1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "Monkeys climb down from the …

"Monkeys climb down from the wide tall trees."

Translation:Majmok másznak le a széles magas fákról.

November 1, 2016

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MitjaSterman

Why not lemásznak?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vvsey

Because the emphasis is on the subject: "majmok".
Q: Who climbs down from the trees?
A: Monkeys.

If you want to emphasize the verb, you can do that. But then the subject would most probably get a definite article, at least in Hungarian:

"A majmok lemásznak a széles, magas fákról."
Q: What do (the) monkeys do?
A: They climb down from the trees.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ishana92

and how are we supposed to tell that the emphasis is on the monkeys from the english sentence where it is ambiguous?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vvsey

That is a good question, sometimes it is hard to tell, so some variants should be accepted when translating back from English to Hungarian. I imagine this sentence was first written in Hungarian, with Hungarian-to-English translation in mind, so they did not cover all the possible variants that come from the ambiguity of the English sentence at the reverse translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LadyInque

Yeah, two years later they still haven't fixed it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi

This is a special case.

Majmok másznak le a széles magas fákról.

Autók jönnek ki az erdőből.

Note that the subject is something with no article.

We went into a long discussion about article, no article, and detached preverbs at this sentence: "Szép, fehér madarak repülnek át a tengeren."

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/20660206


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanBending

And it is just as confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ishana92

why majmok and not A majmok? Wasnt it mentioned somewhere before that hungarian places definite articles in front of general clauses?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vvsey

Yes, that is true, but this sentence (talking about the Hungarian sentence here) is, either:

  • not a general statement or
  • not a general statement about monkeys. It would be a statement about the trees!

If it were a general statement about monkeys, then the monkeys would have their definite article, and the sentence would look similar to this:

"A majmok lemásznak a széles, magas fákról."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrrzyV

So a majmok lemasznak was neutral and majmok masznak le emphasises the monkeys? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrkHavasi

There is no such thing in Hungarian as a 'széles fa'. You might say 'a vastag törzsű fákról'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanBending

Why not lemasznak ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patricia460976

See earlier discussion above.

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