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"Kaksi venäläistä tyttöä maalaa karhua."

Translation:Two Russian girls are painting a bear.

July 9, 2020



Finnish uses the partitive case to express an ongoing (in-progress or incomplete) action. Here, "karhua" is in the partitive case. The two Russian girls are in the process of painting the bear right now.
In English, we use -ing to express this ("painting"). In Finnish, we use the partitive case of the object ("karhua").

Kaksi venäläistä tyttöä maalaa karhua. = Two Russian girls are painting a bear.

Kaksi venäläistä tyttöä maalaa karhun. = Two Russian girls paint a bear.


Thanks! This sort of stuff would be so helpful in the tips section!


Two Russian girls paint a bear was not accepted? Is there a difference?


No difference! Remember to report these kinds of mistakes so that moderators can add more alternative translations


How can the Finnish sentence be understood: are the girls putting paint on a paper (or other surface) in the shape of a bear, or are they putting paint on an actual bear? Or can it mean both?


Hyvä pointti.

Well, it's the same in English I would say. How can we know, from the English sentence, if they paint the fur of the bear or a bear on a paper?

I guess that the context, or extra details, may clarify that.


I was asking exactly because in English there is the ambiguity but this does not forcibly mean that it needs to be same in other languages. Example German distinguishes: "einen Bären malen" = painting the shape and "einen Bären anmalen" = putting paint on its fur.

I was wondering whether it's possible to resolve the ambiguity within the language itself or if we are forced to rely solely on context?


I see. To my knowledge, there is no such thing in the Finnish language as in German (language that I don´t know so well).

As for this excercise, it´s pretty sure that the girls are painting a bear on paper. The eventuality of having someone to paint a real bear in some colors it´s so rare that, in real life, they would for sure specify it with some extra information.

Okay, we are on Duolingo and here all is possible, that´s the only confusing thing :-)


I do appreciate this discussion for clarifying where german tends to be more explicit, that finnish might imply this eventuality as taking place on paper instead of on fur. Considering such an ambiguity in english however, I'd rather leave the decision up to the bear.


Hope it holds still...


two russian girls paint a bear

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