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  5. "The reindeer can hear that t…

"The reindeer can hear that the wolverine is near."

Translation:Porot kuulevat, että ahma on lähellä.

July 1, 2020



How are we meant to know whether you want singular or plural reindeer. It's the same word in English.


Couldn't it be "poro kulee"? Just one poor Rudolph wandering about?


Yes. When you are given the English sentence and asked to translate it to Finnish, the sentence Poro kuulee, että ahma on lähellä should be accepted along with Porot kuulevat, että ahma on lähellä, because the English sentence doesn't indicate whether "reindeer" is singular or plural. I've reported it.


You should probably specify whether "reindeer" is singular or plural, or accept both translations. Right now its a 50/50 guess.


same here. i translated into singular, but it still was not accepted


Isnt the word osaat needed if it says can hear?


The verb "osata" means "can" only in sentences like "he can walk" (talking about a little boy who has learned walking and NOT about an injured person for example) or "she can sing" with the meaning of "can = knows how to". Here "The reindeer knows how to hear that the wolverine is near." wouldn't make any sense.

And if "osata" was right, the correct form would be "osaa" or "osaavat" depending on reindeer singular or plural.


There is no way to tell from the English sentence that "the reindeer" is plural.


"Poro kuulee" should be acceptable. The English translates that way too.


Reporting pays back. The single form was now accepted.


Porot kuulevat means the reindeer hear. Porot voivat kuulla means the reindeer can hear. Eikö niin?


This is where Finnish and English differ in the usage of modality. When it comes to cases of plain perception, the verb phrase "can hear" is strongly preferred over "hear". Using merely "hear" in this way seems to be somewhat old-fashioned, although there may of course be dialectal differences in this regard. That is more likely to refer to having been told some rumour or piece of news, for instance "I hear that you've been promoted", which means "I've been told that you've been promoted". The same does not apply in Finnish, as "kuulla" on its own in present tense does not have that as a possible meaning, and "voida/osata/pystyä kuulla" refers to capability, not perception.


This threw me off also. In English, "hear" and "can hear" have different meanings, the first referring to what's going on in the world right now, and the second referring to capability. When I see a phrase with "can hear" in it, I assume I have to translate the "can" part because without it, the sentence wouldn't mean the same thing. Yet "osaa" is marked wrong here. I don't doubt that it is wrong; I just know that this phrase will give me trouble because not including a word for "can" is counter-intuitive for me.

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