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  5. "Matti on sisukas suomalainen…

"Matti on sisukas suomalainen."

Translation:Matti is a Finn with sisu.

June 24, 2020



what does the "-kas" in "sisukas" mean?


it is a suffix, which shows in this case the turning of a noun into an adjective.

as the example in wikipedia is shown: kukka (“flower”) → kukikas (“flower-patterned”) or ääni (“noise”) → äänekäs (“noisy”) or voima (“power”) → voimakas (“powerful”). For further information see https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-kas#Finnish (Am I allowed to do that...?)


The English translation contains the Finnish word "sisu" here, including on the "pick the words" exercises.


Ah, I'm not English native, was wondering why I didn't get the meaning of the phase


Apparently it's a word that's used in English


Borrowed from Finnish sisu, documented in English since at least 1940.'


1940 January 8, “Northern Theatre:Sisu”, in Time Magazine:

Last week the Finns gave the world a good example of sisu by carrying the war into Russian territory on one front while on another they withstood merciless attacks by a reinforced Russian Army.

1999, Norma J. Livo & ‎George O. Livo, The Enchanted Wood and Other Tales from Finland, →ISBN, page 5:

People living in northern climates need plenty of sisu.

2016, Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, →ISBN:

We agreed there was a pressing need for a systematic investigation of sisu, how Finns think about it, how it is propagated.

2016, Katie Falkowski, GRIND: Greatness Rises in Each New Day: Get up, Show up, and Grind, →ISBN:

Life requires all of us to have a certain level of sisu when things get tough, which they inevitably will.



Maybe like English "grit."

  • 694

Definitely grit. I'm a Finn, and in many use cases grit alone is a good translation. Personally I think that the words grit, guts and fortitude together cover the complete meaning of sisu, but all three are rarely needed together to convey the meaning in specific contexts.

I also think that fortitude is an underused English word while describing sisu; I'd guess that that's because it's not in the English vocabulary of second language speaking Finns.


I think 'grit' would be a better translation here for the English equivalent since 'sisu' is not widely understood in contemporary English. The word 'grit' is even used in the comment above yours as an equivalent of 'sisu.'


Wouldn't you consider "Matti is a sisu Finn," Or "Matti is a Finnish susi," acceptable? Why or why not?


I think its because there is no suffix in English turning sisu from a noun into an adjective (sisu-ly/sisu-ful) isnt really a thing so you have to say with sisu at the end


Yep. The closest one would be "sisuful" but that just sounds rather weird.

"värikäs" - colourful (väri - colour)

"lahjakas" - talented, gifted (lahja - gift)

"onnekas" - lucky (onni - luck)

"miehekäs" - manly (mies - man)

By the way, "susi" means "wolf". :)


As a native English speaker i would say 'susi' is not an acceptable translation. 'brave' would fit better

  • 694

Sisu is not brave. Sisu is grit, guts, fortitude or a combination of those. Brave would be urhea in Finnish. Also, susi and sisu are different words; susi means a wolf.


Brave is not the same as "with sisu". Please read the tips section for this lesson: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fi/basics_2/tips-and-notes


"Matti is a gutsy Finn" should also be accepted.


Yo. I think gutsy does the job well.


I'm wondering why does "Finnish" not accepted?


Is sisu used in this context in the same manner as chutzpah?


Is sisu a term that can be applied to art? Is something that is emotionally powerful said to possess a lot of sisu? (similar to the Spanish concept of duende that Federico Garcia Lorca talks about) or it is just for actions, like being gutsy or defiant?


Matti is a spunky Finnish = Matti is a brave Finnish.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

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