eltünik vs. eltűnik

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by harald, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. harald Member

    The Netherlands, Dutch
    Hi friends on this forum.
    I am fighting with an old book (1894) in Hungarian.
    I have the text which has been fed trough OCR and I am editing it into a new book.
    As I don't speak any Hungarian I have some questions.

    The sentence concerned:
    Lehet olyan tintát késziteni, mely a világosság behatása alatt teljesen eltünik, ugy hogy a papiros ismét tiszta.

    In the old book it clearly says eltünik but both the OCR and my spell checker seem to prefer eltűnik.
    Is this old spelling versus new spelling or is there something else going on?

    thanks / Harald
  2. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello harald (did you read your PMs?),

    It is "eltűnik" but you have at least three other problems in the sentence.:(
  3. Olivier0 Senior Member

    français - France
    It is very difficult to judge whether spelling is right in a 19th century text on the basis of the present-day spelling. 1894 may be a bit late for this, but I have seen texts from 1870-1880 that used things like késziteni, eltünik, ugy, papiros or even mixed them up with modern forms like készíteni, eltűnik, úgy, papír(os).
    Basically, if the difference is only length, like i vs. í or ü vs. ű, I would say keep it if it is clearly written this way, since anyway the text itself is not present-day phrasing and vocabulary either.
    -- Olivier
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  4. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    ...in other words: the question remains whether harald wants to update the language entirely or not. There is no point in changing one thing when there are so many others to update...
  5. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    The old book totaly neglects the rules for í, ú, ű.
    Do not wonder about it.
    When the typewriter appeared in Hungary these vowels were missing from it, so they were subsituted by i, u, ü, respectively. This kind of spelling error is very frequent even now, in the age of full Hungarian keyboards.
    The Hungarian crossword puzzles allow the crossing of words containing
    i - í,
    o - ó,
    ö - ő,
    u - ú,
    ü - ű.

    There are other errors in this sentence. Here I my corrections:
    Lehet olyan tintát készíteni, mely a fény hatására teljesen eltűnik, úgy, hogy a papiros ismét tiszta lesz.

  6. francisgranada Senior Member

    I shouldn't consider this sentence a priori erroneous. The short i and ü is not correct from the point of view of the today's spelling rules, but it reflects the oscillation in the prounounciation that existed both in the past and also today. (Ugy was perhaps an error also in 19th century, but I am not sure.)

    As to "a világosság behatása alatt", it doesn't seem archaical to me from the grammatical/linguistical point of view, rather if reflects the fact that in the 19th century was not yet known the physical/material substance of the light, so this formulation might be adequate then.

    (I don't know what is the real purpose of "modernizing" the old books, but I'd prefer to let them as they are ... Otherwise they should be rewritten from many points of view, not only from those concerning the orthography)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  7. harald Member

    The Netherlands, Dutch
    Thanks to all for helping here!
    Things are becoming clearer for me.
    One remark: the old book does use í, ú, ű, ö, ő (but they are very hard to tell apart).
    It seems to be clear that I should keep the old spelling, rather than modernise it.
    Is it safe to say that all Hungarians could read it?
    One worry I had was that people might thing it was full of typing mistakes, rather than see it as old Hungarian. (I had that happen with the Spanish version)
    One general question: are there words that are spelled the same way but with different accents?
    (In other words: if I have more than one occurrence of a word, can I copy the accents from the word I can read properly to the ones where i can't tell how the accents are printed?)
    Cheers / Harald
  8. gorilla Member

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Keep the original spelling but mention it somewhere in the beginning (foreword or that page with publisher, date, copyright etc. infos), so people won't think these are errors. Most of us know that they used different spelling in the 19th century, if not otherwise then from literature classes in school (poems always retain their old spelling), so the old phrasing and style would be strange new orthography.

    These orthographical differences don't disturb intelligibility since they are very small differences. This particular sentence is absolutely understandable to everyone, but in other cases we may struggle with some old-fashioned expressions or words or even the subtly different ways of thinking that was usual in those times (as the world was different), but diacritics and spelling rules are not a concern at all.

    Yes, there are words that differ only in their accents (diacritics), but they usually have totally different meanings, so context will always make it clear for a Hungarian speaker.

    Examples of such totally unrelated word pairs:

    It is hard to list such words, I think they are stored in my brain totally unconnected. But in short, you can not simply copy the accents.
  9. francisgranada Senior Member

    Perfectly safe (in my opinion). These letters were used exactly the same way as today: í, ú, ű, ő, é, á, ó are the long "counterparts" of the corresponding short vowels i, u, ü, ö, e, a, o.
    It depends on who will read text :), however I think that people will recognize that it's an "older" text. Others will probably not even notice the differences e.g. between ü/ű in the situations where this difference appears ...
    Not in general, you should have to know the context ... (perhaps in case of í, ú, ű yes and the long variants are more probable to be the correct versions, but it is not a general rule).
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  10. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member


    tora (middle par of the insect)
    Tóra (Holy Roll in the Synagogue)
    tóra = onto the lake
    töre = he broke sg
    tőre = his knife-like weapon
    tőre = on central branch

  11. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Moderator's note:
    Please, stop giving lists of words, such a thing is totally out of the scope of the forum.
    One specific question and answers to that - this is what we are supposed to provide.
  12. harald Member

    The Netherlands, Dutch
    ...just when things were getting interesting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2014
  13. gorilla Member

    Hungarian - Hungary
    As the name "wordreference" suggests, this forum is only for discussing one specific thing (word, grammar rule) in each forum topic.
    You can always open a new topic if you learn something interesting in one topic and want to dig deeper. Or alternatively, if you want to talk about very broad topics or have more free associations in a single topic, you can try some other language forums, such as UniLang (http://unilang.org/viewforum.php?f=63), that don't have such strict rules.

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