FINNISH: THE ARCTIC TONGUE
Abounding with lakes and islands, Finland is a country with part of its territory located north of the Arctic Polar Circle—hence only part of its lands are inhabited.
Not by chance, Finnish is only spoken by 5 million people.
Of a tranquil and exuberant natural environment, with the midnight sun in the Summer or the blue twilight in Winter, the country is truly fascinating.
And the language… despite similarities with others, among which German, Finnish is quite rigid and, for the same reason, challenging.
By Juliana Tavares
A sonorous language, in the best style of Italian, Finnish is a language from the Ural tongues, a name that comes from the Ural Mountain regions and that would include, in addition to Finnish, both Estonian and Hungarian.
With eight vowels, which often appear prolonged or forming diphthongs, it has an agglutinating type of morphology.
It is an expressive language, rich in derivations and conjugations.
The tonic accent always falls on the first syllable of the word and the declination system has 15 grammatical cases for nouns and adjectives.
“Water", for instance, is pronounced “Vesi", but fish “in water" will be “vedessä”; those who go “into the water" to bathe will be “veteen”; and thirsty ones who drink “water, “vettä”.
The number—either singular or plural—is determined by the different terminations in each declination and there are no genders nor articles.
Many international words have in Finnish an etymologically national terminology:
“telephone” is “puhelin”, “computer” is said “tietokone”, “server”, “palvelin” and “diskette” is “levyke”.
In this language, the verb assumes forms that are active and passive, affirmative and negative, and it lacks the future tense.
There are four modes for infinitive, each of them having a specific meaning and use.
The alphabet used is Latin and the letters may be duplicated.
In addition to the grammatical complexity as a whole, Finnish has regional dialects and different social variants (jargons, slang).
The curiosity of the language, however, owes to the phonologic structure, which is much similar to that of Japanese, a language with which it shares common words (albeit having different meanings).
These many characteristics, combined with cultural peculiarities, mean that translation, especially the translation of technical manuals from Finnish to any language, is a quest that requires a highly skilled team of translators, as that of All Tasks.