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  5. "Tämä ranskalainen bändi sven…

"Tämä ranskalainen bändi svengaa kuin hirvi."

Translation:This French band grooves like a moose.

July 9, 2020



It seems to be a Finnish expression indeed. I even found a playlist on Spotify called "sevengaa kuin hirvi". To understand what it's like to be grooving like a moose, I put it on.


I am now rushing over to Spotify to find that playlist. Although I have no idea if grooving like a moose is supposed to be a good or bad thing.


I have no idea what this line means (in English I mean).


I love the expression "grooves like a moose" <3


What I want to know is who the French band is...


Ultra Vomit, Gojira, Les trois fromages...


Is this the Finnish way of being groovey, or to swing like a moose?


Is this a Finnish expression?


Yes. Here's the larger discussion: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/40366256 but I'll re-post part of it here:

According to the book Svengaa kuin hirvi: sanontojen kootut selitykset (Outi Lauhakangas, SKS, 2015) it comes from the Finnish translation of animated version of The Jungle Book (1968), where the bear says "Well, man, what a beat" and it was translated into "jääää, svengaa kuin hirvi!" in Finnish.

You can hear the bear say it in this Youtube clip (at 2:05): "Svengaa kuin hirvi!" https://youtu.be/IqPYcg_-2HA?t=125

From http://www.kysy.fi/kysymys/svengaa-kuin-hirvi-mita-se-tarkoittaa: "Vertaus levisi suomalaisten tietoisuuteen Disneyn piirretyn Viidakkokirja-elokuvan myötä. "I wanna be like you" -kappaleen rytmikkyys saa eläimet elokuvassa tanssimaan ja karhun toteamaan: "Well, man, what a beat." Suomeksi repliikki oli käännetty: "svengaa kuin hirvi". Ensi-iltansa animaatioelokuva sai Suomessa 1968. Ainakin Viidakkokirjassa svengasi hyvin."

  • 760

As a native speaker I'm unsurprisingly completely familiar with this expression, but until now, I had had no idea whatsoever about its etymology. Thanks!


It's cool that even as a Finn you learn new expressions on Duo. I've never heard this one before


Well, whether Finns speak about this openly in public or discretely in private, I enjoyed this idea of bears swinging like moose or imagining moose reciprocating the favor and swinging like bears. It opened and reinforced that its not quite entirely outside the realm of reasonable suomalainen consciousness that a moose and bear would both be able to swing and groove together, if not also compete, when in the rest of our consciousness, sadly these are relegated to the extent, or buried in our inherited consciousness constructed and informed only by our exposure to disney or dr.Seuss.


This is quite interesting but I would think that a moose would be clumsy, too bad it is not svengaa kuin apina lol


Is "swing like a moose" not acceptable then? Groove and swing seem interchangable in meaning here to me


I wonder which French band this sentence actually refers to...


I discover the verb "to groove" and am not sure of the meaning ( unknown in dictionaries). Does it mean "to swing"?


I mean, this entire sentence is as good as timewasting. I honestly never used "to groove" in any situation, in any language.


You may simply not be interested in learning to speak another language, but rather just to translate into it, which is perfectly valid. This word is clearly an adaptation of the English "to swing," so I suspect it is a word that came in the mid-20c era of the big bands. If it is still used in Finnish, I would like to learn it, as it is not something I would say in English or any other language, but might be perfectly happy to in Finnish. I would say the same about sisu. I think it could be translated by the English words guts or spunk, but those are somewhat antiquated words I would not use in English. Since it seems to be something the Finns like to say, I would be happy to say it in Finnish. I am even more interested in words like svengaa and sisu because I am most interested in reading or in translating from Finnish into English. You seem to think you will always choose the Finnish words you come across, whereas my assumption is that some Finn will choose the words and I need to understand them.


I actually honestly think this word is coming from the swedish 'to swing" (svänga) since Finland has Swedish and Finnish as official languages, though I am not originally from Finland, so I wouldn't know. Also sisu is not so much as having guts, as it's more about a state of mind... Like "hanging in there even though everything seems bleak" whereas "having guts" I would think more of a person with courage. Everything in finnish cannot be translated directly into English, and I think every language has these words where you need almost a whole sentence to describe what one word means. I always thought the Danish word "hygge" was the same as saying "cozy", but later on I found out that it ALSO means cozy, but it's more an atmosphere of being with close friends and doing something cozy. To have sisu you also need to have courage/guts to withstand the trials, but it's your mindset that is "sisu".


In my dialect of English, both courage and guts are states of mind. I expect the latter comes from the Early Modern idea of locating different parts of the soul in different organs. I'm sure you are right about svengä coming through Swedish, but unless Swedish has a word en sveng that has something to do with music, it comes from the English-language jazz culture that swept the world in the '20s and '30s. About sisu, again, I tend to be of the opinion that you could take pages and pages to describe the slight differences in meaning of a word between any two localities or even any two speakers. Translation is always an approximation, and the word chosen will always have somewhat different meanings to different readers.


I doubt Finns would frequently or openly talk about such concepts

  • 760

In Finnish this expression can sometimes be used to mean that something rocks or something (say, a device) works well, so if you want to read Finnish fluently, it's definitely worth understanding this expression. But it's not needed to be just adequately conversational.

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