Confused about nouns

Learn and discuss the Finnish language with Finn's and foreigners alike
User avatar
Spirit of the Forest
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 11:37 pm

Confused about nouns

Post by Spirit of the Forest » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:02 am

I translated this sentence in Google Translate, so forgive the grammatical errors, please:

"A God that would do that is a bad God."

Translation: "Jumala, joka voisi tehdä se on huono Jumala."

I know that "Jumala" is "God" in Finnish. But the sentence sounds weird to me. "Se on huono Jumala" sounds fine, "It is a bad God".
But the first occurrence of Jumala is confusing to me. It sounds incorrect to me. Is it really wrong?

I'm particularly confused on saying "A God". That translates to just "Jumala".
It sounds wrong to me.

I mean, I know that Finnish doesn't have "a" and "an". So technically Jumala is correct.
But is that really how you'd say Jumala in that particular sentence and context?

Is there a better way of saying it?



Confused about nouns

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

Upphew
Posts: 9959
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Upphew » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:02 am

tummansininen wrote:Here are the words Google Translate attempted and what they're supposed to replace.
Jumala_____joka voisi tehdä se_______on huono Jumala
A god________who could do it_________is bad God.

Do you see now why the se is there?

I'm no expert but I would find this sentence awkward and I would probably avoid tehdä because I definitely AM an expert in using that verb incorrectly. Maybe one of these would work?

Jumala, joka toimii niin, on paha jumala.
Jumala, joka käyttäytyy niin, on paha jumala.

Do either of these feel better? I'm sure someone will correct me if I have the grammar wrong or they are just stupid (very possible).
I'd use "tekee niin" instead of "toimii niin" and "huono" instead of "paha". If the original had used act instead of do and evil instead of bad, then I would have translated as you did.
http://google.com http://translate.google.com http://urbandictionary.com
Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


User avatar
Spirit of the Forest
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 11:37 pm

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Spirit of the Forest » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:53 am

Thanks. My confusion was mostly about how to use Jumala. Because in English when you say "God", it can imply that you're referring to a specific being, almost by name.
So that's what confused me. Because if it was the same in Finnish for Jumala, then maybe there should have been a different way of saying it.


FinnGuyHelsinki
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:08 pm

In Finnish "Jumala" starting with a capital letter refers specifically to the biblical god, whereas written with a lower case letter it refers to any other god (e.g. of other religions) or a non-specific god.


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Pursuivant » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:35 pm

I'd agree on the fluidity of "Jumala, joka tekee niin, on huono jumala."
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


Bavarian
Posts: 751
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:42 pm
Location: New Yorker of Bavarian descent

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Bavarian » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:49 pm

I'm particularly confused on saying "A God". That translates to just "Jumala".
It sounds wrong to me.
Don't you love it when a language lacks articles? :twisted:


User avatar
onkko
Posts: 4827
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:24 am
Location: kemijärvi

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by onkko » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:54 pm

FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:In Finnish "Jumala" starting with a capital letter refers specifically to the biblical god, whereas written with a lower case letter it refers to any other god (e.g. of other religions) or a non-specific god.
In most cases yes, always... No.
Caesare weold Graecum, ond Caelic Finnum


AldenG
Posts: 3334
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by AldenG » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:24 am

FWIW I would probably be a little more specific and say,

Jumala, joka tekisi niin, on ________ jumala.

paha: evil
julma: cruel, vengeful
ilkeä: spiteful, petty, mean
vähäpätöinen: pointless, useless, impotent

...as those are the usual sentiments behind the statement.

If I were writing, I'd probably write "lienee" instead of "on." But then I'm the kind of guy who still writes "if I were," which is apparently on its way out.

Part of why I lean to "tekisi" is because I don't believe such things exist. (But putting the full sentence in conditional would lose all pith.) Partly it's to match the original. I suppose I could see a non-believer saying "a God that makes planes crash...," but it's more the kind of thing a soon-to-be ex-believer says.
Last edited by AldenG on Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


AldenG
Posts: 3334
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by AldenG » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:27 am

(Reached editability length limit on my Gingerbread Samsung.)

Then again, there must be some reason Finns are suggesting "tekee" instead.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


Jukka Aho
Posts: 5238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:46 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Jukka Aho » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:04 pm

AldenG wrote:FWIW I would probably be a little more specific and say,

Jumala, joka tekisi niin, on ________ jumala.

paha: evil
julma: cruel, vengeful
ilkeä: spiteful, petty, mean
vähäpätöinen: pointless, useless, impotent
The others are fine but I wouldn't use the last one in this context. Maybe as part of a more general/scholarly description or assessment of the (non-)importance of some (type) of god in some culture.

