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  5. "Väinö on hyvä velho."

"Väinö on hyvä velho."

Translation:Väinö is a good wizard.

June 29, 2020



I'm so glad they're teaching me the important words early on so I can describe myself properly


I was thinking that too, Why a wizard? The most reasonable explanation is so they don't prioritize a certain profession. But I'm not a mind reader.


It's a reference to the Finnish folklore book/epic Kalevala. There's a character in there called Väinämöinen, who is a wizard of sorts. Väinö is a name that is derived from Väinämöinen. Kalevala is a big part of Finnish culture :)


Väiämöinen is not a wizard but rather a seer or a wise man.


I don't know enough Finnish yet to know better, but from what I know of other languages, words that denote individuals with any kind of unusual abilities (whether those abilities are supernatural or not) are often interchangeable and do not correspond to neatly separated well-defined mutually exclusive categories. For instance, in English words like wizard, witch, enchantress, sorcerer, magician, conjurer, charmer, necromancer, seer, blesser, soothsayer, girdle-measurer, wise-woman, cunning-man, etc, all overlap with each other. And anything that is beyond the abilities or outside the usual range of experiences of "ordinary" people often appears to be magic - whether it is or not.


so was Saruman...


Sinä olet velho Harry


Voldemort on ei hyvä velho


Is velho gendered? Is there a female equivalent beyond noita (witch)?


Neither velho nor noita are gendered, although nowadays the first is usually a man and the latter a woman due to longterm Germanic cultural influence (Scandinavian cultures, German and English speaking cultures). A sorceress would be velhotar. -tar is used to create female versions of nouns, although it's very rare these days. The ones you are most likely to encounter are tarjoilijatar ("waitress") and näyttelijätär ("actress"). Female deities of ancient Finns often had a name that ended in -tar. The creator goddess in the Finnish pantheon is Ilmatar, "Lady/Maiden of Air". :)


Being a fan of fantasy literature I've come across a lot of variations... Here are some of them. The translations here don't always go perfectly, since the terms are often based on folk tales and stuff, but I'll try my best. Velho = Wizard; mostly men, but I've seen it used about women as well. Female form would be velhotar (maybe wizardess?). Noita = witch; mainly probably associated with women nowadays, but can be used for men also (especially historically I think). Lumooja/lumoojatar = enchanter/enchantress; the first form can be whatever gender, the latter -tar-variation is for women. Taikuri = magician; pretty gender-neutral term although one probably thinks first of a male stage magician with a top hat. Taikoja = magician or user of magic; not so much magic tricks but maybe a bit of real magic there? Manaaja = exorcist; yes, the movie. Maagi = mage. Tietäjä = (literally) the one who knows, who is made powerful by his/her knowledge; the most famous example would be Väinämöinen in Kalevala. One more: the Witcher is translated as noituri (idk, but I'm guessing the term was invented by the translator).

The -tar/-tär -endings for women are a bit outdated and not really recommended anymore, like näyttelijätär (actress). This is not always regarded as a bad thing in fantasy, since the whole fictional world is often based on historic times...


noita is definitely historically not only neutral but initially a more manly rather than a womanly word. When the witch-hunts came to Finland during the Renaissance, the Finns had not yet adopted certain European attitudes, and about 70% of the "witches" condemned were actually men. This is also true of Estonia. Iceland is another anomaly in the statistics. About 90% of the condemned were men.


That is not a universal European attitude. Scotland also had large numbers of men condemned as "witches".


Is this "good" as in moral (i.e. Vaïnö is a "white wizard") or " good" in the sense of being skilled at something (Vaïnö is good at being a wizard)?


It can be both, although "being skilled" sounds, to me at least, slightly more likely without more context. "bad", however, would be translated with two different words depending on whether you are talking about moral or competence.

  • Voldemort on paha velho ja Harry Potter on hyvä velho. Voldemort is a bad/evil wizard and Harry Potter is a good/nice wizard.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart on huono velho ja Dumbledore on hyvä velho. Gilderoy Lockhart is a bad/unskilled wizard and Dumbledore is a good/skilled wizard. (Although there's a rumour that Lockhart is very good with memory charms. You never know with rumours though.)


Olen iloinen Väinö ei ole paha velho. (I tried ;_;)


Hyvä @Kudagitsun! Well done! Just one teeny tiny thing. In English, it's possible to drop "that" from a sentence like this, but the Finnish että cannot be removed: Olen iloinen, että Väinö ei ole paha velho. :)


It is a good app


Duolingo on hyvä app


Gandalf on velho!


Sinä olet velho, Harry.


Obviously in the Nordic Lang course we will need to learn the word wizard in one of the first lessons


Is there an English equivalent for väinö


No. There are indeed many names popular in Finland which have the same predecessors as many names in Indo-European languages, like Liisa for example. Biblical names are the most obvious and largest group of this type. Still, there are also many names which can be found in only in Finno-Uralic languages, only in Finnic languages, or only in Finnish. Several names taught in the course fall into this group. Väinö and Tyyne, for instance, have no counterparts in English or in any other Indo-European language. :)

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