1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Kala on lihaa."

"Kala on lihaa."

Translation:Fish is meat.

June 27, 2020

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_ginzburg

That's an interesting debate because even though of course fish is an animal's flesh, it's not usually considered "meat" in English. You can say about your children: "They don't like to eat meat or fish". Does liha include both in Finnish? Kiitos


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna839191

The debate is the same in Finland I suppose :D Some people think kala is lihaa, some not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

I'd say in the culinary sense, kala ei ole lihaa. Whereas in the biological sense, it of course is.

(It's like tomatoes: botanically a fruit, but a vegetable in the culinary sense.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_ginzburg

Ah, ok, I see. Kiitos!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tredontho

This is very prevalent at least in my region of the US where a lot of people who observe Lent will eat fish on Fridays. Friday Fish Fries are common throughout the year here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epingchris

Same in France: as far as food is concerned, "poisson" is not "viande"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjperi

Just to see what would happen, I translated this as "the fish is meat" and Duolingo marked it wrong. Can anybody explain? Is it more because it's a weird way of expressing this idea in English, or is there a reason in Finnish that it specifically means "fish is meat" without "the"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiiMai

The fish is meat would mean that you're talking about a specific fish. Without 'the' it's just generally fish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjperi

I'm not sure I see that distinction in English, but let's talk about the Finnish. How would you re-write the sentence in Finnish to make the same distinction? That is, what's a good Finnish translation for: "The fish is meat."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiiMai

Perhaps 'Se kala on lihaa'... (Just 'kala on lihaa' would do it too; it depends on the talking point) and as Finnish does not have any articles the difference have to be made with different words. Mmm it's hard to explain...

Onko (tuo/se) kala lihaa? = Is (that/the) fish meat? / Kyllä, (se) kala on lihaa. = Yes, (that/the) fish is meat

I'm not sure if that makes ANY sense but I tried... '-'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjperi

I appreciate it! Every little bit helps as I figure out whether certain translations are wrong or if the Duolingo course just doesn't have those translations listed as valid yet.

Whoever downvoted this entire thread, can you explain why you don't think this is a relevant discussion to have?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Yeah, I agree with this. "The fish is meat" would be a weird sentence -- why this particular fish? Whereas "Fish is meat" does make sense as a sentence, expressing the general idea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidVicto622329

Merely being nonsense doesn't make a sentence ungrammatical. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Oh, it's not ungrammatical, but definitely unnatural as in no one would say that in Finnish. So boo-hoo if winning the game is the objective but yay for actually learning Finnish ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan600886

Same here, @tjperi. I tried the same thing, and got the same "Väärin!" The lack of articles, definite or indefinite, is driving me batty. I don't see why "The fish is meat" is wrong, though I agree it's an odd construction. Perhaps tämä or tuo are as close as we get to a definite article, and lacking that we try and pick it up from context? But I still wish we had "the" as a starting point.

I'm hoping a native speaker will come along with a definitive answer --and perhaps a definite article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/auyuittuq

Would it have a different meaning if 'kalaa' was used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanSmithereens

Yes, that would mean 'some fish' or 'a bit of fish'. You can't use that for a general statement like this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amber.yedi

"Fish are friends, not food" -Finding Nemo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

Kalat ovat ystäviä, eivät ole ruokaa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pieni_chilipalko

Either

"Kalat ovat ystäviä, eivät ruokaa."

Or

"Kalat ovat ystäviä, ne eivät ole ruokaa."

However, I have no idea how this is actually said in the film.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoOneTellsIt

I'm not picking sides on this one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jigglymind

Why not "fish is a meat" as in fish is a variant of meat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

That'd be kala on liha. And sound less natural than this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda406150

Why is “the fish is meat “ wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjperi

To me, it's all about context. Since Finnish doesn't have articles, we have to make educated guesses.

In what situation would you say "The fish is meat" in English? I can't think of any, except really contrived ones, like a fish-shaped meatloaf or something.

It makes more sense that you'd be saying that all fish counts as a type of meat, rather than saying that a specific fish is meat, which is what "the fish" implies.

(Also I just realized I asked this same question earlier. Take a look at the thread above that starts with my question.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda406150

I’m surprised I was marked wrong for adding the at ehe beginning

Learn Finnish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.