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  5. "The Sámi man is a shaman."

"The Sámi man is a shaman."

Translation:Saamelainen mies on shamaani.

June 26, 2020



In Sweden the state/church couldn't tolerate the sámi use of shamanism so they forbid it and burned all their "drums" (tools used to put them into trance) so they basically removed their religion and forced them to convert to christianity. Pretty horrible actually.


Yes, sometimes I'm really surprised by Swedish history. Nowadays it's one of the most tolerant countries in the world with a good development, but what they used to be is something abroad the realms of good and evil.


Is that still so in Sweden?


I get this as the correct answer: Saamelaismies on šamaani.

Can someone explain the combining of saamelainen and mies here? Also, is šamaani or shamaani more common?


Not sure if I can properly explain it... I'll still try. All nationality words can be combined like that. Finnish man= suomalaismies, Swedish woman = ruotsalaisnainen etc. Nationality words end in -nen. So to make a combination, replace the -nen with -s. Then just add the word which describes what kind of a person you are talking about (mies=man, nainen=woman, lapsi=kid, opettaja=teacher...)


Well explained! Kiitos! :)


Forming compound words is relatively easy and common in Finnish, but in some cases some adjustments need to be made on order to combine words. Both "saamelainen mies" and "saamelaismies" mean the same thing, obviously, but in the compound word the "-nen" has been replaced with "-s".

In a similar fashion you can say:

"saamelainen nainen/saamelaisnainen"

"suomalainen mies/nainen - suomalaismies/nainen"

"venäläinen nainen/mies - venäläisnainen/mies"

"ruotsalainen mies/nainen - ruotsalaismies/nainen"

and so on.

You can see this in other kinds of combinations as well, such as "suomalais-venäläinen koulu" (Finnish-Russian school) and "suomalais-ugrilaiset kielet" (Finno-Ugric languages).

When it comes to "šamaani" and "shamaani" these words are part of a group of loanwords with the "sh" sound which hasn't traditionally existed in Finnish, and as such there has been much talk over how they should be written. In many cases both "š" and "sh" are in use, although I feel that the use of "š" is declining and that you only really bump into it in older books and such. You can also write "shaman" as "samaani". Other such words include "šakki/shakki" (chess), "šiatsu/shiatsu", "šokki/shokki/sokki" (shock) and "sushi/šusi".


To your last point: honestly don't know. I personally use the first one more, but a lot of people use the second one more. Use whichever you feel like using :D


Apparently, either šamaani or samaani is recommended (https://www.kielikello.fi/-/samaani-shamaani-vai-samaani-suhuaanteet-suomen-oikeinkirjoituksessa).

To the OP: There is a basic principle in Finnish that one sound is represented by one letter. That's why solutions such as shamaani go a bit against the basic logic (requiring š instead) although you do see those as well.

Also note that some people would pronounce samaani with just a simple s-sound (so different from sh/š), as this non-Finnish sound is difficult for many Finnish speakers (which you will also notice when they are speaking English...).


I just write shamaani/samaani because I've got no idea how to make that s with the keyboard :D That is a letter that does not exist in Finnish language normally so we just replace it with "sh".


@annika_a & @MCRmadness kiitos! :)


Same here. Are we supposed to use š for sh?


Yeah that is a safe replacement for that letter since it does not exist in the Finnish alphabet and I don't even know how to make that on a keyboard without using copypaste. The same can be seen in the word "shakki" (chess in English). Finnish is pronounced the same way as it's written so sh sounds a lot (or exactly? I don't speak any language with this letter!) like š.


It troubles me that I hear the 2nd syllable as being strongly stressed in "šamaani". Is this because it is a loan word?


Nope, the second syllable is not stressed. The first one is. It might just seem that way to you because the second one is long.


OK, thank you. It's so subtle. I'm still trying to get it into my ears.


The "sh" looks weird here. From what I know we're supposed to use "š".

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