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"Our apologies, but we are out of oranges."

Translation:Olemme pahoillamme, mutta appelsiinit ovat loppu.

June 29, 2020



It does seem to be a bit of a jump to go from "we are out of" to "ovat loppu."


I think the issue here is a more cultural one than a straight linguistic one.

While the English phrase "the oranges have run out" might be grammatically correct, an English speaker likely says "we are out of oranges" without much implying that "we" (and it even is a bit unclear who these "we" are) are somehow responsible for the lack of oranges.

In contrast meillä ei ole appelsiineja has an undertone, that either we, the store or the family (clearly defined by the context), have decided not to have oranges at all or we have somehow messed up with orders or forgot to buy oranges. In any case the Finnish me is more specific than the English "we" and in a way or another responsible for not having oranges. Not willing to take the blame for this (it can be the wholesale or the transport company which has messed up the delivery), a Finn says appelsiinit ovat loppuneet/lopussa keeping the focus on the oranges. This is actually so automatic, idiomatic way to say, that saying meillä ei ole appelsiineja pops right out and is so underlining, that you are almost forced to dun Miksei? : Why not?


The mistake already discussed is still present at least in some exercises...


And a better, a correct way is to say …, mutta appelsiinit ovat lopussa".


That's what I wrote a month after your comment, but it's still judged wrong. It will have to be reported. :)

[deactivated user]

    reported: "meillä ei ole appelsiinit". Maybe the plural should be singular and partitive, but the point is that translating from English to Finnish should not be this rigid, my opinion. So I reported it. They will undoubtedly let me know if it is ok or not. And if I am wrong, please jump in. I welcome the discussion!


    "Meillä ei ole appelsiineja" would just mean that they don't have oranges. Maybe they never had them, maybe they did. "Appelsiinit loppuivat" or "appelsiinit ovat loppu" or "appelsiinit ovat lopussa" or "meillä ei enää ole appelsiineja" or "appelsiineja ei ole enää jäljellä" or "jäljellä ei ole yhtäkään appelsiinia" etc. etc. imply that there were oranges before, but they're all gone now. :)


    Somebody should explain that. Thank you


    I think there is a slight error in the meaning and the Finnish sentence.


    Maybe the point is to demonstrate the Finnish tendency for directness :)


    it appears to be fixed now, before the translation was just 'appelsiinit ovat loppu' without the 'olemme pahoillamme, mutta' before it.


    Yeah, I noticed. I think I preferred it the way it was before because it was funnier that way due to what it implies about Finnish manners.


    Why isn't it "appelsiinit ovat lopput"?


    You can say

    • Appelsiinit ovat loppuneet

    using the verb loppua : to end, to run out (→ ovat loppuneet : (3pl.) have ended, have run out) or

    • Appelsiinit ovat lopussa

    using the inessive case of the noun loppu : end (approx. in end, at end).

    Colloquially you say

    • Appelsiinit ovat loppu

    where the noun is (erroneously) used as an adverb (← Swedish ta slut).

    The nominative plural form of that noun is loput because of the consonant alternation. That you can use as an attribute

    • Loput appelsiinit ovat tässä : Here are the remaining oranges

    meaning the rest, remaining.

    While the form lopput could be used in some dialects, it is not used in the standard language. (And if you were to speak in such dialects, you wouldn't begin with Appelsiinit ovat…) But let's stick to the standard language in this course.


    What is wrong with: "Olemme pahoillamme, mutta olemme loppu appelsiinit."


    That would somehow indicate that we are at the end, finished or kaputt, i.e. doesn't make much sense.

    See my other answers for more info.

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