood that, but it is very confusing, when somebody moves to a place, and then sits down and reads. One is motion and the other not. If somebody is reading in a sitting position, next to a fix place, i feel like using mellett, even if there was a movement before to the window (mellé). The sentence doesn't end with the movement, no, it is transforming into a fix position and that is making it difficult to translate. Suchlike sentences are not good for beginners!


But "odaül" describes the action of sitting down at the designated location. This is the logic of the Hungarian language. Unfortunately (or not), you have to learn not only the words and the rules but also the logic behind the language. And that is sometimes the toughest part. But once you master it, everything will be much easier.


Then it's seem like the Duolingo English tranlation is bad.


The word "there" is missing from the options.


Would you please show me the verb that indicates "goes" in this sentence. !?


"Mellé." :) It's not a verb, but it does indicate motion in a particular direction - in this case, the direction of the window.

There is no graceful way to translate these directional words, because English does require a verb to describe the motion. Hungarian doesn't, because that motion (toward the window) is included in "mellé."


I would translate the English sentence as "Az idős nő odamegy és leül az ablak mellé, és olvas".
Bigger problem, that I would say "Az idős nő odamegy az ablak mellé, leül, és olvas." . At least this is more natural to me if I want to include the motion as well.


Except in Hungarian you don't need to do that (you can but it is not necessary):
"odaül" covers it all.


Actually the "oda" in "odaül" also indicates the motion. So, "odaül" is a motion verb.


I found the discussion here very useful. Thank you.


The old woman sits over beside the window and reads. Not accepted, reported. We can use the word, "over," to give motion to sitting. We don't have to use the verb, "go." It is, though, a guessing game. I knew perfectly well what the sentence meant; the real difficulty is knowing how Duo has gone about the process of translating it.


its frustrating when u understand the logic behind the sentence, but u cant produce a proper english translation to depict it.. goes and sits next to the window..

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