ensin kuolee mumma.

English translation: First, grandma dies.

16:46 Jun 3, 2011
Finnish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
Finnish term or phrase: ensin kuolee mumma.
First sentence of a novel. What I find difficult is the difference between "ensin" and "ensimmäiseksi": i.e. does this mean "Grandma died FIRST" (and then other people die, as it actually happens in the novel) or "To begin with, Grandma died"? Or maybe both?

Paljon kiitoksia avusta!

Vale
ValeValja
Local time: 01:05
English translation:First, grandma dies.
Explanation:
Grandma died FIRST (and then other people die, as it actually happens in the novel) or 'To begin with, Grandma died'? Or maybe both?

Yes, it can actually mean both, or either of these, so the translation selected depends entirely on the context... But at least in my opinion, the target translation I inserted here would cover both of these options in English as well.
Selected response from:

Melina Kajander
Finland
Grading comment
Thank you so much for your help. As other characters in the novel die much later, and not in the span of a few lines, I believe that "First, grandma dies" is the best translation.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2First, grandma dies.
Melina Kajander
5Ensin
Hannele Marttila
Summary of reference entries provided
Marketing Translation
Owen owenfw

  

Answers


23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Ensin


Explanation:
Diff is: first granny dies. / The first one to die was granny. Choice dependent on context.

Example sentence(s):
  • First, granny died. Then my dad and then.... / The first one to die was granny. In about two weeks, we had the next casualty, my dad. In a car accident...
Hannele Marttila
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Native speaker of: Native in FinnishFinnish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
First, grandma dies.


Explanation:
Grandma died FIRST (and then other people die, as it actually happens in the novel) or 'To begin with, Grandma died'? Or maybe both?

Yes, it can actually mean both, or either of these, so the translation selected depends entirely on the context... But at least in my opinion, the target translation I inserted here would cover both of these options in English as well.

Melina Kajander
Finland
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FinnishFinnish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you so much for your help. As other characters in the novel die much later, and not in the span of a few lines, I believe that "First, grandma dies" is the best translation.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Timo Lehtilä: Yes, first happens this and then something similarly bad (but not necessarily a death of sb). “To begin with” is too strong of an expression (“ensinnäkin” would be quite equal with it).
8 hrs

agree  Owen owenfw: http://www.suomitranslation.com/2010/death-of-the-bear-karhu...
1 day 4 hrs
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Reference comments


1 day 23 hrs
Reference: Marketing Translation

Reference information:
I did a sample translation in cooperation with the author and her agent. A really close reading will reveal a few differences from the original (like the tenses), but for the most part it closely follows the Finnish version.


    Reference: http://www.suomitranslation.com/2010/death-of-the-bear-karhu...
Owen owenfw
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thank you so much! I will refer to it should any more doubts come up :)

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