"Yes?" when being addressed by someone.

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Dr. Zamenhof, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Dr. Zamenhof Junior Member

    Mérida, Yucatán.
    Mexican Spanish
    G'day everybody. I was wondering how someone could answer, reply, or at least enunciate something in response to what someone else says to you, that is, when one is being addressed, or you're being called your attention. In Mexican Spanish we´ve got the word "Mande" which is used both when your being addressed or when you didn't get to listen clearly to what was said to you. In English, I guess, the equivalent would be "Yes?" with that characteristic inflexion that indicates one is replying or at least letting the other person know that you're listening. In Serbian it would be "molim", and well, so on (there's no need to list all the languages if you've already got the idea). So, if such a word exists in Finnish, what is it? Thanks in advance. Greetings from Mexico.
     
  2. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Hi Doctor,

    Probably the most common Finnish expression in such a situation would be "Niin?" which is literally "So?" in English, possibly "¿Así?" or "¿Sí?" in Spanish.
     
  3. Dr. Zamenhof Junior Member

    Mérida, Yucatán.
    Mexican Spanish
    Hakro,

    Thank you very much indeed. I read a bit more about this and I've found the expressions: "Voinko auttaa?" and "Mitä?" –which I already know means "what?"–. Are these two options acceptable as well? Let's consider the following situation:

    There's a kid in his bedroom doing something on the computer. His mom, who is in the kitchen (in a different room than him), calls him –or summons him–, because she wants him to do something.

    A: Jukka! (mom yells).
    B: Niin?/Mitä?

    I think the second option would be sort of rude, wouldn't it? And the phrase "voinko auttaa?" would be too formal for the context, I mean, it wouldn't sound natural unless the kid is being sarcastic and says so for some particular reason. Is this two-line dialogue plausible?
     
  4. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    No, doctor, the second option wouldn't necessarily be rude. Both can be either rude or polite, depending on the tone of voice.

    In this situation "Voinko auttaa?" would be so sarcastic that a kid wouldn't say it – well, a teenager maybe. I would never dare to say it to my wife.

    If you are for example in a restaurant and you call "Waiter!", (s)he could come to you and say "Voinko auttaa?" but most probably (s)he would say "Niin?".
     

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