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"Who is a good dog?"

Translation:Kuka on kiltti koira?

June 28, 2020



Now I can complement my dog in Finnish.


Why not Kuka kiltti koira on? (since we kuka sinä olet)


Hmm, never really thought about that, so I'm just going to give a sort of stream of consciousness type of answer, which might be totally wrong. Correct me in that case.

The earlier a noun comes in a sentence the more definite it is. When you are asking someone "kuka sinä olet?" (or "Kuka olet") you are directly addressing the person, the "you", and know clearly who it refers to.

When it comes to "Kuka on kiltti koira?" you are sort of asking who's the one that's a good dog, even if there is only one dog you are addressing, if that makes sense.

Technically you can also ask "kuka olet sinä?" and "kuka kiltti koira on?" but you'd certainly need more context for it to sound natural.

"Kuka olet sinä, joka hiivit pimeässä?"

"Kuka kiltti koira on syönyt kaiken ruoan?"


For me it feels like te difference is about asking for a descriptor or more knowledge on the person you are asking about in 'kuka sinä olet', while in 'kuka on kiltti koira' you are asking to identify a certain dog (namely the one that's a good dog) possibly from a group of dogs, but you are not trying to get to know the dog better (kiltti koira already ís the descriptor?).

If we would compare 'kuka Liisa on' and 'kuka on Liisa', wouldn't the first one ask about the kind of person that Liisa is (the answer perhaps being about her profession or personality or background), and the second one more about where to find Liisa or how to pick her from a group (the answer being 'here!' or 'the girl next to Petri')?


I still don't get it.

I feel like it's perfectly fine to say both "Musti on kiltti koira" (saying good words about a certain dog) and "Kiltti koira on Musti" (pointing with a finger to a random dog that behaves and trying to identify it.) In the first case the corresponding question is "Kuka on kiltti koira?", the second question would be "Kuka killti koira on?" (keeping in mind direct words order in questions in Finnish.)


Nonetheless, if both are correct Finnish and mean about the same thing, both should be accepted, no?


There is always a certain word order that's neutral though. Other word orders, while grammatically correct, might emphasise different things, sound odd or extremely old-fashioned, too poetic etc.



I do agree. However, the problem here is twofold.

One, the course is still in beta and there are many alternative translations that just haven't been added yet simply because they have to be added one by one by the volunteer team (which is a small team), just as well as there are general mistakes etc. that still need to be fixed.

Two, how do you tell people which word order is the neutral one if you accept everything? People do not always check the discussion board to also see the suggested answer on top.


I understand about beta-level software, having been involved in the production of large quantities of it. This course hasn't truly reached that point, though, not being feature-complete (important points not covered, tips missing, etc). It's really more at an alpha level, I'd say.

I would be happy to help, if I felt I could offer anything significant (proofreading screens of English text, etc.)

It's really too bad Duolingo only offers right (green) or wrong (red) so far as I know. There ought to be a third, yellow category for answers that are technically correct but may carry an unintended meaning. So the answer(s) you really want would be marked green, while the barely acceptable alternatives that I seem to keep coming up with would be marked yellow. That would seem to solve both of our problems.

Too bad it'll never happen.


That's fine, so tell us which word order is the more neutral or preferred ones - I want to know that anyway! :) But if what I have used is grammatically correct Finnish that says pretty much what the English says, why should it be marked wrong?


Very clear example !!


Thanks, it does make sense.


Yes you are, yes you are!


Can I also use 'hyvä' ?


Hyvä would actually be a more accurate translation. hyvä = good kiltti = kind


hyvä was accepted for me


not for me :(


I'm still not satisfied about 'kuka kiltti koira on" and 'kuka on kiltti koira'


Statements and question have the same word order in Finnish, i.e. the subject and the predicate verb do not switch places unlike in English (he is - is he?).

"Kuka" (who) can take the subject's place.

If you formed statements out of these questions, they'd be "se on kiltti koira" (kuka on kiltti koira?) and "se kiltti koira on" (kuka kiltti koira on?). The latter doesn't sound very good. However, if we made "kiltti koira" to be the subject of the sentence (instead of the hidden "se"), it'd sound better, "kiltti koira on X". It still lacks a bit of something though. Because it comes right at the beginning of the sentence, it's definite, it's a specific dog. In these cases, you tend to add "tämä" (this), "tuo" (that) or "se" (that) to enhance the definiteness, e.g. "tuo kiltti koira on Musti" (that well-behaved/good dog is Musti). In that case, the question becomes "kuka tuo kiltti koira on?", which sounds perfectly natural (you can also ask "kuka on tuo kiltti koira?"). I'm not sure why it works this way.


"Musta" means black, while "Musti" is the most common dog name in Finland. I guess, idiomatically it might be used as a generalization for all dogs.


Yeah, but that's clearly a mistake on Duolingo's part.


Minä olen sinä olet hän on

[deactivated user]

    Sinä olet!


    ”Not you !”


    Sina on hyvä koira!


    Sinä olet hyvä koira

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