1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Vanhat karhut istuvat maassa…

"Vanhat karhut istuvat maassa ja murisevat hiljaa."

Translation:The old bears sit on the ground and growl quietly.

July 29, 2020



"The old bears are sitting on the ground and are growling quietly" should be accepted. Reported


Aldo ... Quietly growl should be accepted


I think 'softly' is a preferable translation of 'hiljaa' in this context


Would this also be correct?

"The old bears are sitting on the ground and they growl quietly."


If we are talking English language perspective, the verbs should really agree with each other: sit and growl, sitting and growling. Of course, this is out of context, but most likely it is meant that they are growling while sitting on the ground and not in general.


I don't follow. Why wouldn't different types of verbs in the same sentence be okay to use? e.g. "I'm going to the shops and - darn it - forgot my purse." You wouldn't be tied to "I'm going to the shops and - darn it - am forgetting my purse," would you?


This is a bit different. Here you have two bears that sit and growl (repeated action- present simple) or are sitting and growling (continuous action- present continuous), and it is one sentence. It is bad English to say "they are sitting and growl". When you say about shop and the purse, I'd suggest saying "I am going shopping, but I have forgotten my purse". It is basically two separate sentences put together- you are going to the shop now, but you have already forgotten your purse, as in one action took place before another, and you have a particular result- you are at the shop, but don't have your purse. And back to bears, it is, of course, possible to say "The bears are sitting, and they growl." But only if you mean it as two separate sentences and really want to stress that they are sitting right now, but they growl every now and then as a repeated action. It is unlikely that this is what the sentence implies and it sounds very unnatural too.


Thank you for the explanation.

I was in fact thinking as you said ... that the bears were hanging out together and growling once in a while, hence my translation being based on that interpretation. I probably AM slightly unnatural ;)


Ahah. By growling as repeated action I mean more of an action that they do throughout life (which is probably true as well). I'm not a linguist so lacking some terms and good explanations probably. The way the Finnish sentence is written "he istuvat ja murisevat", in my opinion, implies that they are currently sitting and growling at the same time. The translation that DL offers doesn't seem so great either, because makes me think they just sit on the ground and growl every day throughout their lives or something like that. :) Anyway, we aren't learning English here, so maybe it is ok to accept some variations, Finnish is difficult enough with all the nuances.


Would the indefinite "Old bears..." work here? Or would that have to be a partitive?


Very cute image.


Why is "Bears are sitting.." rejected and "corrected" to "Bears sit .."?


Why is "Bears are sitting.." not correct? (July 2021)


I think "Bears are sitting on the ground", with indefinite 'bears', would be Maassa istuu karhuja, rather than Karhut istuvat maassa.

In the existential sentences we've done on here, definite subjects have preceded the location, and indefinite subjects followed the location. And when a plural subject is following the location, I've only seen it in partitive plural.

Learn Finnish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.