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  5. "Ne elävät kylmässä Suomessa."

"Ne elävät kylmässä Suomessa."

Translation:They live in cold Finland.

July 13, 2020



Why not "in the cold Finland"?


That seems much less natural in English to me, but if some people would say it, why not?


I think it also works since Finnish has no articles


The definite article suggests the speaker thinks there are multiple Finlands, one of which is cold.


I don't really have an issue with this sentence and how it was translated, because I feel for a learner it's best, but definitely an unusual English translation. Is it more similar to saying "they live in the cold part of Finland"?

  • 1979

I don't know about the translation but imo this sentence can be interpreted in two different ways:

  • They live in a cold country called Finland
  • They live in a cold environment in Finland.

Maybe that's why the translation is what it is.


Without context, I'd say "They live in Finland, which is a cold place/country." is what I'm getting from the Finnish sentence. Your second suggestion isn't impossible, either, but I'd say something like "He asuvat kylmässä osassa Suomea." if I wanted to make clear that I think that part of Finland is especially cold.


That's what I was trying to figure out, is if it's one or the other.


Same, I read it as 'They live in the cold in Finland.'

  • 1979

Both interpretations are totally valid. It can't be deduced from the sentence alone.


This sentence doesn't sound natural in English


What's the difference betweem elävät and asuvat?


When it comes to humans, "asuvat" is related to where their home is while "elävät" is more about being alive and living your life. With animals "asuvat" is fairly rare, but you can use it when talking about a very restricted location, e.g. birds living in a specific tree or bears staying in a specific cave for the winter.

"Ne elävät", in written Finnish at least, is most likely to refer to where/how some kind of animals live.


So should I think of asuvat as a specific location to live in, versus elävät being more like "habitat"? If I'm at a zoo in Canada, are those specific camels asuvat or elävät there?

  • 1979

should I think of asuvat as a specific location to live in, versus elävät being more like "habitat"?

Yes, that sounds correct.

If I'm at a zoo in Canada, are those specific camels asuvat or elävät there?

From personal experience, that kind of distinction is somewhat rare in Finnish. I've seen asuvat in the context of lovely panda bears, especially if you want to treat them as special or humanize them, but mostly I think that kind of explicit specification of "living" is omitted and usually it's just said that the animals "are" somewhere. Speaking of pandas, here are some examples I could quickly come up with from real life:

  • "Pandat ovat olleet Ähtärissä vajaan vuoden" – the panda bears have been in Ähtäri [zoo] for almost a year (yle.fi)
  • Caption for a picture: "Lumi, kiinalaiselta nimeltään Jin Bao Bao, asuu Ähtärissä." – Lumi, Jin Bao Bao in Chinese, lives in Ähtäri [zoo] (yle.fi)
  • "Pandakaksikko on ollut kuukauden Suomessa" – the panda duo has been in Finland for a month (yle.fi)
  • "Pandat elävät luonnossa pääasiassa yksin" – pandas live mostly alone in the wild (yle.fi)
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