Scandinavia and the World
 

Community made Fact Card:

In Finnish language there are more than 60 words for snow, but not a single one for "please"
      made by EyeOfTheStorm3


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6 years ago #9489320        
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This is something I hear with many languages.
I have heard claims that eskimos have XX words for "snow", and that norwegian doesn't have a word for "please".

Well, first of all, "please" isn't a word as such. Sure enough, "please" Is a word, and means about the same as "pleasure". But the way "please" is USED in english, it isn't used as a word, but as an abbreviation of an expression. The full expression (which they use in french) is "s'il vous plaît". Which translates as "if it pleases you", or "could you be so kind".
I don't know about finnish, but in norwegian we have the expression "vær så snill" (technically "be so kind"), which is an abbreviation of "kan du være så snill" ("could you be so kind"). And which is very often shortened into "værsåsnill". And this is the norwegian "word" for "please".

I don't know how many words norwegian have for snow, but if you include words such as "sludd" (sleet) and "hagl" (hail), which are words for various forms of precipitation, as well as words and expressions like "slaps" (slush), "puddersnø" (powder snow) and "skare" (snow crust) which are various words for snow on the ground, then we would easily have dozens of words for snow. And I'm pretty sure english would also have quite a few different words and expressions for snow.


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Karen

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6 years ago #9472144        
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Both the number and the definition of "snow" are a stretch, although there are a lot:

http://www.ohmycake-helsinki.com/2013/04/finnish-snow-guide.html
https://www.reddit.com/r/DoesNotTranslate/comments/2qfwmm/finnish_words_for_snow/

Can you actually name 60, EyeOfTheStorm3? I can't find a reference for anything that high.

As for "please":

http://wikitravel.org/en/Finnish_phrasebook

"The word please doesn't translate very easily into Finnish, although starting requests with Saisinko... (Could I please have...) or Voisitko... (Could you please...) can often substitute. If you have been asked something (eg. "What would you like?", or "Where do you want to go?"), you can just state X, kiitos in response. Better yet, just smile! "


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Mixu

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4 years ago #9747146        
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Well kinda you can say please. Pyydän saisinko kahvia, for example. It translates "Please, can I get Coffee? If we put please at the end, It would just sound Silly.

Klaus

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4 years ago #9660226        
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In Denmark, it is common to see "venligst", litterally "friendliest" but often better translated "kindly", pressed into service as "please". It even gets placed in the sentence where "please" would go in English, leading to absurdities like "venligst luk døren" in stead of the correct "luk venligst døren" or better "vær venlig at lukke døren", literally "be friendly to close the door."


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6 years ago #9475712        
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Danish also have no single word for please. Does any of the Scandinavian languages?


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