The trinity of directionality

The entire system of nominal phrases in Hungarian is characterized by the trinity of directionality, that is, the distinction between adverbials of place on the basis of their three fundamental directions. Nominal phrases with adverbial suffixes answering the questions Honnan? - Hol? - Hova? form an interrelated system. Geographical and locational (ut, utca, ter etc.) names can be divided into two groups. The first group includes, for example, names of foreign towns and the names of some Hungarian towns in addition to the names of all countries with the exception of Magyarorszag. In these cases, the question Honnan? is answered by using the endings -BóL, -BőL, the question Hol? is answered by using the endings -BaN, -BeN, and the question Hova? is answered by using the endings -Ba, -Be. In the other group (that includes Magyarorszag and the names of some Hungarian towns), the question Honnan? is answered by using the endings -R6L, -R6L, the question Hol? is answered by using the endings -N, -oN, -eN, -oN, and the question Hova? is answered by using the endings -Ra, -Re. There is no semantic explanation or logical principle which would indicate whether the name of a given town or location belongs to the first or the second group. This is something that simply must be memorized .


In Hungarian the names of continents, configuration countries, towns and personal names are not proceeded by an article: Afrika, Amerika, Anglia, Kina, Magyarorszag, London, Budapest, Hofmann ur, Anna, Komoly doktor.

The exception, however, is the names of countries composed of more than one word: a Del-afrikai Koztarsasag, az Amerikai Egyesult Allamok, az Egyesült Kiralysag, a Kinai Nepkoztarsasag

2 Equivalence at word level

If language were simply a translation hungarian rates ft eur nomenclature for a set of universal concepts, it would be easy to translate from one language to another. One would simply replace the French name for a concept with the English name. If language were like this the task of learning a new language would also be much easier than it is. But anyone who has attempted either of these tasks has acquired, hungarian intensive course alas, a vast amount of direct proof that languages are not nomencla­tures, that the concepts ... of one language may differ radically from those of another.... Each language articulates or organizes the world differently. Languages do not simply name existing hungarian english translator budapest categories, they articulate their own.


(Culler, 1976: 21-2)

This chapter discusses translation problems arising from lack of equivalence at word level; what does a translator do when there is no word in the target language which expresses the same meaning as the source language word? But before we look at specific types of non-equivalence and the various strategies which can be used for dealing with them, it is important to establish what a word is, whether or not it is the main unit of meaning in language, what kinds of meaning it can convey, and how languages differ in the way they choose to express certain meanings but not others. Hungarian certificate translation


2.1.1  What is a word?

As translators, we are primarily concerned with communicating the overall meaning of a stretch of language. To achieve this, we need to start by decoding the units and structures which carry that

Equivalence at word level 11

meaning. The smallest unit which we would expect to possess hungarian intensive course district 10 individual meaning is the word. Defined loosely, the word is ‘the smallest unit of language that can be used by itself’ (Bolinger and Sears, 1968: 43).1 For our present purposes, we can define the written word with more precision as any sequence of letters with an orthographic space on either side.

Many of us think of the word as the basic meaningful element in a language. This is not strictly accurate. Meaning can be carried by units smaller than the word (see 2.1.3 below). hungarian translation budapest More often, however, it is carried by units much more complex than the single word and by various structures and linguistic devices. This will be discussed in more detail in the following chapters. For the moment, we will content ourselves with single words as a starting point before we move on to more complex linguistic units.

3. The client’s viewpoint

“Arguments out of a pretty mouth are unanswerable ” Joseph Addison, 1672-1719

One of the purposes of translation is to add value to an original document as well as facilitating communication and comprehension. Since a company’s documentation is often the only tangible evidence that it exists, any translation must be of the same high quality as the original.

Consider your reaction when you receive a document from a foreign client. It is likely that you will pay far more attention to it if the document is in a language that you comprehend. The same applies when you send documentation to a client - it is far more likely to be favourably received if it is professionally translated into the client’s language.

3.1  Who should you get to translate?

The principal criteria applied to certified certificate translation rates ft eur selection of a translator are:

1.   use only a translator who translates into his mother tongue (or language of habitual use as it is sometimes called). Ideally, the translator should have formal training as a translator and be qualified as a Member of a recognised professional association such as the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

2.   use only a translator who has experience of your product or service segment. It is inappropriate to ask a translator with experience of, say, only electronic engineering to translate a text on property management.

To do otherwise is unprofessional and unethical.

3.2  The service provider and the uninformed buyer

The term ‘seller’ is a misnomer since translations cannot be sold from stock. Although I think that many buyers often believe that this is the case. As I wrote in the



introductory chapter, some potential buyers are woefully ill-informed of the skills needed for translation. Here is the opportunity to do some effective marketing. The buyer has some idea of what he wants and it is up to you to advise him of what is involved and what the realistic costs are. The following lists some of the false ideas and how you should advise, or dare 1 say, educate the buyer. You may know these truths to be self-evident but need to ensure that the potential client understands that translation is a skilled and demanding profession.



