Összpontosít vs. koncentrál

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by 123xyz, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    I've been looking at different ways to express "concentrate" and "focus" in Hungarian, and I have found both "összpontosít" and "koncentrál", but I'm not sure what exactly the differences between the two are. I am trying to avoid the latter since I feel it as a poorly assimilated Latin loanword and I am specifically wondering if the former can express all notions of concentrating and focusing.

    For example (for the purposes of context and precision), would it be equivalent to say "nem összpontosíthatom a figyelmemet a könyvre mert megzavar a zene" for "nem koncentrálhatok a könyvre mert megzavar a zene"?

    Thank you in advance
  2. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello 123,

    My first reaction is that they are both good verbs you can use (surely: almost) in all cases (certainly in the meaning of "directing one's attention to a particular thing").
    (Latin loanwords can also be only too well assimilated, so don't worry about using them.)
    The difference can be very subtle as well as very clear...

    In your example, koncentrál sounds better to me than összpontosít. Why? (Here is the subtle difference for you.:))
    a) (összpontosít) sounds a bit complicated/complex (higher register?) compared to what you want to say/ your message

    b) if you changed the sentence a bit, it would sound more natural (still a bit more elevated than what you would use spontaneously): nem tudok összpontosítani a könyvre a zene miatt/ a zene miatt nem tudok a könyvre összpontosítani

    Some special uses for each where the difference is more obvious:

    Összpontosít - (but not koncentrál)
    - directs (attention) towards one aim - egy célra összpontosít
    - unite their forces, efforts -> (egyesítik) összpontosítják az erejüket, törekvésüket

    Koncentrál (but not összpontosít)
    - makes a liquid more concentrated (= töményít, koncentrál)

    Further complications: "összpontosul" (more often used) vs "koncentrálódik" (rare)
    e.g. kezében összpontosul (but not koncentrálódik) minden hatalom (he holds all power/all power is in his hands)
  3. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    I am agree with you Zsanna.
    Összpontosít is an internally formed word, koncentrál is a loanword.
    Whenever two words are present in a language the differentiation of their usage start to develop.
    It this particular case:
    1. On man or a small group group of spiritualists can concentrate their attention to the dancing table - koncentrál.
    2. General Zhukov could contentrate the Soviet Army to Voronezh in order to annihilate the Hungarian Army and encircle von Paulus - összpontosít.
    3. The chemists always koncentrálják their solutions.

    Another cause of select ö. and discard k.:
    Hate of "foreign" words.

    Reason of opposite choice:
    K. is shorter than ö.

    Best wishes
  4. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Frank, :thumbsup:.
    I was especially happy about your mentioning the aspect that as k. is shorter, in some cases it sounds better because of it but in fact I cannot decide whether it is not ö. that sounds more complicated (elevated) in some everyday situations and this is why k. may be better in those cases. (The dictionaries don't help about the register.)

    In any case, it is true that there are some cases when you'd rather use one and not the other. In the following sentence for instance it is k. that would be used, not the other word (which would sound too artificial, formal for the occasion).

    Context: somebody would like to carry out a task while a friend/brother/sister is teasing/annoying him even though the task should be carried out maybe also for the benefit of the other person and there may even be some degree of urgency. (Like trying to do the other person's homework meanwhile he is up to some mischief: making noise or poking at the helper, etc. And the helper cannot lose time with those things at the moment.)

    Hagyd abba! Így nem tudok koncentrálni! (= Stop it. I cannot concentrate like that.)
  5. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    I have only one more question about the usage of k. and ö.
    Let me formulate it with the tool of the set theory.
    Let me denote the set of contexts where k. is used with K and where ö. is used with S. (Mathematicians no dot like the notation using the Hungarian letter Ö.)

    The cases when both words can be used is the union of the above sets K∪S.
    The cases when k. is accepted but ö. is unaccepted is the difference of the above sets A=K∖S.
    The opposite cases when ö. is accepted but k. is unaccepted is the difference of the above sets B=S∖K.
    We have fixed the set in our correspondence A = {chemical usage, ... }.
    I have still in doubt whether the set B is the empty set B=∅ or is there any case when only ö. is the single good choice.

    Best wishes
  6. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for the replies, they have greatly clarified the issue now.
  7. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    123, you may have had enough but I have to provide some examples to answer frank's request.:) (It may be useful, too.:D)

    In fact, all the examples for össszpontosít in the Értelmező Szótár are good to show where koncentrál could not be used at all (and it exceeds what I have written above - in no.2 - only with one more example):
    1. valamire összpontosítja a figyelmét (Meghatározott pontra, célra irányít.)
    2. összpontosítják az erejüket (Erőt, törekvést egyesít.)
    3. Itt összpontosítják a hivatalokat. (Több szervezetet, intézményt központi helyen tömörít.)

    I think we could probably come up with synonyms where these "rules" would work with koncentrál (or összpontosít may not sound very good for everybody in the given examples, I'm not much fan of the last one for instance but it wouldn't go with koncentrál either, so the problem is elsewhere) - this is why I didn't want to detail them at the beginning but who knows? maybe someone knows a better solution...:)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  8. Akitlosz Senior Member

    No difference.

    Összpontosít is a hungarian word and koncentrál is a latin word (concentrare), but the meaning is the same.

    "nem összpontosíthatom a figyelmemet a könyvre mert megzavar a zene" = "nem koncentrálhatok a könyvre mert megzavar a zene"?

    The Hungarians trying to guess and to use Hungarian words instead of Latin, Greek, English, German, French, etc. words. The meaning remains the same.

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