2016-05-19

Nuggets of Finnish

"Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo"? "James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher"? Finnish won't be left second on the noble fields of grammatical ambiguity and trickery. Here are a few examples with interlinear glosses for those who want to know what's going on. Obviously not for people who think that overanalyzing sucks the fun out of anything... Quite the contrary, right?!
I'm no expert in glossing, so if you spot a mistake, tell me. The word in the image is "saippuakalasalakauppias", that is "black market soap fish salesman".

Kokko, kokoo koko kokko kokoo! Koko kokkoko? Koko kokko!

This is a classic. "Kokko, put the whole bonfire together! The whole bonfire? The whole bonfire."
    1. Kokko,
    2. Kokko,
    3. Kokko
    4. Kokko
    1. kokkoo
    2. koko-a
    3. collect-2sg.IMP
    4. build
    1. koko
    2. koko
    3. whole
    4. whole
    1. kokko
    2. kokko
    3. bonfire
    4. bonfire
    1. kokoo!
    2. koko-on
    3. whole-sg.ILL
    4. together
    1. Koko
    2. koko-a
    3. collect-2sg.IMP
    4. build
    1. kokkoko?
    2. kokko-ko
    3. bonfire-INT
    4. bonfire
    1. Koko
    2. koko
    3. whole
    4. whole
    1. kokko.
    2. kokko
    3. bonfire
    4. bonfire

Pulipulipulupilipalipalapeli

I came up with this one to demonstrate Finnish to an American. Not necessarily word of immediately clear and unambiguous meaning, but could be translated as "a flimsy jigsaw puzzle of a pidgeon swimming".
    1. Pulipuli
    2. blub-blub
    1. pulu
    2. pidgeon
    1. pilipali
    2. two-bit
    1. palapeli
    2. jigsaw puzzle

Kuusi palaa

A rather new one, but an instant classic.
kuusi╲palaa burn-3sg.IND return-3sg.IND piece-pl.NOM
six-NOM the six burn the six return six pieces
number six-NOM number six burns number six returns -
spruce-NOM the spruce burns the spruce returns -
moon-2sg.GEN your moon burns your moon returns -

Etsivät etsivät aitoja aitoja kepeillä kepeillä

"The detectives search for genuine fences with light sticks."
    1. Etsivä-t
    2. (etsivä)
    3. detective-pl.NOM
    4. The detectives
    1. etsi-vät
    2. (etsiä)
    3. search-pl.IND.PRS
    4. search
    1. aito-ja
    2. (aito)
    3. genuine-pl.PAR
    4. genuine
    1. aito-ja
    2. (aita)
    3. fence-pl.PAR
    4. fences
    1. kepe-i-llä
    2. (kepeä)
    3. light-pl-ADE
    4. with light
    1. kepe-i-llä
    2. (keppi)
    3. stick-pl-ADE
    4. sticks

asdf

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