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  5. "Ketkä maalaavat pöllöä?"

"Ketkä maalaavat pöllöä?"

Translation:Who are the people painting an owl?

June 28, 2020



This is such an awkward English translation. Even if it can be justified grammatically, you would always hear someone say, "Who is painting an owl?" even when referring to a group where you know more than one person is painting an owl.


It is, but in English we don't have two words for "who", ao this is an attempt to indicate more specifically what the Finmish word means.


Probably in school, in a painting class.


Agreed. But I find a problem with the "an". Much better to say "the".


"who are" does not make sense


Ketkä is used for plural "who". For one person it will be "Kuka" "Who are those people" - that would be one of possible translations.


So it would be ketkä malaavat... or kuka malaat... ?


Could be a mural. Could be a statue. Could be a very big owl, (and very small people). Then 'are the people' would make sense in english.

But I think dl is drawing our attention to the use of the plural ketka.


It does if you insist on including 'the people' as a correct translation. People being plural. So 'are'. ' Who is' if it was 'who is the person...'


'Who's(is) painting an owl' is more natural. 'An owl' because it could be any owl. 'the owl' is a specific owl to which there's no context to suggest there's a specific one being painted.


The an is pretty odd. I think it needs the the. But your explanation is definitely correct.


Agree. The awkward English might be an attempt to give a literal translation of the Finnish that helps the user understand it better, but it's so awkward you don't really know what they're trying to get at.


I think "what people" would be arguably more appropriate in English, but only just... this just really isn't said in English


I understand the need to use "who are" but the people part is not consistent in similar questions. So, "who are painting the owl" should also be accepted, since there is no ihmiset


But that's definitely incorrect English, though.


Who is* it should be


So why is “an” owl OK and “the owl” incorrect?


Because I reached the end of the Finnish module, I am in Italian now and almost longing for the days of simple Finnish articles or lack thereof! The Italians match number and gender and are great sticklers for when it is “the”and when it is “a/an”…and the possessive article are even more fun! I still hope no one is actually painting the poor owls feathers to make it more fashionable!


I suppose if we understand that the meaning is actually: who (more than one person) is painting (a picture of) an owl..it seems more sensible. Unless they really mean putting paint on owl....bad idea!


Fun fact: My translation of the listening exercise was 'Who are painting Pöllö?' Because that is a surname that constantly keeps popping up in various sentences, so I didn't think of an actual bird. :)


who are painting an owl was marked as incorrect

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