All Slavic languages: in Helsinki

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Encolpius, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello, I wonder how you say in Helsinki in your language. In Czech and Slovak, they use plural, I wonder if all Slavic languages consider that city as plural grammatically. I think it is because there is -y (in Czech: Helsinky). Thanks in advance.

    Czech & Slovak: v Helsinkách (plural)
  2. Orlin Banned

    Bulgarian: в Хелзинки/ v Helzinki. Хелзинки is singular (e. g. Хелзинки е столицата на Финландия/ Helzinki e stolitsata na Finlandiya=Helsinki is the capital of Finland) and we have no noun declension.
  3. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)

    v Helsinkih (plural)

    Helsinki so (plural) glavno mesto Finske. = Helsinki is (literally: are) the capital of Finland.
  4. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    In Polish: Helsinki, w Helsinkach (plur.)

    The names of cities are very often in plural (plurale tantum) in most IE languages, e.g. Athenai, Bremen, Aachen. The Czech language usually preserves the number of the original names: Athény, Brémy, Cáchy, Mylhúzy, etc. Helsinki (although probably sing. in Finnish) simply sounds like a plurale-tantum name in Czech.
  5. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Place names in Slovenia are fairly frequently plurale tantum nouns: Bertoki, Jesenice, Domžale, Medvode, Radenci, Slovenske Konjice, etc.

    I believe this is common in most Slavic countries.
  6. phosphore Senior Member

    Serbian (and Croatian): u Helsinkiju

    Although it ends in -i it does not sound like a plural to us, probably because of the falling accent on the first syllable.
  7. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    What about other non-Slavic names ending in -i? (They're chiefly encountered in Italian: Bari, Rimini, ... and there are also Finnish: Rovaniemi, Georgian: Batumi, Sukhumi, Japanese: Nagasaki).

    In BCS, they're universally singular. Exceptions are Slavic ones, where the plural is observed (e.g. Karlovi Vari).
  8. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    In Russian the word "Helsinki" (Хельсинки) is singular - and therefore indeclinable, since it cannot be identified as a single noun of any Russian declension. Of course, some villages and towns can be plural nouns, but only if they have a clear Slavic etymology (город Барановичи, город Карловы Вары... село Большие Лопухи :)).
  9. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    These are singular in Slovenian. There isn't much logic when it comes to place names.

    Atene (= Athens), on the other hand, is plural: v Atenah; Atene so glavno mesto Grčije.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  10. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Oh, dammit, I totally forgot about Athens. :)
    Yes, this city is historically a plural noun in Russian (Афины, в Афинах, к Афинам и т.п.) - just as all Greek cities with -ы ending and some with -и ending (в Фивах, в Салониках, в Микенах, в Дельфах etc.). Egyptian Thebes (Фивы) is also a plural noun (just by analogue), as well as ancient Iranian Susa (Сузы). And, I believe, Etrurian Veii (Вейи) finishes the list. :)
  11. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Czech usually preserves the original gram. number of the historical European cities (esp. with the Greek, Roman, German, and of course Slavic etymology).

    Athény, Mykény, Théby,...
    Veje (Veii),...
    Brémy (Bremen), Cáchy (Aachen), Mylhúzy (Mülhausen),...

    Nagasaki etc. are not European.
    Bari and Rimini are not in plural in Italian (in Latin Barium, Ariminum, both in singular).

    Helsinki is rather an exception.

    Polish city Sopot (sing., but Sopoty before 1945) is Sopoty (plur.) in Czech.

    Thessalonike is sing. in Greek (I think), it is Soluň (fem. sing.) in Czech.
  12. ilocas2 Senior Member

    What does it mean?
  13. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    město Karlovy Vary, vesnice Velké Lopuchy (no village, but a plant, Arctium lappa = лопух большой = lopuch větší = veliki čičak);
  14. ilocas2 Senior Member

    Thanks, I thought that село Большие Лопухи is some Russian nickname for Karlovy Vary and it's in fact something different.
  15. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    I guess Большие Лопухи is a name of a fictional village, like Horní Dolní (or Zapadákov, Zlámaná Lhota, etc.) in Czech.

    "Но я простой парень из села Большие Лопухи."
  16. swintok Senior Member

    English - Canada
    Like most Slavic languages, officially the declension of foreign words in Ukrainian is governed by all sorts of rules: whether they have analogous Ukrainian forms, whether they are of Slavic root, whether they are of a form that can easily be declined, whether they have been considered to have been "assimilated" (засвоєні) into Ukrainian, when they entered the Ukrainian language, etc.

    Despite what the rules indicate, there is a general tendency to try to decline foreign place names if they can easily be declined like Ukrainian words. This is especially true in the Ukrainian communities in North and South America. Therefore, officialy Helsinki (Гельсінкі) is undeclined, but because it looks and feels like it could be a Ukrainian word, it is not uncommon to hear and see it declined (у Гельсінках, до Гельсінків, і.т.д.). Similarly with Calgary (у Калгарах або Кальгарах або Кальґарах), Toronto (у Торонті), Cairns (у Кернах), Monterrey (у Монтереях або у Монтереах). In such cases, people will attempt to decline the word according to the gender and number that it appears to be in Ukrainian, regardless of the gender and number in the original language.
  17. marco_2 Senior Member

    Sometimes you can notice some misinterpretation, even in close Slavic languages: there is a town on Polish-Ukrainian border called Mościska / Мостиська which is plural in Polish (and in Ukrainian, I hope) but in Russian they treated it like a singular feminine noun (Мостиска - в Мостиску etc.)
  18. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Helsinki is indeed singular in Finnish, but there are a number of Finnish placenames that alternate between singular and plural depending on what case they appear in. E.g., Parainen (in southwest Finland) is singular in the nominative, but the case-form Paraisilla "in Parainen" is formed like a plural.

    It'd be interesting to know how/whether Slavic languages account for this alternation (not that the question would come up very often :)).

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