"Who is standing in front of the door? Peter something."

Translation:Ki áll az ajtó előtt? Valamilyen Péter.

October 7, 2016

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i dont understand why we use valamilyen


We don't know Péter's last name. Which, in Hungarian, is not the last name. It comes first. A person's name in Hungarian is family name first, given name next.
So, the speaker here understood the person's given name, "Péter", but forgot his family name. So he or she says "Valamilyen Péter". Or, in English: "Péter something".


Right, but I think SedatKlc was asking why valamilyen (not where). I have the same question - I wrote valami, which is the literal translation of "something." "Valamilyen Péter" sounds to me like "some kind of Peter." :) Is this just something we need to memorize?


I see, OK. I think that difference comes from the position of the family name. It comes first in Hungarian. And if we think of the given name as a noun (which it actually is: a proper noun), well, then the family name is in perfect position to act as an adjective, modifying that proper noun. Many times it actually is, or sounds like, an adjective. Let's pick a name: Fehér Péter (translated: Peter White, that is, White Peter). Can you see it now? It comes very naturally to refer to that unknown family name as "valamilyen". Which would not be possible if the family name were last.
Naturally, in the opposite case, if the given name were not understood, then the reference would be most probably "valami"/"valaki"/"akárki", basically, somebody or whoever: "Fehér akárki".

If you say "valami Péter", that version is also possible but it is a little bit different. It does not necessarily refer to Péter's family name. Rather, it would be something like "some Peter" or "a Peter" or "a certain Peter" or "some kind of Peter".


Thank you! I knew about the name order, but it didn't occur to me that the choice of "valamilyen" would be related to that.

It's ironic that "valamilyen Péter" means "Peter something" in English, but "valami Péter" means "some kind of Peter."

[deactivated user]

    Hungarians say, "Some kind of Peter", whereas English speakers say, "Peter something"


    If I were trying to remember the full name of the guy standing in front of the door, I would say "Peter Somebody," not "Peter Something."


    Well in my part of the usa Peter Something is more common. A family name is a collection not a person, perhaps. Ormaybe it's just a regional habit.

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