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  5. "The northern city is small."

"The northern city is small."

Translation:Pohjoinen kaupunki on pieni.

June 24, 2020

1 Comment


This is not idiomatic in Finnish. For example "Se on pieni pohjoinen kaupunki" or "Se on pieni kaupunki pohjoisessa" or "Kaupunki pohjoisessa on pieni" are idiomatic ways of conveying the same meaning in a Finnish conversation. Using unidiomatic phrases can actually cause you not to get understood in a conversation. Here the biggest problem is that the prototypic interpretation of "pohjoinen kaupunki" is actually "the northen parts of the city". A contemporary Finn would use the definite article "se" to express the indoeuropeism "Se pohjoinen kaupunki on pieni", but that's of course not allowed in official Finnish. I think the person writing this phrase was thinking on spoken Finnish and kind of "translated" it into kirjakieli by simply dropping the "se".

Of course, altering the Finnish phrase for a more idiomatic form would require adapting the English phrase respectively.

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