Finnish Language Frequently Asked Questions. Table of contents

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1 Finnish Language Frequently Asked Questions Table of contents I. There appears to be some inconsistency in the use of quotation marks compared to the English version. Is this correct? 2 II. Where the English version uses apostrophes, the Finnish version uses quotation marks. Is this correct? 2 III. Hyphens seem to be used quite often in the Finnish text, sometimes with a space before them, sometimes without. Why is this? 2 IV. The word count of the Finnish translation is significantly lower than that of the English original why? 3 V. Why has the same word been translated in various ways in the Finnish, for example printer as kirjoitin, kirjoittimessa, kirjoittimen, etc.? And why do some English names (proper nouns) appear in various forms in the Finnish text? 4 VI. How is the date written in Finnish? 5 VII. Punctuation Problems? 5 Comma required 5 No comma 6 VIII. Miscellaneous 7 Percentage symbol 7 Decimal separator 7 Thousand separator 7 Forward slash (/) 7 Degree symbol 7 Units of measure 8 Currencies 8 Translating EEC and EC in Directive names 8 Declaration of Conformity 8 Translating prepositions 8 Hyphenation rules 8

2 I. There appears to be some inconsistency in the use of quotation marks compared to the English version. Is this correct? In Finnish, opening and closing quotation marks are identical, i.e. quote. Quotation marks are also used less frequently in Finnish, and excessive use of quotation marks is considered as poor style. II. Where the English version uses apostrophes, the Finnish version uses quotation marks. Is this correct? In Finnish, apostrophes (or single quotation marks) may be used within double quotation marks only. Sovellamme ns. Asiakas on aina oikeassa -periaatetta, toteaa markkinointipäällikkö N.N. Source and more information: Ikola, Osmo: Nykysuomen käsikirja III. Hyphens seem to be used quite often in the Finnish text, sometimes with a space before them, sometimes without. Why is this? A compound word needs to be separated with a hyphen, if a part of the compound is a number, a proper noun, a non-established foreign word, etc. 50-vuotisjuhla (50th anniversary) catering-palvelu (catering service) a-kirjain (letter a) DVD-soitin (DVD player) If the qualifier of a compound is a word union (i.e. a group of separate words that form a semantic unit), a space should be added before the hyphen. If the qualifier is a compound, no space should be added before the hyphen. Business Class -matkustaja (Business Class passenger) drive-in-teatteri (drive-in theatre) video-cd-levy (video CD disc) Dolby Digital -äänijärjestelmä (Dolby Digital sound system) Tallenna nimellä -käsky (Save As command)

3 Please note the use of hyphen in lists: P- ja D-arvot (P and D values) Business Class- ja First Class -matkustajat (Business Class and First Class passengers) Paistiveitsi- ja -haarukkasarja (Steak knife and fork set) Dolby Digital-, Dolby Surround- ja Incredible Surround -äänijärjestelmät. (Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround, and Incredible Surround sound systems) Splitting at the end of a line: Surroundäänijärjestelmä Incredible Surround -äänijärjestelmä (NOT Incredible Surround - äänijärjestelmä) Sources and more information: Ikola, Osmo: Nykysuomen käsikirja Itkonen, Terho: Kieliopas IV. The word count of the Finnish translation is significantly lower than that of the English original why? Finnish has fifteen cases, an elaborate system of possessive suffixes, infinitives, participles, and enclitic particles. These allow for an economy of expression which allows complex ideas to be expressed in the form of a few long, morphologically complex words: Finnish Kirjoittauduttuamme hotelliin menimme kolmannessa kerroksessa sijaitsevaan huoneeseemme. (7 words, very roughly: registered-after-having-we hotel-into went-we third-in floor-in situated-being-in room-into-our") English After having registered into the hotel we went to our room, which was on the third floor. (17 words) Source and more information:

4 V. Why has the same word been translated in various ways in the Finnish, for example printer as kirjoitin, kirjoittimessa, kirjoittimen, etc.? And why do some English names (proper nouns) appear in various forms in the Finnish text? In Finnish, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and numerals are inflected in 15 cases. Many cases are similar in function to English prepositions. Therefore, any noun, pronoun, adjective or numeral can, and will, appear in various forms, as follows: case suffix sample word form (singular) (rough) translation of the sample nominatiivi talo house genetiivi -n talon of (a) house essiivi -na talona as a house partitiivi -(t)a taloa house (as an object) translatiivi -ksi taloksi (in)to a house (may indicate e.g. the result of a state or role transition) inessiivi -ssa talossa in (a) house elatiivi -sta talosta from (a) house illatiivi -an, -en etc taloon into (a) house adessiivi -lla talolla at (a) house ablatiivi -lta talolta from (a) house allatiivi -lle talolle to (a) house abessiivi -tta talotta without (a) house komitatiivi -ne- taloineni (plural only) with my houses instruktiivi -n N/A (indicates instrument, e.g. jalan, by foot) The cases have to be applied to the English names (proper nouns), when they are used in Finnish texts. In addition to these case endings, there are several other endings that can be added to stems, including endings for singular and plural, possessive endings and clitic endings. Example: Sources & more information:

