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  5. "Nuo suot ovat keskellä Suome…

"Nuo suot ovat keskellä Suomea."

Translation:Those bogs are in the middle of Finland.

July 8, 2020



Swamp is also a valid translation for suo.


Suo is the general term covering different types of bogs, for which there are specific names. I'm not sufficiently versed in the English terminology (I am not an expert in the Finnish terminology either if that matters) to say, what differences there are ,if any, between bog, swamp, or marsh. More likely "swamp" just has not been typed in as an alternative.


A bog is a specific type of wetland that accumulates peat, swamps have trees and marshes have reeds. Perhaps "wetland" is better translation of "Suo" as it includes the different types of environment.


Perhaps "fenns". I've heard "the land of fenns" is one etymology of Finland.


Does then Suomi have a similar etymology? Suo maa?


That is one possible explanation, although recently it has been questioned.


Yes! The distinctions I was hoping someone would mention! It's really quite fascinating when you get into it. I seem to recall bogs have to be slightly acidic? Need to look it all up again! As someone said, it may well not be true, but I like how "Finland" sounds like "Fen-land" because as a fen-dweller I rather like 'em.


What's wrong with "center of Finland"?


Hi hoellfurk, the center of Finland is a mathematical point-like concept, like the centre of gravity of a body. Central Finland is a wider concept.


So am I correct in guessing that Suomi comes from suo-maa? Which in English would be "bog-land", or more archaically "fen-land", whence "Finland"? I hope it's true, but even if not, is still cool.


There is still uncertainty regarding the etymology, but as far as I know, that hypothesis isn't considered particularly likely, except possibly among laypersons. I'm most inclined to believe the hypothesis that it has its root in the Proto-Balto-Slavic word źemē, which means "earth".


I thought it should be "suomen keskellä"?!?!?!?


Both "keskellä Suomea" and "Suomen keskellä" are acceptable. The example sentence uses a very common sentence pattern in Finnish, so called existential clause (something is somewhere). On the hoof I would say, that I would use "keskellä Suomea" in the somewhere part, when the parts are in that order, but "Suomen keskellä" when the order is reversed. So

  • Nuo suot ovat keskellä Suomea.
  • Pihan keskellä kasvaa koivu : (literal word oder) In the centre of the yard grows a birch. (Note, a more idiomatic English way to express that would most likely be something else)

But both expressions are acceptable and widely used, so this might just be a personal preference.


At this point of the course, we did not cover the grammatical form "suomen" yet, so I guess that is why "keskellä Suomea" is used.


central Finland should also be accepted (It isn't)


I think "central Finland" gets mixed up with the region (see my other post here), which the sentence is not referring to.


Does that mean they are in Keski Suomi?


I live in Keski-Suomi and I my first impression is that the bogs indeed are here. However if I talk with someone from more north, I would probably ask them to clarify if "middle Finland" means "central Finland" (=keski-suomi) or the actual middle point. I would be very surprised/confused if they mean the latter, though.

The Center of Continental Finland 89200 Puolanka https://maps.app.goo.gl/ND8VxyfE7a41hMve8


Keski-Suomi is a region around Jyväskylä. Keskellä Suomea is a more vague expression and not even meant to be exact, but I would say, that it's more northbound than Keski-Suomi. As Vesa says, if it matters, ask to clarify.


Thanks Vesa and Juha. I have relatives in Keski Suomi and have been there reasonably often. I am told that -Nuo suot ovat Keski-Suomessa- would make the difference.


True, that is unambiguous.

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