can I go outside and come right back

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Senior Member

    During a lecture or some discussion in a room, I'd like to say that I'll go outside for a while and come right back to the person who's in charge of the room. How can I say?

    "Tulen takaisin heti." (?)

    Or would it be OK to go without saying anything?
  2. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Saanko käydä (hetken) ulkona? Tulen heti takaisin.

    If you use hetken in the first sentence (Saanko käydä hetken ulkona), you can omit the second sentence.

    Unfortunately, I can't tell you whether this kind of request is considered polite in Finland, or whether it would be seen as unnecessary.
  3. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    When I think back to the days when I attended Professor Päivö Oksala's lectures on Latin syntax in Helsinki University's lecture room Porthania I, I don't think it would have been appropriate to say anything should I for some reason have needed to excuse myself for a while. That's because the room holds about 560 students. If it's a small room, one of these would be fine:

    Anteeksi, poistun hetkeksi.
    Palaan pian. / Tulen pian takaisin.

    I don't think the lecturer or the chairman would deny my request in any circumstances, and that's why I wouldn't actually ask for permission to leave at all because it would force him to reply — and consequently interrupt him.

    Gavril's käydä hetken doesn't sound good to my ear in this context, I just don't know why. Perhaps someone else has an explanation. The collocation is fine in many other contexts, such as ice hockey: Pelaaja kävi hetken kuumana. (Perhaps it's just my poor ear. I remember Hakro mentioning its deficiencies in another thread.:D)
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hi GOM,

    Just out of curiosity, is it the word hetken (as opposed to hetkeksi) that sounds incorrect, or the whole phrase Käydä hetken/hetkeksi ulkona?

    Regardless, this has gotten me curious about the difference between hetken and hetkeksi, so I decided to start a separate thread. :)
  5. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    Saanko käydä hetkeksi ulkona? is better but I would avoid even that. I don't know why. Saanko mennä hetkeksi ulos? sounds OK to me. Ulos may of course mean that I'm going outdoors but context would make it clear that don't have that in mind.

Share This Page