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  5. "Why the Finnish language?"

"Why the Finnish language?"

Translation:Miksi suomi?

June 27, 2020



More correct way of saying it would be: "Miksi suomen kieli?". The sentence "Miksi Suomi?" means also: "Why Finland".


It reads "suomi" in lower case, so it can't be mixed with the country. But yeah, "Miksi suomen kieli?" should definitely be an acceptable answer


I try to answer Miksi Suomi amd it pass as good so is not just confusing but useless


Don't confuse Suomi with suomi. "Miksi Suomi" = "Why Finland", "Miksi suomi" = "Why Finnish (language)".


fine for written, useless for spoken


I would change the English to "Why Finnish?" or as others have said the Finnish to "Miksi suomen kieli"


In a conversation it would be impossible to know if it were Suomi or suomi, unless the context implied one or the other, therefore Miksi suomen kieli should be accepted.


Miksi suomen kieli = why the finnish language


To EvelinK3 . Hello. So, could you please explain the difference in meaning between "suomen" and "Suomen"? 1.3.2021. Happy 2021.


My 5yo son asked me this question yesterday. The answer was "because I like learning"


Why is "Miksi suomea" wrong?


I thought that suomi regardless of upper/lowercase s was the country name. Shouldn't it be suomea and espanjaa?


The sentence doesn't really stand on its own, so it can be a bit confusing lacking the context. However, you have a solid point.

Consider these two examples:


Finnish English
Minä opettelen suomea. I am learning Finnish.
Miksi suomea?/Miksi suomen kieltä? Why Finnish?/Why the Finnish language?
Koska se on niin kaunis kieli. Because it's such a beautiful language.


Finnish English
Minusta kaikkein vaikein kieli on suomi. I think that the most difficult language is Finnish.
Miksi suomi?/Miksi suomen kieli? Why Finnish?/Why the Finnish language?
Koska se on niin erilainen. Because it is so different..

So you can see that the same sentence could be translated with the partitive, given a different context.


Languages in Finnish are always lower, countries upper case.


suomea sounds bit like "of Finnish"


The question does not stand to the expected answer. "Miksi suomi?" is kind of correct but "Miksi suomen kieli?" I try answer what should be wrong answer "Miksi Suomi" and still pass as good, probably cause answers are not case sensitive, so that males that question not just confusing but also useless.


Weird question without a verb


The question before this I got wrong for not saying kieli, but this one I got wrong for adding kieli. How do you know when you need kieli or not?


When suomi, ruotsi, or some other language is in the nominative case, it can't directly modify the noun kieli. But it can be put into the genitive case, which ends in -n.

So either 'Miksi suomi?' or 'Miksi suomen kieli?' Either 'Miksi ruotsi?' or 'Miksi ruotsin kieli?'

When there's the verb on, that verb can link nominative suomi to kieli. Thus 'Suomi on kieli', "Finnish is a language".

I believe the verb on can't link suomi to a nominative adjective, since the language suomi seems to be an uncountable noun. So the nominative adjective needs to precede kieli, which is a countable noun.

Thus 'Suomi on kaunis kieli', "Finnish is a beautiful language". Though 'Suomen kieli on kaunis', "The Finnish language is beautiful", is also a grammatical sentence since there on is linking the adjective to kieli.


So "Why the Finnish Language?" needs to be "Miksi suomi?" Which makes sence. But then "What is the hungarian language like?" needs to be "Millainen unkari kieli on?"

People in the comments for that one say you need kieli for context despite unkari being in lower case. Now I come back to this one, and it's the other way around again.

Am I missing something or is Duolingo just being that picky?


Here, both suomi and suomen kieli should be accepted. But since the noun suomi is directly modifying kieli in the second option, it needs to be in the genitive case, suomen.

In writing, it's clear that 'Miksi suomi?' is asking about the language. In speech, you'd need additional context to know if that question was about the language or the country.

As for "What is the Hungarian language like?", I also wanted to translate that to 'Millainen unkari on?' However, it seems that while the country Unkari is treated like a countable noun, the language unkari is an uncountable noun.

When an adjective is linked to a singular countable noun by the verb on, that adjective is nominative. But when an adjective is linked to an uncountable noun by on, then that adjective is partitive.

Following those rules: 'Millainen Unkari on?' "What is Hungary like?" But: 'Millaista unkari on?' "What is Hungarian like?"

But kieli is a countable noun, so if the adjective millainen modifies kieli, then millainen needs to be nominative.

Thus 'Millainen kieli unkari on?' "What kind of language is Hungarian?" Here, millainen directly modifies kieli, and unkari is linked to the noun phrase millainen kieli by the verb on.

There's also the possibility of 'Millainen unkarin kieli on?' "What is Hungarian/Hungary's language like?" Here, it's genitive unkarin which is directly modifying kieli, and the noun phrase unkarin kieli is linked to millainen by on.

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