éjféltájba'

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by Idiomaphile, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Idiomaphile Junior Member

    English - US
    Fölébredtem éjféltájba'. Egy barmom sincs az állásba'.

    This is a folksong I'm translating. The Hungarian seems a bit nonstandard. I think Fölébredtem is a variant of felébredtem.

    What is the translation of éjféltájba'? éjfel is midnight, of course. And táj is region. So is the combination something like "midnight land?"

    And the suffix. Does the apostrophe mark a missing "n," so that this is really the inessive case?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2013
  2. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungary
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello Idiomaphile,

    Éjfél is midnight as you say and táj can be környék, tájék denoting space originally but can also denote time (just like környék/tájék: éjfél környékén/tájékán) when having the suffix -ban after it -> tájban: meaning around (/more or less at) midnight.
    The apostrophe does indicate the missing "n" :thumbsup:(which indicates roughly "folkspeech" here, otherwise just simple lack of grammar).
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  3. Idiomaphile Junior Member

    English - US
    Thanks Zsanna :)
     
  4. francisgranada Senior Member

    Slovakia
    Hungarian
    I have a question, only for curiosity. Instead of éjféltájban, I should probably say éjféltájt. Do you consider this form archaical or "normal" (also from the today's point of view) ?

    (this -t is a locative case suffix, today no more productive, but etymologically present in many words like itt, ott, mellett, alatt, helyett, Kolozsvárt, Pécsett etc ... )
     
  5. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungary
    Hungarian - Hungary
    It is an interesting question, francis, all the more, that afterwards I was thinking about whether éjfél táján wouldn't be possible, too!:)

    I certainly like it and would use it easily (both, but speaking mainly about your suggestion: éjféltájt​ now) and it doesn't sound archaic to me at all.
    (Táján - maybe is a bit old sounding...)
     
  6. francisgranada Senior Member

    Slovakia
    Hungarian
    Szia, Zsanna :)! Aludjunk rá egyet, mert már nem vagyok képes megkülönböztetni, mi a természetes és mi nem ... Most (23 óra táján) az "éjfél táján" jobban tetszik nekem mint a "éjféltájban" ....
     
  7. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Magyar értelmező kéziszótár:

    éjféltájban = éjfél körül
    éjféltájt régies = éjféltájban
     
  8. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungary
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Lehet, hogy régies, de nem avítt!:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  9. tomtombp Senior Member

    Hungarian
    Hi all,

    I'm not sure if I am supposed to write in Hungarian or in English here. I decided to use English since as I see it's understood by everyone.
    I find all variants of "éjféltáj" archaic. I would never use any of them in everyday speech.
     
  10. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungary
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello tomtombp and welcome here:)

    I think we all agree about what you wrote and although there may not be a lot of people using the term (I surely heard it in the country by older people), I wouldn't call it "archaic" (e.g. "isa" would be archaic in my books) only old(ish). (But of course it is difficult to express exactly what I mean in English. See post 8 for the Hungarian.)

    P.S. The language chosen depends on the one the original poster used (to follow the rules of the forum and politeness - which we rarely neglect:D.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  11. tomtombp Senior Member

    Hungarian
    Hey Zsanna,

    I'm so happy I've found this forum. I've been on the English only forum for years, but never scrolled down (until today) to see that there's also a Hungarian one. I'm interested in linguistics in general and have plenty of time so you might see me here a lot:D
    I'm also sure this forum is the best place to find the Hungarian alternatives of special English words and vica versa. There are words that are hard to explain on the English forum because they might have no English alternatives at all.

    Back to the OP, unfortunately I'm not sure what the exact difference is between "old" and "archaic" and "régies" and "avítt". Maybe "archaic" implies that the word is not used any longer except in special contexts, when their purpose is to bring you back to the past, like movies or books set in old times?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  12. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungary
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Always glad to have a new member around. Enjoy!:)

    Yes, this is what I meant about those words. I would have to dig a bit for it but I seem to remember exactly the word "éjféltájba' " in a poem (by Arany?) and I wouldn't call his language archaic - even if admittedly we wouldn't use every word he used nowadays. But understanding it is not a problem and reproducing it (on a special occasion) wouldn't be a sign of (intellectual) arrogance or... Anyway, you gave a good summary.:thumbsup:
     
  13. tomtombp Senior Member

    Hungarian
  14. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungary
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Thank you.:)
    Although it is not the one I was thinking of, doing a little search with Google made me realize why this term is not out of date, really: there are 221 000 findings with it. In the MNSZ (=Magyar Nemzeti Szövegtár) around 1600.
    So it is still in the language, especially in poems and folk songs but in a lot of time expressions (like 3 óra/reggel, etc. tájban) as well.
     
  15. tomtombp Senior Member

    Hungarian
    This doesn't mean it's in everyday use today, it just means besides being archaic it is also rural/folksy (népies).
     

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