Wednesday, 23 February 2011

True Finns, or rudimentary Finns?

The Finnish-to-English dictionary at defines the prefix "perus" as:
  1. fundamental       
  2. basic       
  3. primal       
  4. prime       
  5. cardinal       
  6. primary       
  7. basal       
  8. run-of-the-mill   
  9. elementary       
  10. rudimentary       
  11. radical       
  12. vanilla    
The prefix "perus" when used in the Finnish language indicates something that is lacking any distinctive qualities, something generic, standard issue. Translating the name 'perussuomalaiset' as 'True Finns' is about on the same level as translating "Tesco value sausages" into French as "Saucisson Vrai". A much more apropos translation would be "Standard issue Finns", and I for one recommend journalists everywhere start using it.