Translation:The house was drawn by a Finnish architect.
Is this the same as: Huset ritades av en finsk arkitekt?
(I'm still trying to get my head around passive verbs!)
Yes, the difference in meaning is very small. är ritat av emphasizes the result, and ritades emphasizes the process, so if you're telling a story about how it happened, the latter will be better, but if you just want to state who 'drew' the house, the first is better. But it's a small difference.
Is this the difference between s-passive and perifrastic passive? I'm still trying to grasp this :)
why is "är ritat av" and not "var ritat av" used here, if this supposed to be in a past tense?
It isn't supposed to be in the past tense in Swedish – the Swedish sentence only means that the action of drawing took place in the past + the result of that action remains in the present.
In English, it seems that was drawn is the best translation of this. If you say the house is drawn, that could mean that the house 'is being drawn right now' which is not what the Swedish sentence means.
How English and Swedish correspond here is a bit tricky though.
so huset ritas av en finsk arkitekt can be translated as the house is being drawn by a finnish architect, he has not finished his project. Is that correct? Thanks.
This English translation only means the architect also tries his/her hand as an artist, drawing the house. If you mean blueprints, we would say 'the blueprints were made/drafted/drawn up by'.
What do you think of "the house was designed by..."? That would keep the object the same. (The house, not the blueprints.)
I was thinking e.g. technical drawings in CAD, in which case I find it quite natural, really. Would you agree or do you think that sounds off, too?
Correct - remember that k is typically soft before e, i, y, ä, ö.
i would take this to mean a drawing of the finihed or partially finished house, using "design" to describe the plans.
With all due respect, this is translated (or "was translated") without a sense of English usage (or at least American English...). No one (that I know) would say "the house was drawn....". Instead, "The is designed by a Finnish architect".