Translations Part 1

I hope I’ll get to Part 2 🙂

One of the hardest part of the Hungarian language for a foreigner is the sentence structure/word order.

In this entry I don’t intend to become profoundly absorbed in how specifically the Hungarian word order is done, but to show you how a sentence looks like compared to the English one.

The following sentences are between dashes because I took them from different newspapers.


„Ezek a háztartási gépek ügyesek, mint a legjobb kukta, és elegánsak, mint egy kifogástalan lakáj.”

’These household appliances are as skilful as the best kitchen boy and as elegant as an unexceptionable valet.”

So the literal transcription of the Hungarian sentence is:
These household appliances skilfuls, as the best kitchen boy, and elegants, as an unexceptionable valet.

ez (demonstrative pronoun) = this
ez + -ek (nominative plural ending with link vowel) = ezek = these
ház (house) + tartás (holding) + -i (adjectival suffix) = háztartási = household
gép (machine, appliance) + -ek (nominative plural ending) = gépek = appliances
ügyes (able, skilful, clever) + -ek (nominative plural ending) = ügyesek = are skilful
mint (the only preposition in Hungarian) = as
a (definite article) = the
leg- + jó + -bb = legjobb (superlative degree of the jó adjective) = best
kukta (originally meaning pressure-cooker, but in a funny way it also refers to a person able to cook well or maybe not so well) = kitchen boy
és (conjunction) = and
elengáns (elegant) + -ak (nominative plural ending with link vowel) = are elegant
egy (indefinite article) = a, an
kifogás (exception, excuse) + -talan (deprivative suffix = un-) = unexceptionable
lakáj = valet, footman


„Sajnos elmaradt a január 20-án, pénteken estére a Liszt-terembe meghirdetett Színpadi Játékvizsga nyilvános előadása.”

’Unfortunately, the public performance of Scenic Acting Exam announced to Liszt Hall the 20th January on Friday night was put off.

So the literal transcription of the Hungarian sentence is:
Unfortunately was put off to the 20th January, to the night on Friday to the Liszt Hall announced Scenic Acting Exam public performance (+ possessive ending)

sajnos (adverb of manner) = unfortunately
elmarad (to be put off, not to take place) + -t (past tense ending) = elmaradt = was put off
január 20-án = the 20th January (say 20-án as huszadikán)
péntek (Friday) + -en (equals to the ON preposition) = on Friday
este (night) + -re (equals to the TO preposition and it is the suffix that the verb meghirdet = announce requires) = estére
terem (room, hall) + -be (in this case English uses the TO preposition)
meghirdet (to announce) + -ett (past tense ending with a link vowel now used as past participle) = meghirdetett = announced
nyilván (obviously, evidently) + -os (adjectival suffix) = nyilvános = public
előadás (performance) + -a (possessive case 3rd PS suffix equivalent to OF) = előadása
> a Színpadi Játékvizsga nyilvános előadása = the public performance of Scenic Acting Exam


„A tapasztalataim azt mutatják, hogy ha a 100 forintos érmét egyszerűen ki lehet húzni a bevásárlókocsiból, akkor szinte biztos, hogy lába kél.”

’My experience suggests that if a hundred forint coin can be simply pulled out of the shopping trolley, then it’s almost sure it’ll vanish into thin air.’

So the literal transcription of the Hungarian sentence is:
My experiences show that if the 100 forint coin (accusative case) simply possible to pull out of the shopping trolley, then almost sure it walks away on its on legs.

tapasztalat (experience) + -aim (possessive case 1st PS suffix referring to plurality – sounds better in Hungarian to say ’my experiences’) = tapasztalataim
azt (that) > it is an antecedent referring to the subordinate clause and expressing the fact that the verb mutat = to show requires accusative case.
mutat (to show, indicate, suggest) + -ják (present tense 3rd PP suffix in definite conjugation)
hogy (conjunction) = that
ha (conjunction) = if
100 = száz = a hundred
forint + -os (adjectival suffix) > English simply says forint
érme (coin) + -t (accusative ending and the e at the end of érme becomes é)
egyszerű (simple) + -en (suffix equivalent to –ly in English) = egyszerűen = simply

ki lehet húzni = it can be pulled out
> kihúz = to pull out
> lehet = it’s possible, it can be, maybe – in this case it has to be translated with passive voice in English because no person is indicated.
> The verb kihúz has the ki verbal prefix. As lehet must be wedged between ki and húz, this verb must be written separately = ki lehet húzni

bevásárlókocsi (shopping trolley) + -ból (from, out of)
akkor = then
szinte = almost
biztos = it’s sure
lába kél > it is an idiomatic expression meaning that something gets lost. I can’t give you a literal translation, but it means something like: ”it grows its own legs and walks away on them”


2 comments on “Translations Part 1

  1. Oscar says:

    Nagyon köszönöm a segitséged.
    A magyar szórend nehéz nekem. Én kell írányelvek es gyakorlatozás.
    Várom a másodikot 😉

    • hunlang says:

      Mielőtt a másodikat leírnám, a német és spanyol blogomon is megcsinálom a fordítások első részét. Elvileg holnap vagy holnapután már fennt van a második is.

      Before writing Part 2, I’ll do the first part of the translations on my German and Spanish blog, too. Theoretically, the second part will be online tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. 🙂

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