Anyone out there speak Finnish?

I am transcribing a tape of a gold prospector talking about his adventures in the arctic mountains of Norway. We’re talking in Swedish, but his first language is Finnish. Most of it is sparkling clear, and the sound quality is excellent. But at one stage he says something like %(sane)Jag hade en _drits_ …% or perhaps %(sane)”Jag hade en drätt, så …%.

Neither I nor any of my dictionaries recognise either word. In the context, it could either be a piece of mining equipment or a psychological state — a determination or hunch. It is in any case something that leads to action.

Anyone who thinks they can help with this, ask and I will email the relevant passage. It’s a fascinating story, anyway. I might put a link to a bit of the mp3 up here.

UPDATE: played back at 60% speed, repeatedly, it resolves into %(sane)”Jag hade ändå rätt, så”% ie %(sane)”of course, I was right”,% with the %(loony)å% sound almost completely swallowed and the %(loony)ä% pronounced indistinguishably from %(loony)e%. The blurring of those two vowel sounds is something I have to guard against in my own Swedish. It may explain why I was sometimes taken for a Finn.

This entry was posted in Travel notes. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anyone out there speak Finnish?

  1. Robert Nowell says:

    Actually, you might be mistaken for a legendary hero of old Ireland, omitting the three fifties of fosterlings…

  2. Rupert says:

    That’s odd – on the front page, the accents on the quote in the UPDATE are fine. Clicking on comments, however, breaks those accents – they dissolve into a morass of sols, Yen signs and cap-A tildes. The accents in the quotes upstream are OK in both instances.

    (Firefox on XP SP2)


  3. acb says:

    Rupert: fixed. For some reason the index page will accept and reproduce characters typed from the keyboard, whereas the comment pages demand character entities. It is a variant of the problem which comes up with en dashes and fancy quotes. I don’t know why MT doesn’t fix this; it’s very common with stuff cut and pasted from Word, and shows, up, for example, on the _Guardian’s_ comment blog. I have a little Python script that sorts it out for things I write in OpenOffice, and there must be a similar perl hack available which could be built into an MT plugin

    Robert: presumably a reference to Cuchulain, but you have lost me, I’m afraid.

Comments are closed.