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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7 years ago #9489320        

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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7 years ago #9472144        

Both the number and the definition of "snow" are a stretch, although there are a lot:

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

As for "please":

"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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5 years ago #9747146        

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.


6 years ago #9660226        

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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7 years ago #9475712        

Danish also have no single word for please. Does any of the Scandinavian languages?

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