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"Metsässä kävelee kolme pientä lasta."

Translation:There are three small children walking in the forest.

July 24, 2020

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheewwie

Wouldn't it be more natural to just say "three small children are walking in the forest"? Or would that be said differently in Finnish?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

It is a valid translation of the Finnish, so it should be accepted.

But if I started from the English, I might translate your sentence as "Kolme pientä lasta kävelee metsässä". It's just a tiny difference of whether you focus more on the forest of the children, which is not relevant as long as there is no context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheewwie

Thanks, makes sense. There are many similarly structured sentences in the course, "there are [things] [doing] [somewhere]", they often feel a bit heavy and overthought on the English side. Which is why I was wondering if the Finnish side expresses is differently :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

The course team mention somewhere that they only have one native English speaker on board.

I do find that this is a problem with all the Duolingo courses I've tried. It's just a function of trying to teach the target language using only translation of individual sentences: sometimes it's going to get awkward and/or unnatural. And when it does, I'm certainly in favour of having the sentences in the base language be the more clumsy ones (if it's not possible to have natural sentences in both, such as it would be here). After all, it's the target language that is new(er) to us, and if we have to contort the base language a bit to achieve that...

The counter argument to this is of course that a looot of people here are using base languages other than their native ones. So doing a lot of Finnish from English might mess up their English :-p Oh well, at least we have the discussions to iron these things out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheewwie

And I am one of all the non-native English speakers


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Yes... I saw your longer post in my messages. This will all get better and easier with time, as the team has time to fix more of those oddities and add in more alternative translations. Sometimes whole sentences have even been removed, because they caused more confusion than learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juha_Metsakallas

An irrelevant side note…

Roughly speaking metsä in Finnish means pretty much any area with so many threes, that there is a spot inside from where you can't see "out". If you need to specify the size, you use pieni : small, iso : big or some other specifier. Metsikkö : woods is a smaller area than metsä. I'm not sure whether these exactly map to "forest" resp. "woods", but this distinction is not needed for this course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/espeket

why is "little children" not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthijsKl

Why is the verb not in 3rd plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pieni_chilipalko

Because of the numeral.

"Lapset kävelevät metsässä." (the children walk/are walking in a/the forest)

"Kolme lasta kävelee metsässä."

"Lapsi kävelee metsässä" (a/the child walks/is walking in a/the forest)

The word "lasta" is not plural either but singular (partitive).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kalea7654

Is putting the verb at the end incorrect in this case? (metsässä kolme pientä lasta kävelee)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juha_Metsakallas

It is grammatically correct, but it sounds a little bit old-style poetic or archaic. You might want to take a look at my posting About the word order in Finnish here in Duolingo.

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