5 VI. How is the date written in Finnish? The recommended date formats are (18th January 2002) This format is recommended for general use. OR 18. tammikuuta 18. tammikuuta 2002 This format is recommended to be used with the most formal, official documents. Please note that the months names are in the partitive case, i.e.: tammikuuta (Jan), helmikuuta (Feb), maaliskuuta (Mar), huhtikuuta (Apr), toukokuuta (May), kesäkuuta (Jun), heinäkuuta (Jul), elokuuta (Aug), syyskuuta (Sep), lokakuuta (Oct), marraskuuta (Nov), joulukuuta (Dec) Please note that months are not proper nouns in Finnish, so unless they start a sentence, they should not be written with initial capital letter. Note also that the months names should not be abbreviated in dates. VII. Punctuation Problems? In Finnish, the comma is used to separate clauses and sentence constituents according to specific rules. Comma required A comma separates the clauses of a sentence. The number of clauses usually equals the number of verbs in a finite form in a sentence. A subordinate clause is separated from the main clause with a comma. A subordinate clause starts with a subordinate conjunction, including: että, niin että, jotta, koska, kun, kunnes, ennen kuin, jos, mikäli, vaikka, joskin, jos kohta, kuin, niin kuin, ikään kuin, kuten, ellen (ellet, ellei etc.), jollen (jollet, jollei etc.).

6 Avasin lahjapaketin, jonka sain sinulta. ( I opened the gift that you gave me. No comma An indirect interrogative clause is separated from the main clause with a comma. Romaanissa kuvataan, kuinka veljekset oppivat lukemaan. (The novel describes, how the seven brothers learn to read. If a subordinate clause is placed within the main clause, a comma should be added after the subordinate clause. Juhani, joka on veljeksistä vanhin, joutuu perheen edusmieheksi. (Juhani, who is the eldest, has to represent the family.) If a sentence includes several main clauses, they are separated with a comma, unless they share a sentence constituent. Koulu suljettiin, ja sen remontti kestää puoli vuotta. (The school was closed, and the refurbishing takes six months. Co-ordinating sentence elements are separated with a comma, unless they are joined together with a co-ordinating conjunction. Yritys valmistaa lukkoja, saranoita, ovenkahvoja ja autotallinovia. (The company manufactures locks, hinges, door handles, and garage doors). Consecutive co-ordinating adjective attributes are separated with a comma. Vanha, musta autoni on hyvässä kunnossa. (My old black car is in good shape.) Separate additions to the clause are separated with a comma. Näin voidaan tehdä, ainakin joskus. (This can be done, at least sometimes.) No comma should be used, when two main clauses that share a sentence constituent are joined together with co-ordinating conjuction (ja, sekä, sekä että, -kä, eli, tai, joko tai, vai, mutta, vaan). The shared constituent is not necessarily repeated. Seminaari alkaa yhdeksältä ja [seminaari] päättyy noin kello 17. (The seminar starts at 9 a.m. and [the seminar] ends around 5 p.m.) No comma should be used, if the predicates of co-ordinating main clauses are first or second person singular, or if the clauses are in passive voice. Halusin pitkän harkinnan jälkeen kilpaan mukaan ja ilmoittauduin valvojalle. Kokouksessa käsiteltiin vuokrasopimusta toistamiseen ja päätettiin jatkaa sopimusta samoilla ehdoilla.

7 A comma is not used with a non-finite clause. Tehdäkseni asian selväksi kirjoitin kaiken muistiin. (I wrote everything down in order to make things clear.) Co-ordinating subordinated clauses are not separated with a comma. Sain tietää, että kirja on kirjastossa ja että voin noutaa sen tänään. (I was informed that the book is in the library, and that I can pick it up today.) The weekday and the date are not separated with a comma. Kokous pidettiin torstaina 13. maaliskuuta (The meeting was held on Thursday, 13th March, 2002.) Translated and adapted from: Good link: VIII. Miscellaneous Percentage symbol Add a space between the figure and the percentage symbol (50 %). Decimal separator Decimal separator in Finnish is a comma (1,65). Thousand separator Thousand separator in Finnish is a space (1 500). Forward slash (/) Where / is used to separate two single words, there is no space on either side of a /. Mitat/paino (dimensions/weight) Näytä/piilota asetukset (Show/hide settings). Please note that here show and hide are the alternatives separated/indicated by a /. When there are two or more words on either side of a /, there should be a space on both sides. Degree symbol 15 (no space between the symbol and a figure) 15 C (space between the symbol and a figure)

8 Units of measure 12 cm (a space between unit of measure and a figure) Currencies In Finnish, currencies are not considered as proper nouns. Therefore, they should not be written with initial capital letter. Tuote maksaa 30 euroa. (The product costs 30 Euros) Tuote maksoi ennen noin 180 markkaa. Moreover, the currency abbreviations are always placed after the figure. Tuote maksaa 30. (The product costs 30) Tuote maksoi ennen noin 180 mk. (The product used to cost 180 markkas) Tuote maksaa 30 USD (The product costs USD 30) Translating EEC and EC in Directive names For example: Directive 2001/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council Parlamentin ja neuvoston direktiivi 2001/84/EY Council Directive 91/250/EEC Neuvoston direktiivi 91/250/ETY European Union, EU = Euroopan unioni, EU European Community, EC = Euroopan yhteisö, EY European Economic Community, EEC = Euroopan talousyhteisö, ETY Declaration of Conformity The officially used translation is VAATIMUSTENMUKAISUUSVAKUUTUS. Translating prepositions Finnish language does not use prepositions, it uses cases instead (see section V.) Therefore, it is not possible to translate individual prepositions as such. Hyphenation rules Please refer to

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