"The train is standing at the thirty-seventh station."
Translation:A vonat a harminchetedik megállóban áll.
Does this sentence require the term megálló? Why not pályaudvar? My understanding is that megálló is more like "stop", as in a "bus stop" or a "train stop", whereas pályaudvar seems to me more like a "station", as in a bigger structure.
And why -ban in the Hungarian, instead of the -nál I would expect from the English "at"? Is -nal acceptable as an alternative?
megálló < állomás < pályaudvar
You are right, "megálló" is simply a bus/train stop. I think "állomás" is the best translation for "station". "Pályaudvar" is even bigger, for buses it's the main station and for trains too, but on a national level. The three big stations in Budapest are all "pályaudvar", while my hometown's main train station is only a "vasútállomás".
A busz a pályaudvaron / állomáson, de a megállóban áll.
Fascinatingly different senses of place between the two languages -- in English, I would say a bus or train is in a terminal / station (as the larger structures are big enough for the bus or train to actually fit inside them), but at a stop (since this is generally a smaller structure, where the vehicle is not contained). In Hungarian, does one not say "A busz a megállónál áll"?
Not really, no, although it is not necessarily wrong to say that. The "megálló" is a specific location, inlcuding the place where the vehicle stops, and the vehicle will "stand in into" (sorry) that place.
A "pályaudvar" is not necessarily a closed structure, a building. It can be just a big open space with lots of rail tracks. But whatever the reason is, it is used this way. "Pályaudvaron", "állomáson", "megállóban".
But you can say "megállóhelyen"!
From my English-speaking bias :), stand in a place makes sense. stand on a terminal / station though... that feels rather odd. Ah well. Language is nothing if not irregular: a reflection of the species that speaks. :D
Perhaps we are supposed to deduce that it's a megállo or állomas and not a pályaudvar, as it's the 37th - so not a main railway station.
What is "állomas"? We've never met that word yet. So far we used "megalló"( stop) or "palyáudvar" ( train station" why are they not accepted?
Basically állomás is larger than megálló, but smaller than pályaudvar. (Please notice the placement of the accents.)
A megálló is just a stop, a place along a tram or bus line where people can board. It has a sign and often a bench.
An állomás is a station, usually found along railroads and has a dedicated building next to it.
A pályaudvar is a main station, a central point of travelling. Usually there are multiple bus and/or train lines meeting up there, and it's often inside a dedicated building. Also often with shops and restaurants in or around there.
Állomás is the only answer that makes real sense here, since it's translated as "station" (not "stop") and it would be very unusual to have more than five or ten pályaudvarok along a train route. Nonetheless, I think all options should be accepted. Just note that they take different suffixes: pályaudvaron, állomáson, but megállóban.
The correct translation for "station" is "állomás" or "megállóhely". Buses and trams have their "megálló"-s but trains not. From the loudspeakers of a train station one can hear: "A vonat minden állomáson és megállóhelyen magáll!" which means that the given train will stop at each station on its route.
How about it's talking about the 37th "stop"? I.e. we don't care (or don't know) whether it's an állomás or a pályaudvar, but just count the number of times the train stops on its way.
When you travel by train, you know the name of the station where you get in and the name of the station at your destination. In big cities there can be found several stations and all of them have a NAME (e.g. gare del Este in Paris). In smaller towns the station wears the name of the town. None of the railway stations wear a serial number, at least I have never heard of it so far.