Hungarian to English. Voice Switches and Logical Links

Hungarian to English: Voice Switches and Logical Links
By Daniel Simonyi and Aaron M. Muhly
In our previous article, we explained that
Hungarians tend to overcomplicate English writing
when they apply Hungarian stress. (See “English vs.
Hungarian Stress: A Lesson from a Jedi Master”,
available at www.customized-english.com)
You create active voice sentences when your subject
describes the actor (i.e. the subject is doing the
action in the verb). For example:
In other words, if you try to stress information at
the beginning of your English sentences, you might
end up confusing your readers. For example:
You create passive voice sentences when your
subject describes the recipient (i.e. the subject is
receiving the action in the verb). In addition, you
need to convert the verb form to is + past participle
(simple past). For example:
Potential corporate tax and solidarity tax
shortfalls due to differences between the arm’s
length and applied prices could be considered
after a detailed transfer pricing review.
To avoid this problem, we recommended that you
try to begin your sentences with short, simple
subjects. For example:
After a detailed transfer pricing review, we
could consider potential corporate tax and
solidarity tax shortfalls due to differences
between the arm’s length and applied prices.
In this article, you can learn three techniques for
creating short, simple subjects. In particular, you
will learn the following:
(i) the Active Switch
(ii) the Passive Switch
(iii) the Logical Link
The cat caught the rat.
The rat was caught by the cat.
The Active Switch
When Hungarians try to stress information at the
beginning of their sentences, they frequently use the
passive voice to get this information to the
beginning. Fortunately, if you merely switch these
sentences to the Active Voice, you will likely begin
your sentence with a perfect subject.
In the following example, the writer used the
passive voice to stress information at the beginning.
The marketing department’s strategy proposal
for a combined print and online promotion of
the new product range has been approved by
the board of directors.
When we switch to the active voice, the sentence
begins with a logical subject: the board of directors.
Pre-Switches: A Voice Refresher
Before you use either the Active or the Passive
Switch, you need to remember how to use the
active and passive voice in English. You can find a
refresher of these voices below.
The board of directors has approved the
marketing department’s strategy proposal for a
combined print and online promotion of the
new product range.
©2011 Muhly Kft.
The Passive Switch
In rare cases, you can find sentences that use the
active voice to stress information at the beginning.
You might be able to fix these sentences by
switching to the passive voice. For example:
The role and competence of the Trustee as
determined in the Commitments and the
Trustee's Work-Plan does not allow the Trustee
to advise either XYZ Kft. or ABC Zrt. in
connection with alternative solutions.
The Trustee is not allowed to advise either
XYZ Kft. or ABC Zrt. in connection with the
alternative solutions due to the role and
competence of the Trustee as determined in the
Commitments and the Trustee’s Work-Plan.
Client is not entitled to prohibit the use of the
Design for products that have been put on the
market in the EEA by Client or by others with
the consent of Client. Upon Client’s
introduction of the Product on the market, the
exhaustion of rights in connection with the
Design is effected.
These sentences repeat four words: client, design,
market, and product. You can fix the second
sentence by using client as the new subject.
Client is not entitled to prohibit the use of the
Design for products that have been put on the
market in the EEA by Client or by others with
the consent of Client. When Client introduces
the Product on the Market, Client exhausts its
rights in connection with the Design.
Conclusion
The Logical Link
If you can’t use either Voice Switch to find a short,
simple subject, use your previous sentence to help
you find a good subject.
When we write a new sentence, we are building
upon the information of the previous sentence. To
accomplish this, we create the new sentence by
using words from the previous sentence. You can
use these words to create a great subject that
logically links to the previous sentence. (We
recognize that this advice violates the Hungarian
szóismétlés “rule” against word repetition, but most
readers care more about understanding than rules.)
For example, in the following sentence, you can see
that the Voice Switches will not solve the problem.
Upon the Client’s introduction of the Product
on the market, the exhaustion of rights in
connection with the Design is effected.
However, you might get some ideas about how to
restart the above sentence, if you consider it
together with its preceding sentence.
If you want to avoid confusing readers with
Hungarian stress, start your sentences with short,
simple subjects by:
•
switching between the active and passive
voices; or
•
repeating words from your previous
sentence.
About the Authors
Daniel Simonyi is an attorney in the
Budapest office of Weil, Gotshal and
Manges.
Aaron M. Muhly is the trainer for
Customized English, which customizes
English writing courses for business
professionals. For more information about
Aaron and his training, go to
www.customized-english.com.
©2011 Muhly Kft.