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"Is Japanese a large language?"

Translation:Onko japani suuri kieli?

July 9, 2020



What does it mean for a languge to be large?


Possibly number of words or speakers. But it's a strange way to express that in English. Does this sentence sound odd to a Finn?


I'm Finn. It sounds OK to me, and the meaning would be that has language has a large number of speakers.


could suuri be translated as popular because 'large' does not seem appropriate


Not really, since "popular" would be "suosittu", and in Finnish for a language to be considered "suuri" it doesn't need to be "popular" as such, just something that is widely used and has a lot of speakers. A "suosittu kieli" would be a language people want to choose. Which I'm sure does apply to Japanese, so it's definitely a "suosittu kieli" as well. :)

However, the concept of "small" and "large" languages is a bit weird, I'll give you that. :)


Again, this sentence makes no sense. You cannot describe a language as "large." You can say it has a large vocabulary or that it is widely-spoken, but you cannot call a language large.


So in Finnish, languages can be large but not necessarily popular, and they can be important but not necessarily large?

I've been trying to think of translations for 'suuri' that sound natural in English, but there really don't seem to be many at all. I think the closest would be 'widely spoken.' And the only natural yet neutral term I can think of for 'pieni' would be 'not widely spoken.'

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