the tone of "mitä vain" / "mitä tahansa"

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Gavril, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    I was just typing an e-mail that included the following sentence:

    "Minusta tuntuu, että tämä ominaisuus olisi hyvin käytännöllistä missä vain sanakirja-sovelluksessa."

    With the phrase "missä vain sanakirja-sovelluksessa", I meant to say, "in any dictionary app", but I was a little bit concerned about the tone implied in "missä vain".

    Would you say that "mitä vain" normally has a neutral tone like English any, or is it closer to the English phrase "any old" (as in, "any old dictionary", "any old cellphone", etc.), which sounds dismissive in most contexts?

    Also, does "mitä tahansa" generally have the same tone as "mitä vain", or do the two phrases come off differently?

    Kiitoksia paljon
  2. altazure Member

    "Mikä vain" and "mikä tahansa" are both neutral in tone, and I don't think there's practically any difference in meaning or tone between them.
  3. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I think that "mikä tahansa" is a bit more literal than "mikä vain", not to mention the spoken language form "mikä vaan" that you can see nowadays even in the highest class newspapers and magazines. Not to mention TV where it seems to be the only alternative.

    In Gavril's example I'd have used "mikä tahansa".
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    What do you mean by literal in this case?
  5. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I have translated hundreds of owner's handbooks, workshop manuals and similar publications. In the texts that I have in my present computer I could find several times "mikä tahansa", for example "Puhdistukseen voi käyttää mitä tahansa liuotinta", but I had never written "mikä vain". Instead, if I'd give the same advice to a friend I'd probably say "Voit käyttää mitä vain liuotinta" because vain is shorter than tahansa.

    Of course this is not a rule, it's just my opinion, my way to use words.

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