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  5. "Se on vanha ja kaunis kantel…

"Se on vanha ja kaunis kantele."

Translation:It is an old and beautiful kantele.

June 25, 2020



A kantele (Finnish: [ˈkɑntele])[1] is a traditional Finnish and Karelian plucked string instrument (chordophone) belonging to the south east Baltic box zither family known as the Baltic psaltery along with Estonian kannel, Latvian kokles, Lithuanian kanklės and Russian gusli.[2]

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantele


In English you would normally say, "It is a beautiful old kantele." unless you were putting emphasis on "old."


In Finnish you'd also be most likely to say "se on kaunis vanha kantele" if you were using that construction. But "vanha ja kaunis kantele" sounds perfectly normal as well, since it's got the "ja" in it.


Does Finnish have the same adjective ordering as English? e.g. "A charming little old Finnish lady" or "A fantastic short sharp Japanese steel paring knife"

I've noticed some peculiarities with stacking adjectives later in this course (particularly comma placement), but haven't found an explanation online yet. It seems uncanny that "beautiful and old" works exactly the same as in English.



Generally, the more "essential" an adjective is the closer it is to its main word (the noun). So subjective evaluations, opinions etc. (like ihana, mukava, hurmaava, hauska) tend to come first.

mukava koira

mukava pieni koira

A rather neutral order with non-evaluative adjectives is shape (iso, pieni, pyöreä), age (vanha, nuori, uusi), colour (valkoinen, vihreä), origin (ruotsalainen, virolainen) and matter (e.g puinen - wooden). Matter often just forms a compound word with the noun, however (e.g. puukoira - a dog made of wood), which might also happen with origin.

pieni vanha koira

pieni vanha valkoinen koira

pieni vanha valkoinen ruotsalainen koira - pieni vanha valkoinen ruotsalaiskoira

pieni vanha valkoinen ruotsalainen puinen koira - pieni vanha valkoinen puinen ruotsalaiskoira - pieni vanha valkoinen ruotsalainen puukoira

Also, shorter, simpler adjectives often come before longer, complex ones.


I'd say you can put adjectives in quite a free order. Some may sound better in certain way though and it also depends on what you want to point out. So you could say "hurmaava pieni vanha suomalaisrouva" or "hurmaava suomalainen pieni vanha rouva" or "pieni vanha hurmaava suomalaisrouva" or "suomalainen hurmaava vanha pikkurouva"... A very long list of adjectives sounds a bit odd, so as you can see I tend to change one into a noun. I think the first and the last "jumps up" from the list.

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