Expressing gerund in Hungarian

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Katalijn

New Member
English - England
How do would you translate the following sentence?

1) I saw an airplane flying in the sky.


my suggestions:
1a) Egy repülőgépet láttam, amely az égen repült.
1b) Egy repülőgépet láttam az égen repülve. 1c) Az égen repülve egy repülőgépet láttam.

Thanks a lot for your help in advance!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello Katalijn,

    1a :tick: (although there may be some other possibilities that would sound even more natural to some... e.g. Using the infinitive: Láttam az égen egy repülőt repülni. This could be an idea for the translation of the gerund but practically it wouldn't work too well here because Hungarian doesn't like repetition of this sort.)
    1b :cross: wouldn't put it like that (unless the subject of the sentence was flying in the sky)
    1c :cross: changing the word order doesn't solve the problem (at best it is ambiguous who was flying -- if the plane, it sounds lame, if the speaker, it doesn't mean the same as the original English sentence)
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hello Katalijn,

    My suggestions are:
    Egy repülőgépet láttam az égen.
    Láttam az égen egy repülőgépet.
    Láttam egy repülőgépet az égen.

    I think the verb "fly" should be omitted to avoid repetition. "Láttam egy repülőgépet repülni" kind of sounds like "They're building a building" in English.:)
    Btw, "repülőgép" is usually shortened to "repülő" in colloquial Hungarian.
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The use of the -va / -ve gerund is much more limited than the -ing gerund in English, so the Hungarian translation of a sentence like "I saw an airplane flying" doesn't normally work with -va / -ve.

    E.g.:
    I saw a dog swimming in the lake. = Láttam egy kutyát úszni a tóban. OR Láttam, hogy egy kutya úszik a tóban.
     

    franknagy

    Senior Member
    How do would you translate the following sentence?

    1) I saw an airplane flying in the sky.


    my suggestions:
    1a) Egy repülőgépet láttam, amely az égen repült.
    1b) Egy repülőgépet láttam az égen repülve. 1c) Az égen repülve egy repülőgépet láttam.

    Thanks a lot for your help in advance!
    The solution 1a) is absolutely good.
    The solutions 1b) and 1c) are wrong. The mean that I was flying on the sky. The airplane might be stang on the airport or flying.

    I suggest you:
    2a) Egy gépet láttam az égen repülni.
    2b) Egy az égen repülő gépet láttam.
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) there are two cases even in English.

    I saw an airplane fly. :tick: Láttam egy repülőt repülni. :tick: I think this one is perfectly ok as I could have seen the same plane on the ground. Adding "in the sky" makes using "repülni" less justified but if you change the plane to a helicopter which could just hover in one place instead of moving horizontally (flying) it could make the sentence more clear.
    I saw an airplane flying. :tick: Láttam egy repülőt repülve. :cross:

    Repülő is short for repülőgép in informal conversations.
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Well, I have a "contrary" (or "reverse") question: How do you say in English "Láttam egy repülőt az égen repülve"? ( = when I was flying in the sky, I saw an airplain) using only the gerund (not the continuous past tense "to be flying")?

    In other words, I think the sentence I saw an airplane flying in the sky is somehow a priori ambiguous. In English the gerund tends to belong to the object (the airplain was flying) while in Hungarian it's rather referring to the subject (I was flying; it's me who was flying).

    This difference may be given by the fact that the ending -va/-ve does not fully correspnd to the English -ing. For example, "the flying airplain" cannot be translated as "a repülve repülőgép", as "repülve" is not an adjective while in English "flying" is an adjective (participle. not only gerund). Thus, perhaps, a grammatically more adequate translation of I saw an airplane flying in the sky would be "Láttam egy (az) égen repülő repülőgépet".
     
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    alias_hun

    Member
    Hungarian
    How do would you translate the following sentence?

    1) I saw an airplane flying in the sky.


    my suggestions:
    1a) Egy repülőgépet láttam, amely az égen repült.
    1b) Egy repülőgépet láttam az égen repülve. 1c) Az égen repülve egy repülőgépet láttam.

    Thanks a lot for your help in advance!
    Hello Katalijn,

    I think that using either the infinitive form of the word "fly" (repülni) or any other derivatives (e.g., repülő) is redundant. It is obvious that if you saw an airplane in the sky, it was flying. It'd sound even more awkward to include repülni since the word "airplane" (repülőgép) already contains repül.

    So my suggestion is very simple and sounds natural: Láttam egy repülőgépet az égen.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... I think the verb "fly" should be omitted to avoid repetition. "Láttam egy repülőgépet repülni" kind of sounds like "They're building a building" in English.:)
    I agree, but sometimes we need to say things like "They're building a building", even if they sound a bit cacophonic ... For example, "Láttam egy repülőgépet lezuhanni (neadjisten ...). Te is láttad?". A possible answer: "Nem, de (akkortájt) láttam egy repülőgépet (az égen) repülni".
    Szerintem a "I saw an airplane flying in the sky" tukorforditasa nem "Egy repülőgépet láttam az égen repülve", hanem "Egy repülőgépet láttam az égen repülni". Ez szerintem egy teljesen jo mondat magyarul, ...
    Egyetértek.
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Moderator's note:
    I think we all agree about the value of the use of -va/-ve in this case, there is no need for further comment on that.
    Repeating the same thing is not new information.
     
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