I wrote Everybody around you is old, which has different meaning than Duo's correct answer.
- Everybody around you is old -> All people around you, are old age
- Everybody is old around you -> When people are near you, they "become old" (for example, their behavior is "old", their appearance is "old", compared to you) - they are "old", for some reason, because they are around you
- Around you, everybody is old -> is neutral and ambiguous, and could mean either.
That is: around you can modify everybody or it can modify old.
Can someone explain whether the Hungarian sentence Tekörülötted mindenki idős has one or both meanings? It is not clear to me what tekörülötted modifies in this sentence.
It is maybe easier to see with happy than old (because it is strange for people to "become old" around you)
- Everybody around you is happy -> Everyone located near you, is happy
- Everybody is happy around you -> Everyone becomes happy when they are near you
- Around you, everybody is happy -> Neutral
I should say, the difference is subtle. The context can override the word order, if clear.
Interestingly, I've learned one important thing about English from this course: English depends very heavily on word position to communicate the grammar, because there is no case system.
Why do birds suddenly appear ...
Yes, it is easier with happy. I still say it does not do that in Hungarian, or it is very very subtle.
"Körülötted mindenki boldog/vidám."
"Mindenki boldog/vidám körülötted."
No, I am not feeling it. We would need to add some stuff, possibly a follow-up sentence, to make it clear.
"Körülötted mindenki mindig olyan boldog/vidám." - It is closer but still ambiguous.
We could replace "körülötted" with "a közeledben". That adds another tiny piece to it.
But it is much clearer if we follow with something like
"Because of you" - "Miattad"
"YOU make them happy" - "Te teszed boldoggá/vidámmá őket".
Btw, how about the meaning "Compared to you, everybody is happy"? :) It probably does not apply, correct?
I think that meaning is fine too, except I might prefer everyone is happy, next to you. Then next to implies a side-by-side comparison, more than around you
The important thing is that around you modifies happy. So it says nothing about "why" everyone becomes happy when they are around you: happy around you is an adjective phrase which describes everybody.
One last example,
- The car on the mountain road is useless -> The car, which is located on the mountain road, is useless
- The car is useless on the mountain road -> The car becomes useless, when it is located on the mountain road (but may work some other place)
Another great example, thank you. Yes, I think Hungarian would just use a different way.
"A hegyi úton lévő autó ..." - the "on-the-mountain-road-being" car.
"Az autó a hegyi úton ..." is either ambiguous or slightly weird.
"Az autó használhatatlan a hegyi úton." pretty much means what your second option describes. Once on the mountain road, it is useless.