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  5. "Karhu on kalassa Norjassa."

"Karhu on kalassa Norjassa."

Translation:The bear is fishing in Norway.

July 18, 2020



I would think that this sentence literally means "The bear is inside a fish in Norway" because kalassa is inessive, but according to Wiktionary, olla kalassa is an idiom meaning "to be fishing." Also, the common English phrase "to go fishing" in Finnish is mennä kalaan, though literally I guess that would be "to go into a fish" because kalaan is illative.


Yes, there are a few similar ones. For example:

olla sienessä = to gather mushrooms

olla marjassa = to pick berries

Also some berries have their own ones, for example

olla mustikassa = to pick blueberries

olla puolukassa = to pick lingonberries


Note outside a cave in Finland: "gone fishing".


Does this imply something cartoon-like in Finnish? Like a bear with a rod, reel, and net? Or is it more like the bear's natural fish-hunting behavior? It could kind of mean that in English...but usually you would say something like "trying to catch fish" or "catching fish". A first reading makes me think of a cartoon.


It's indeed cartoony. :)


Joka kerta kun olen kalassa, olen myös kaljassa.


If you're drinking beer, the idiom is that you're kaljalla ("at a beer"), not kaljassa. Also lounaalla "at lunch", drinkeillä "at drinks" etc.


Maybe he brought a pool full of beer and is in it while fishing? :D

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