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  5. "Isossa koirassa on tosi kirk…

"Isossa koirassa on tosi kirkas tähti."

Translation:There is a really bright star in Canis Major.

June 27, 2020



Crucial A1 level Finnish indeed.


Love this sentence. I did not know the words kirkas and tähti, only that there was something inside a big dog. The unexpected translation broke the monotony of repeated sentences and really enhanced the learning experience. Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Finnish team!


This is the star Sirius, most likely (the brightest star in the sky)


Second brightest.


Venus is a planet. That's the only star-like object brighter than Sirius, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.


I will give you a hint: Sirius is the brightest star in the NIGHT sky.


I guess some people might still be thinking what you meant XD


If DL is so keen to discuss constsllations, why don’t they say so: “There is a really bright star in the Canis Major constellation.”? – so the sentence would not sound so mental...


Because big and dog are more basic than constellation.


I love the multiple choice on this one:

(1) tähti (2) hirvi

Hey, there could be a really bright moose in the big dog! ;)


Yeah, strange Finnish cooking recipes! I wonder how they get the moose filling so radiant. :D


In English we use "Canis Major" —using the Latin— to describe the constellation. Same with Cygnus, Ursa Major, etc. In fact, there are very few constellations and stars that are not referred to by either their Latin or Arabic names. Is this practice not used in Finland? Will I need to re-learn all the constellations and stars in Finnish? As someone who is occasionally called upon to teach sextant use, this is actually quite pertinent to my tutorial.


Names of constellations are usually translated. Orion, Eridanus and Andromeda are the most significant examples of constellations which have retained their Latin names. There are also some constellations with fennicised but easily recognisable names, like Herkules, Kassiopeia, and Kefeus. Of stars Pohjantähti, "Polaris", and Pistoolitähti, "Pistol Star", are the ones which are always translated. Others go by their Latin name, although in everyday speech a few of them have a Finnish name too. Sirius, for instance, is sometimes called Koiratähti, "Dog Star". You may be interested in this site. It's completely in Finnish, so it will take a while to figure out how it works. Here is a list of constellations found on the same site.

Two other significant star related words that are translated are Otava, "Big Dipper", and Seulaset, "Pleiades". Both are included among the oldest words in the Finnish language. :)


Paljon kiitos! That is an awesome site! Bookmarked!


Dog Star is also used in English, for Sirius. The expression "the dog days of August" comes from the time of the year when Sirius first becomes visible in the pre-dawn sky.


Paljon kiitos! And clicking on the site, it is nice to see new words that we already understand, like "tähtikartta" or "tähtitaivas"! :o)
Does "Otava" have a meaning, apart from being the name of the constallation? Or is that the only meaning?


Otava is a type of net used in salmon fishing.


Isn't otava a Russian word? Or did it come into Russian through Finnish?


Otáva is a Russian word, with meanings including 'fog grass' and 'regrowth'. Finnish otava is a type of fish trap or salmon net.

Looking at the etymologies, these words don't seem to share any sort of common ancestor.


Yes, Finnish names are used for constellations, although there are a few exceptions. Individual stars rarely have any particular Finnish names in use.


Actually, many if not most peoples use a name in their own language for the star constellations, Finnish is no exception here. Canis Major is "Great Dog" in English, and also in German ("Großer Hund" = "Big Dog"), Russian ("Большой Пёс" = "Big Dog") or Chinese ("大犬座" = "Big Dog Constellation").
And it is not even always the same name. The "Big Dipper" for Ursa Major is also "Big Dipper" ("Большой Ковш") in Russian, but "The Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper" in Chinese ("北斗七星") and "Big Wagon" ("Großer Wagen") in German, for instance.


Oh, that's what it means by "big dog" :)

[deactivated user]

    Wow what a stretch of a translation, this is certainly not what it claims, Isossa Koira is in the Big Dog, If you said this to s Fin they would think you are mental (I tried) Flagged


    The constellation Canis Major is Iso koira in Finnish. So the translation is correct.

    [deactivated user]

      Then how does one differentiate between that and "in a big dog" without any context, particularly if not accustomed to Astronomical features in Finnish?

      I asked several Fins this and none followed what I was saying, until I mentioned it was about astronomy.


      With the context. It's highly unlikely to bump into a sentence like this without any context to tie it to astronomy. Many constellations are named after animals and similar things. Of course this could also be said "Ison koiran tähdistössä on tosi kirkas tähti". The English sentence with the Latin Canis Major immediately points to astronomy, but in Finnish it's typical to use Finnish names for constellations.

      At the same time this sentence referring to an actual dog would make very little sense, unless in some very specific situation.

      The whole Duolingo system is based on individual sentences without any context. That is why so many questions of the type "how can you tell if..." can be answered simply by: "context". In real life these problems do not exist in the same way, because you always have some context to help out. No one will start a conversation with just this, unless perhaps in some astronomical convention.

      [deactivated user]

        Thank you for putting stuff in context. (no pun intended). The problem for duolingo is of course to eliminate the lack of context. It could for instance start with a word in braces, like this: (astronomy) or (looking at stars). That would create a sense of context and remove duplicity. Thanks for your comment. I hope the duolingo people get to read this.


        Doesn't the bit about a bright star provide ample context?


        Yeah... very interesting. Obviously I have a lot more off platform learning to do. I'm not grasping this concept/unit well without some context. Finding it difficult to move forward after this one sentence.


        I forgot what kirkas meant, so it was interesting trying to figure out what a moose or a star would do with the big dog. Anyway, I chose moose (which is wrong) thinking it's a better play mate for the big dog. Time to call my grandpa to learn about the Big Dog constellation

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