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  5. "Voinko lainata kännykkää?"

"Voinko lainata kännykkää?"

Translation:Can I borrow the cell phone?

July 20, 2020



Kännykkä is cell phone, but "cell" is missing in the options.


Steven Jobs said once, that there will be time when you don't need to say "cell phone", because all phones are such. That time is now.


"Cell phone" should be accepted, also. The issue here is that other Duolingo questions accept "cell phone" for "kännykkä" and even in some cases, I believe, require the "cell". At the very least there needs to be consistency and that is something they have not yet dialed-in well, at all, with their Finnish content.


Not true everywhere. We still have a landline phone as well as do many others. In Finnish, too, there is a word for cell phone, and another word for phone.


"can" is not equivalent to "may". Can is ability, while may is permission. Mistranslation of these will cause miscommunication of the new Finnish speaker. In colloquial English, people use can, but are often corrected at that. If you ask "can I use the bathroom?" The likely response will be equally either "yes" or "I don't know, can you?"


That is true, but, for all practical purposes, "may" and "can" are used (however incorrectly) interchangeably in everyday speech. So, maybe change the phrasing in the translation here to "may", but still allow "can" as an acceptable answer. After all, this is supposed to test the player's Finnish skills, not their English.


The same is true in German. But in my opinion at least in German, answers like "I don't know if you can" reflect the nonawareness of many even native speakers of the word "can" also meaning "may" or "be allowed to" in this kind of questions. Because if you are a guest and you ask the German equivalent of "Am I allowed to use the bathroom?" it sounds like you were a child asking their parents for something. As I said, I'm speaking only for German. I don't know if it's the same in English.


Does no one in Finland have a landline anymore? If that is true, then puhelin and kännykkä should be interchangeable.


I just googled this and found a newspaper article from the beginning of the last year. According to it only 3% of calls were made with lankapuhelin : (lit.) wire-telephone and there were ca. 30 000 such phones. So a year and half later you can say that for all practical purposes, they don't exist. I can't even remember, when I saw a landline phone last time – it must be over a decade ago.

You're right about the terms. The word puhelin seems to have made a come-back, since there is no longer a need to distinguish between kännykkä and puhelin, they are pretty much interchangeable now.

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