A couple of more:

raukkamainen = gutless, cowardly, unfair, unsporting in some dishonest, shameful and despicable way
moraaliton = immoral
pikkumainen = petty
heikko = weak (impotent)
znark


AldenG
Posts: 3334
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by AldenG » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:36 am

Who knows how these associations get filed or misfiled where they do, but I think my original feeling that made vähäpätöinen percolate up was a dismissive sort of "trivial; not worth my attention; less important than he/it thinks they are." I guess a good word after deliberation would be "minor" in the sense of "some kind of minor bureaucrat in the Sultan's court" filing papers nobody will ever see again or "a minor god in the Roman pantheon." I could probably have done better at putting that into one English word.

Of course vähäpätöinen may still not be an apt (or contextually compatible) Finnish word for that, either, but that's the direction I was trying to go with it. On reflection, I suppose mitätön would be an improvement? Maybe a bit stronger than I first had in mind, but more contextually congruent?

On edit: "a God of little importance." Suggestions?
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Pursuivant » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:16 am

Tämä alkaa kuulostaa jo Waltarin Sinuhelta.... Krhm...

Sillä Kemin maassa on jumalia joka lähtöön, on vähäpätöisiä jumalia jotka asuvat lehmänlannalta haisevissa alttareissa, ja pikkumaisia ja ilkeitä jumalia kuten joen krokotiilit, mutta jokaisella viheliäisellä kerjäläiselläkin on omat mitättömät jumalansa, joten mikä olen minä heitä neuvomaan. Lähdin siis temppeliin ihralla voidellun papin luo...
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


AldenG
Posts: 3334
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by AldenG » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:05 pm

Mielenkiintoista - olisinkohan nähnyt tuon kappaleen laatiessani sanalistoja Robille pari vuotta sitten? Muuten on Waltari kieltämättä vaikuttanut huomattavasti kielenkäyttööni, mutta siitä on kulunut 25 vuotta, kun viimeksi luin just Sinuhen. Olisin tuskin (vai?) muistanut 'vähäpätöinen' siltä ajalta, vaikka kiinnostaakin, että W käyttää sitä tässä yhteydessä.

'Jumalia joka lähtöön' - siinäpä loistaa Waltarin mestarillinen ote. Tuo maailmankatsomus yhdistettynä hänen pehmeään sarkasmiin oli kai se, joka herätti niin kovaa vastakaikua minussa jopa nuorempana. Mutta oletan, että tämän aiheen alkuperäinen kysymys oli vähän asiallisempaa luonnetta eikä tällaista lievästi maailmanväsynyttä filosofiaa, joten sopiva kieliasu on varmaan hieman erilainen.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by Pursuivant » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:30 pm

I actually invented that off the top of my head. In a "Sinuhey style"... it might be something that he'd say to piss off Kaptah, who was always to sacrifice to a number of gods (just to be sure) :lol:
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


AldenG
Posts: 3334
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Confused about nouns

Post by AldenG » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:06 am

Well, I nefernefernefer...

Best laff all week. (Even if it's been a slow week.) Jumalia joka lähtöön is even funnier as fake Waltari than if it were real.

You should write and publish a parody. It's about time someone did.

Sinuhe II - Nokian takaisku.

Kaptah grows bored in exile. Meanwhile Horemheb has made an alliance with the conquest-hungry satyalaiset, who have invented handheld clay tablets that allow talking over a distance and shooting deadly lightbursts. His own symbialaiset had a similar device, but he banished them all to the desert and hung a few upside down from the city walls for good measure. Sinuhe wants nothing to do with all this, but Kaptah has immersed himself in user manuals and discovered an exploit deep in the bowels of the satyalais operating system, with the help of which he and an army of symbialaiset marching under him can overturn Horemheb and the evil empire.

A side story will be the gradual realization that Stephen Elop is the resentful love child of Sinuhe and Nefernefernefer. There should be a poignant scene where he reveals. "But Sinuhe - you're my father." But the conversation is interrupted by a sound like the buzzing of flies that at first perplexes Sinuhe, until it turns out to be the factory default satyalais ringtone.
As he persisted, I was obliged to tootle him gently at first and then, seeing no improvement, to trumpet him vigorously with my horn.


Post Reply