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  5. "haistella"


Translation:to sniff

July 16, 2020



Come on, the tip when I mouse over the word tells me "to sniff at", so I type "to sniff at", but it tells me it's incorrect, and should be "to sniff"...

[deactivated user]

    It seems like: yes, but actually no


    The hint is "to sniff" at, but it wont be accepted as an answer.

    [deactivated user]

      To smell?


      It's possible, but a better translation for that would be "haistaa".

      [deactivated user]

        I found some interesting similarities between haistaa, haistella and haista, where haistella means "to sniff something" and haistaa means "to sniff". Only haista could be used in a positive way (Nämä kukat haisevat hyviltä - these flowers smell good) or in a negative way (koira haisee). For the interested people among us the links are : 1. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/haistaa 2. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/haistella 3. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/haista#Finnish

        I just had to find out why I confused "to stink" with "to smell". Now I know .....


        The confusion can also rise from the fact that English often doesn't distinguish between transitive and intransitive verbs (i.e. those that require an object and those that don't) - so "to smell" means both to "perceive odor" (transitive, I smell what?) and to "emit odor" (intransitive, it smells). Hence the English joke "If your nose runs and your feet smell, you must be upside down" :D

        Finnish, on the other hand, always makes that distinction - so "haistaa" is transitive, to perceive smell, to take in some odor. When you modify that into "haistella", it changes its meaning slightly to something you do "by little bits", in this case corresponding to the English verb "sniff". On the other hand "haista" is intransitive, to give off odor.

        Also, "haista" is often negative, but it can be used with "hyvältä" to override that negative default - just like English "It smells" is negative unless we add "good". "Se haisee" on its own is negative, and so is its corresponding noun "haju" = stench, bad odor. On the other hand, when "tuoksua" is used on its own, it's positive by default "Nämä kukat tuoksuvat (kauniilta)" and so is its corresponding noun "tuoksu" (scent, fragrance).


        Interesting that the dictionary hint it gives is "to sniff around" but it doesn't accept that as a correct solution. -reported

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