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  5. "Turistit ihailevat sinivalko…

"Turistit ihailevat sinivalkoista taivasta."

Translation:The tourists are admiring the blue and white sky.

July 10, 2020



Oh great! The Finns weren't happy with how complicated their language was so decided to combine 2 colours in to 1 word.


While "sinivalkoinen" literally means "blue and white", it has also other connotations. We have only blue and white in our flag, so mentioning that something is sinivalkoinen can mean that it is a Finnish origin, instead of its color. Maybe that is the reason to combine the colours in this case.


Yep, but this is how colours work in general, also in other kinds of compounds.

"Valkovuokko" (wood anemone), "valkoviini" (white wine), "valkosipuli" (garlic)...

"sinitiainen" (blue tit), "sinisorsa" (mallard), "sinivalas" (blue whale)...

"puna-apila" (red clover), "punajuuri" (beetroot), "puna-armeija (the Red Army)...

"vihersalaatti" (green salad), "viherpeukalo" (green thumb) "punaviher(väri)sokeus" (red-green colour blindness)

"keltavahvero" (chanterelle), "keltasirkku" (yellowhammer), "keltanokka" (rookie, lit. yellowbeak)

"valkomustaraidallinen" (white and black striped)

Colours such as "musta" "harmaa", "ruskea" and "oranssi" are not shortened in compounds.


Although they might get a genitive -n ending.

"Mustanruskea" - blackish brown

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This is also a common way to describe shades of colour in Finnish: "keltavihreä" - a yellowish green, "punaruskea" - a reddish brown, "sinivioletti" - a bluish violet... And then there's "sinipunainen", a bluish red, an oldfashioned word for purple.

This doesn't work for all colours though, for some reason "keltavihreä" is fine but the other way round it's "vihertävänkeltainen".


Just curious: the colors that cannot be combined in this way - musta, ruskea, oranssi, etc. - is it perhaps because these are (recent?) loanwords from other languages, rather than words that are of Finnish stock?


Oh, they can be combined, they just don't get shortened, (or at least not the same way). As to why they work differently, I'm not sure. "Musta" and "ruskea" are already pretty short, so that might be one.

"mustavalkoinen" - black and white

"mustarastas" - blackbird

"mustapapu" - black bean

"mustapippuri" - black pepper

"Ruskea" can get shortened, actually, but sometimes it doesn't. If it does, the form is "rusko".

"ruskolevä" - brown algae

"rusko-orakas" - terracotta hedgehog (a mushroom, hydnum rufescens)

But you can't combine other colours with "rusko". That just doesn't sound good.


why is is blue-white not accepted?


also white and blue means the same thing


Except that then we'd say "valkosininen".


and wouldn't that mean "whitish blue", like "mustanruskea" means "blackish brown" (e.g. the furniture color in IKEA)?


Nah. A "whitish blue" is practically light blue, which would be vaaleansininen in Finnish.


why is sinivalkoista translated as blue and white? it says only blue white to me


Any reason the partative is used here? Is that just how the sky is thought of?


The verb admire (ihalla) needs partative.


How do we know that. I don't think this has been explained anywhere in Duolingo.


You are right. I just picked it up during the course. There are many more verbs like that. Somebody explained it to me once during the course. Unfortunately I cannot reproduce his whole story. But for now: at least all verbs that has something to do with love, admire etc is followed by the partative


It was explained in the comments somewhere that the partitive is used for the object of an unfinished action. Hopefully it will soon be explained in the tips of a lesson.


It is in the Tips of Lesson 'Love'


But why is taivasta not also partitive?


It is. The base form of sky is taivas


Kiitos! I feel much better now. I'll go correct my notes.


If I remember my Finnish course well, each verb has a case associated with it that the noun must take. You simply must remember what case goes with each verb. If there is a pattern or structure to what verbs demand what case, I'd love to know it.


Light blue ? No ?


Blue and white refers that the sky have both of those color (blue sky and white clouds), or at least Finnish sinivalkoinen means that.

If those colours are combined to light blue, then it would be vaaleansininen.

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