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  5. "Why is Spanish such a handso…

"Why is Spanish such a handsome language?"

Translation:Miksi espanja on niin komea kieli?

June 29, 2020

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Wait a minute...now I'm really curious on the difference between komea and kaunis. Why would Spanish be described as a "handsome" language, versus all the other languages being described as "beautiful". In English, these two meanings have a gender difference to them, where handsome is usually used for males, and beautiful is usually used for females OR inanimate objects in general. How does a Finn describe the difference between "komea" and "kaunis", when there are no genders in the Finnish language typically?


You can describe almost anything with the word komea: men, women, dogs, furniture, languages, although women are usually called kaunis and men komea. Apart from very young girl children, bunnies, cubs, kittens, and puppies, I cannot think of anything you cannot call komea. Men are more likely to use the word than women in any context and often use it as a compliment especially of tall, statuesque women, who are not girly. I would be very careful about calling men kaunis though. While there are many men, who would like that, most men would find it odd, unless it's their partner using that word. Using komea is pretty similar to how the word "handsome" was used in a bit older UK English. Here's Mr. Darcy from Austen's Pride and Prejudice:

"Yes," replied Darcy, who could contain himself no longer, "but that was only when I first saw her, for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance."

As for Spanish, just think of Buzz Lightyear in Spanish mode. :P


In Finnish, a language is practically never called 'komea'.


It's not something you would hear in English either.


Thanks for this info! It's hard to find good grammar resources on Finnish, but having someone like you explain it is extremely helpful!


It's definitely not common to call a language 'komea'. Haven't come across it before - only 'beautiful' or such. But sure, it could be done; it depends on what one wants to emphasize.

'Komea' (when not meaning a pleasant male appearance) is most often used to describe something tall/big, grand, robust, great in stature, loud/deep voice, etc.


Perhaps it's not good to try to assume all phrases are contentwise sensible and correct :)

But yeah, it's a description that's not so common for languages, but understandable with its own meaning: admiring the aesthetic quality of Spanish language, but with emphasis that it's grand, impressive, dashing, robust instead of flowery...¡Ay, caramba!


Komea kieli is as unusual as handsome language. You would reveal your ignorance of the language in saying this.


I don't understand the sentence structure for questions. In English we say "Where is the dog". Finnish sentence structure is often the same as English but in Finnish you say "Missä koira on?"

In this question the answer is "miksi espanja on..." but I answered wrongly with "miksi on espanja ..." I see the pattern but I dont understand the logic/rule/why.


There is no one way you absolutely have to structure a question, meaning that while there is one way of asking a neutral question, other ways are possible if you e.g. want to emphasise something, are writing a poem, trying to write fancy dialogue etc.

The subject and the (predicate) verb tend to come in the same order in statements and questions.

"ESPANJA ON komea kieli."

"Miksi ESPANJA ON komea kieli?"

"SE ON koira."

"Mikä SE ON?"

Of course, if you just use the -ko/kö suffix to form a yes/no question, and attach it to the verb, the verb jumps to the front.

"ONko ESPANJA komea kieli?" - Is Spanish a handsome language?

"ONko SE koira?" - Is it a dog?

"Miksi on espanja niin komea kieli?" sounds quite unusual, but it's a grammatically correct question, as would be e.g. "Miksi niin komea kieli on espanja?". "Miksi on espanja niin komea kieli?" just sounds like "Why is SPANISH so handsome a language?". :)


Is there a better translation than "handsome" in this context?


I'm deleting this sentence due to the confusion it seems to be causing. :)

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