Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

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Nikama
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Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by Nikama » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:08 pm

Hei,

I came across the proverb in the subject line, translated as "Money is only needed to pay back a debt".

Grammatical questions:
  • With the usual meanings of 'ei' and 'kuin'... litterally it's 'Not money is needed as in the purchase of a debt'? Is the combination of the two plus -hän a typical way of expressing 'only'?
  • 'maksuun' appears to be an illative... why?
Usage question: is this proverb common, and in what contexts would it get used?

Kiitos!



Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

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jahasjahas
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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by jahasjahas » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:07 pm

First of all, there's an implied "muuhun" there that's not strictly necessary, but might make the idea clearer: "Eihän rahaa tarvita muuhun kuin velan maksuun."

Let's simplify the sentence by removing the -hän and using a normal word order: "Rahaa ei tarvita muuhun kuin velan maksuun.", literally "Money is not needed for other (reasons) than paying a debt."

The use of -hän adds a sense of "it's true, after all, that" here. "It's true, after all, that money is only needed to pay back a debt." Adding the -hän also requires us to change the word order; that's why the "ei(hän)" moves to the beginning of the sentence.

We could've also added the -han/-hän suffix to the word "raha": "Rahaahan ei tarvita muuhun kuin velan maksuun." which would have changed the perspective into something like "Money, after all, is a thing that is not needed for anything else than paying back a debt."

Finally, the illative is here used to denote, more or less, "for doing X":

Tarvitsen rahaa velkojeni maksuun/maksamiseen. = I need money for paying back my debts. ("Maksu" and "maksaminen" are both derived from the verb "maksaa". "Maksu" is more like the English "payment", while "maksaminen" is more like "the act of paying".)

Tuhlasin kaikki rahani kaljan juomiseen. = I wasted all my money on drinking beer.

Käytän autoani vain kaupassa käymiseen. = I only use my car for going to the store.

And no, I haven't heard the proverb before.

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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by Jukka Aho » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:45 pm

jahasjahas wrote:The use of -hän adds a sense of "it's true, after all, that" here. "It's true, after all, that money is only needed to pay back a debt." Adding the -hän also requires us to change the word order; that's why the "ei(hän)" moves to the beginning of the sentence.
The persuasive -han/-hän suffix is often used when expressing an idea or a viewpoint that the speaker personally believes in, or tries to get passed as something that the listener will validate and accept as “a fact”. It is added either to suggest that what is just being said should be considered fairly obvious, really, or in anticipation that without framing it in such way, the validity of the statement could maybe be questioned (but really shouldn’t!)
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Nikama
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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by Nikama » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:50 pm

Thanks a lot, both! And thank you for the extra examples, jahasjahas. Helpful.
jahasjahas wrote:And no, I haven't heard the proverb before.
Looks like it's in the list of unreferenced proverbs on Wikiquote, i.e. those not attested by some 'official' source...

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jahasjahas
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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by jahasjahas » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:25 pm

For what it's worth, there are lots of very common proverbs that every Finn knows on that list. Someone should just get a book of proverbs and provide sources.

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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by Rob A. » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:25 pm

This thread got me thinking about this exchange from a few years ago:

https://www.finlandforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=45507 ....Näköala Haminalahdesta


I guess I know a bit more about Finnish since that time, but the point of what I'm posting now is to say that sometimes it helps to get a very literal translation into English of a Finnish sentence. The "accepted" translation of a word, or proverb, or sentence or whatever, may not capture the manner of speaking or perspective of the Finnish way of saying something.

In this case you are literally saying the "View from Hamina Bay"... which seems the exact opposite of how you would think about it in English....but as I found out it isn't always that straightforward. The same artist has another painting.......Näköala Haminalahdelta, 1853....still the same idea of the view coming to you, but the distinction seems to be one view is from "inside" the bay, the other from the surroundings of the bay.

These subtleties are probably perfectly clear to a native speaker, but I think the only way a non-native speaker can grasp these distinctions is through practice speaking and listening to native speakers...how do they say things and what do they actually mean ... I can't see how you memorize rules for this kind of stuff.

And while I'm "rabbiting on"....what is a very literal translation for "näköala"? It is translated as "view"/"vista" in English but it seems literally to be something like "sight area"?? ...which seems to imply the ground the viewer is standing on, which seems more like the English language perspective.... and, furthermore what kind of word is "näköala"?....why no umlauts on the "a's"?

Oh well...enough....:)

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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by Jukka Aho » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:15 am

Rob A. wrote:And while I'm "rabbiting on"....what is a very literal translation for "näköala"? It is translated as "view"/"vista" in English but it seems literally to be something like "sight area"?? ...which seems to imply the ground the viewer is standing on, which seems more like the English language perspective....
The “literal meaning” is up for interpretation. I’d take it to mean “the area in your field of view”; the surrounding (geographical) area available for unobstructed observation from a given vantage point.
Rob A. wrote:and, furthermore what kind of word is "näköala"?....why no umlauts on the "a's"?
It’s just an ordinary compound word. They are not subject to vowel harmony. (Their individual components — in this case, näkö and ala — are, but the combined whole isn’t.)
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jahasjahas
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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by jahasjahas » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:46 am

Btw, it's worth remembering that the Finnish ä and ö are not umlaut forms of a and o like in German; they're independent letters.

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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by Pursuivant » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:16 pm

Näköala is basically näkö+ala so look-area, the area you see. The confusion is näkö is 'sight' but also what it looks like what you see 'view' or 'looks'... f.ex. ulkonäkö outside-look as in 'appearance' . Ala is a bit old fashioned word for 'area' as in when you calculate land areas - its seldom used alone any more but you see it in many compound words. Not to be confused with Ala- which means 'lower' (also Ali- ) as in Alajoki (lower river) Joenala then again would be river-area :lol: .

OK, so, look-area - what you see. It is commonly used in the more pompous meaning of a view or vista as in selling something 'merinäköala' "ocean view", näköalatorni - "viewing platform" etc. etc.
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Re: Eihän rahaa tarvita kuin velan maksuun

Post by FanenconD3nny » Tue Aug 03, 2021 2:33 pm

Hei! Haluaisin jakaa vaikutelmani luettuani suomenkielisen sananlaskujen kirjan, ja koska se ei ole äidinkieleni, opettelen vielä ja teen virheitä, anteeksi siitä. Yllätykseni oli kuitenkin oikeutettu, kun löysin sananlaskuja, jotka ovat merkitykseltään samanlaisia ja jotka tunnetaan kaikkialla maailmassa monilla kielillä. Tarkoitan kreikkalaisia, portugalilaisia ja joitakin japanilaisia. Lähetän tänne esimerkkejä ja yhtäläisyyksiä, kun saan tilaisuuden.


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