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  5. "Haluatko jotain syötävää?"

"Haluatko jotain syötävää?"

Translation:Do you want something to eat?

July 8, 2020



What form is "syötävää" in?


This is an example of a participle that doubles as a noun, so it can be confusing. Finnish is full of these. If you have a linguistic streak, you can take a look at the declensions for "syötävä" here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sy%C3%B6t%C3%A4v%C3%A4


So, if I'm understanding correctly, a hyperliteral translation of this would be closer to "do you want to be eating something?"


More like "Do you want something to be eaten?"


This language is strangely logical in its own, alien way.


Do you want something to eat? and Do you want to eat something? is essentially the same thing.


It is grammatically something completely different. If Finnish makes this distinction (which I don't know yet) then the translations need to make it too.


Do you want to eat something = Haluatko syödä jotain

Not the same thing when translating.


Ok, so after a little Wiktionarying, I found that "jotain" is the partitive of "jokin". So far so good. But why is this in the partitive, I don't recognise the rule.


"Jotakin syötävää" is not a clearly defined thing.

Haluatko kahvin? = Do you want a (cup of) coffee? <-- clearly defined thing

Haluatko kahvia? = Do you want (some) coffee? <-- undefined amount

Object case is a problem in learning Finnish - it has to come up early because you need it even for fairly simple sentences but the rules are complex and there are exceptions. An actual Finnish teacher would be quite forgiving with object case errors until you're well into your studies. Unfortunately an algorithm is not as considerate :)


Doesn't jotakin mean "something". Jotain isn't in my dictionary


Jotain is simply a shortened form of jotakin. They mean the same but jotain is less formal and more common today.


I think that is why Tolkien found Finnish to be a magical and totally unique language....never a dull moment. Luckily if one is trying to use it with Finns, they are very forgiving!


Yeah. He must have considered it Orcward.

But he was really into middle english too, Beowulf etc. And when you see that it is hard to tell what it in the middle of!

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