A translator works on his own and needs no support from the client.

Dialogue between translator and client is essential since, even though the translator should have experience in the client's subject area, there will be times when clarification on poorly-written or ambiguous text will be necessary or advice on terminology will be sought

A translated text of, say, 5000 words can be produced overnight and costs no more than £20.

A qualified translator is a highly skilled professional and is no less equal in stature to other professions that demand a similar level of education and experience.

The client has already made an attempt at translation, or may have asked a member of staff to attempt a translation. The client then comes with the request that you 'just have a look at the text and tidy it up'.

You should reject a request of this type and inform the client that the result would be a poor compromise and would probably cost as much, if not more, to 'tidy' up than it would to make a new translation.

If you have a computer, it can do the translation for you and your charges should be lower.

Translation tools such as computer-aided translation need the skills of an experienced translator to interact with the computer to produce a professional result. The client is paying for your skills as a 'knowledge worker' and for the end result. Make the client aware of the benefits you are offering. Would the client demand that a solicitor charge less because he uses the same efficiency tools such as word-processing software, databases ?

The client makes the bold statement, "1 only need a rough translation, you needn't spend too much time on it".

We as professionals do not produce 'rough translations'. You need to explain to the client that you will produce an accurate translation but that the level of quality control will mean that the output is suitable for information purposes but not for general publication. (See Chapter 9, Quality control and accountability)

Table 2. Common client misconceptions and reality

The qualifications required depend on the post for which the candidate intends applying. To give an indication of the qualifications required for the European Community, a Translator is required to have a full university degree or equivalent, two years' practical experience since graduating, a perfect command of the relevant mother tongue and a thorough knowledge of two other Community languages. An Assistant Translator is required to have obtained a full university degree within the last three years, a perfect command of the relevant mother tongue and a thorough knowledge of two other Community languages - no experience is required.

The European Community announces recruitment competitions for the following organisations:

•      The Commission of the European Communities

•      The Council of the European Union

•      The European Parliament

•      The Court of Justice

•      The Court of Auditors

•      The Economic and Social Committee

Tests comprise a written element and an oral element. Candidates are first obliged to take an elementary test which comprises a series of multiple choice questions to assess:

1.     specialized knowledge of the field(s) covered by the competition and knowledge of the European Community and current affairs, particularly in Europe;

2.     logical reasoning ability (numerical, symbolic and spatial, etc.);

3.     knowledge of a second Community language (chosen by the candidate and specified on the application form).

The written tests vary according to the nature of duties. Candidates applying for work as a translator or interpreter must sit special language tests. Successful candidates then go through various selection stages for further assessment. Suitable candidates are then listed for approval by an appointing authority and may then be invited for a further interview with heads of department at the Commission or any other institution that may be interested in recruiting them. A definite job offer may be made after these interviews.



Information about forthcoming competitions can be found in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Write to the following address for more information:


Commission of the European Communities rue de la Loi 200 B-1049 Brussels

1.13.2 The United Nations

The United Nations holds competition examinations for English translators/precis writers in New York, Geneva, Vienna and London. The principal eligibility requirements are, inter alia:

•      English as the person's main language.

•      A perfect command of English and an excellent knowledge of French. Candidates must also have an excellent knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish. A knowledge of other, non-official languages is considered an asset.

•      Some translation experience.

•      A degree or equivalent qualification from a university or equivalent institution at which English is the principal language of instruction.

Written examinations consist of six papers:

•      Translation into English of a general text in French.

•      Translation into English of one general text chosen by the candidate from a total of four texts in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

•      Summary in English of a speech in French.

•      Translation into English of two French texts to be chosen by the candidate from a total of five specialized texts (economic, legal, scientific, social and technical).

•      Translation into English of one specialised text chosen by the candidate from a total of four texts in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

•      (Optional). Translation into English of one general text chosen by the candidate from a total of four texts in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. Candidate who write this paper must choose a language other than the language(s) which they chose in papers 2) and 4) of the examination.

I lie use of dictionaries or any other reference material is not permitted.

Selected candidates are invited for an interview about three months after the written component of the examination.

Information and application forms for forthcoming examination competitions are available from:

So you want to understand, read and write Hungarian and to handle everyday situ­ations with confidence. PONS Beginners' Course Hungarian introduces you quickly and reliably to the language. It is engaging and stimulating and offers you a lively picture of contemporary Hungarian. In addition, you will learn a great deal of useful and interesting information about the country, people, and culture of Hungary.
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