"A zöld vonatok a spanyol pályaudvarokra mennek."
Translation:The green trains are going to the Spanish railway stations.
The English translation is incorrect for the given Hungarian. "Going to the stations" is more like pályaudvarokhoz mennek. With pályaudvarokra mennek, the more appropriate English would seem to be "going into the stations".
I am not sure I agree. Trains usually go "pályaudvarRA". That is just how it is. Maybe because "udvar" means (back)yard. Just as we go "utcára", "térre", repülőtérre", trains go "pályaudvarra". But if you take a bus to the railway station, you can say "pályaudvarhoz". But even then it is more common to say "pályaudvarra". "Pályaudvarhoz" specifically means "to the outside of the railway station".
So far, the explanatory text in both Sublative Case 1 and 2 says the following:
- Our next Hungarian case is sublative case, which indicates motion onto something. It corresponds to the English preposition onto and shows vowel harmony...
As English, "the train is going to the station" contains exactly zero sense of motion onto something. Hence my confusion.
As Hungarian, I am happy with pályaudvarra. However, as English, one cannot grammatically say "onto the [railway] station": one would have to say "into the [railway] station" instead.
To elucidate my main point, to say "the train is going to the station" in English simply tells us that the train is headed in the direction of the station, and that the station is the destination. Given my current understanding of a vonat a pályaudvarra megy, the train would be entering the location of the train station itself, which is not expressed at all in the English.
If the Hungarian a vonat a pályaudvarra megy instead just means that the train is moving in the direction of the station and that the station is the destination, then the Duolingo team needs to expand the explanatory text at the beginning of the Sublative Case lessons to clarify this.
OK, I see the confusion. Unfortunately, the case is what you describe in your last paragraph. The trains are headed to Spain. When they arrive at the train stations, they "megérkeznek/bemennek a pályaudvarokra".
The thing is, there is always the strict meaning and there are the idiomatic meanings plus the different logic in usage. You say "I am on the bus" when you are actually in the bus, you say "I am under the impression" when there is no impression over your head, you say "I am waiting on you" when I am nowhere near and especially not under you. Yet, these words still have their primary meanings, closely related to certain positions.
The Hungarian "-ra"/"-re" suffixes cover "(on)to" when we place one thing on top of another. It also covers "to" in many cases, especially when the target location is something you could conceivably be on top of. Hence, utcára, térre, tengerre, Magyarországra, állomásra, folyóra, útra. Also, idiomatically: szabadságra, utazásra, találkozóra, estélyre, etc.
But: városba, parkba, boltba, iskolába, parkolóba, színházba, Amerikába, etc.
There is some logic to this all but, anyway, it just has to be accepted as is.
The English "to" is a million-things-in-one, it is totally understandable if one is overwhelmed, and totally frustrated, when forced to learn and correctly use all these various suffixes for seemingly totally identical situations.
To Spain - SpanyolországBA
To Hungary - MagyarországRa
To the station - az állomásRA
To the river - a folyóHOZ
To you - neked
To you - hozzád
You can also imagine the hardship and frustration from the other side when trying to define for an English speaker what these suffixes mean. Weeeeeell, "ra" means.... well, what does it mean exactly? It covers about 12.5% of "to", 35% of "onto", 20.5% of "of", and the remaining 32% is spread about various situations that are described totally differently, with no particular preposition in English.
Not easy, that is for sure.
But I agree, the Tips and Notes need to be expanded. Or they need to better define the range of situations they cover. They could say "Let's take two wooden blocks, and let's describe their relative positions and movements. When I place one block onto the other, that is a "-ra" situation." And so on.
Maybe this is too much to ask of a course like this. I don't know. Maybe you are seriously ready for the next level. I suspect that might be the case. Time to find some basic reading material, with real sentences, stuff that makes sense.
Good information, thank you!
In addition to more detail in the explanatory notes, I think the lessons might also need reorganization:
- Introduce the various case endings, with examples and questions that illustrate and use the literal meanings -- -ra/-re for onto, -ba/-be for into, etc.
- At the second level, introduce (at least some of) the more idiomatic meanings of the case endings -- -ra/-re for for (as in zebrára vadásik etc.) and to [a destination of a certain type] (as in pályaudvarra megy etc.), -ba/-be for to [a destination of a certain type] (as in városba megy etc.)
Reorganizing like this would make it easier to write up the explanatory notes -- the introduction would describe the literal meanings, the second level (and beyond) would describe the idiomatic meanings. Better clarity and more detail would certainly be welcome, from a learner's perspective.
(For reference, I recently found the website, The Hungarian language, a grammatical guide. They do a good job of describing the case endings, and showing how they interrelate. That explanation might be a useful example for the Duolingo lesson writers.)
Great idea, maybe you could post it on the discussion stream for the creators to find.