Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Old Postcard Wednesday--Finland Sheep Grazing

The bottom of the back attributes the photograph(er) to:

Partial translation of the front of postcard is Finland Sheep grazing. I've been unable to find a translation for the phrase "Får på bete."

Since this is Conan O'Brien's big week taking the helm of The Tonight Show, I thought it only fitting to post this clip of his appearance on the Finnish show, Huomenta Suomi (Good Morning Finland) on Feb. 14, 2006. After making much fun over his resemblance to Finland's president, Tarja Halonen, he traveled to Finland to meet her and greet the people. Here's that famous morph of O'Brien into Halonen .....

Kiitos käynnistä vanhojen Postikortti keskiviikko!
(According to Google translate that means Thank you for visiting
on Old Postcard Wednesday



Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }

[ Editor- Children’s Poem
& Adult’s Poem ]

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

I love the postcard! It's so pretty!
So you still speak Finnish?
Didn't know that and it's not an easy language at all!

You might wanna look at these two entries, perhaps you like the pic. We'rve just been to Finland and Norway and Sweden...

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Since you're post is about Finland you really aught to have quoted, or have a listen to, the monty python song "Finland"

All together finland fire...

Finland finland finland,
the country where i quite like to be...

Darlene said...

Conan and Tarja really do look alike.

I wish Conan good luck, but will not see him. I can't stay awake beyond 10 pm and some nights I don't make it that late. ;-)

Looking to the Stars said...

Lydia, Love the postcard!
Hope Conan does well on his new job :) the few times I've heard him I've enjoyed him

the watercats said...

Every time I come here I recieve new piles of semi-useless information!.. That is a very, very good thing.. [:-D

Lydia said...

@Science Bloggers Association- Congrats to you, I'm sure.

@Sarah Sofia- Oh, I have never spoken Finnish! For this post I used Google translator. Thank you for directing me to your posts about your visit to Finland. I know I'll enjoy them (my grandfather was from Lapland).

@Pixies- What a riot to learn that there's a Monty Python song about Finland. Had no idea. This will be fun to hear. :)

@Darlene- I watched the first half of his first night and it was great. But I'm not a late night TV viewer. I'm absolutely not a daytime TV viewer. I guess that means my window of time basically hits between evening news through prime time on the nights I watch.

@Looking to the Stars- I'm glad you liked the card. I think it's one of the prettiest I've seen. Those sheep sure had it good compared to many today, but even they have a better life than dairy cows...

@the watercats- um, thanks, I definitely aim to please and I'm glad that semi-bullseye on the information chart works for you.

Kim said...

Another brilliant Old Postcard Wednesday. And a foreign post card to boot! Loved it!

Lydia said...

@Kim- Glad you liked it. This one is among a small collection of Finnish postcards that my paternal grandmother had. The majority of my postcards were collected by my maternal grandmother, and were all domestic.

francessa said...

Lovely postcard! Speaking of similiarities: the woman with the sheep reminds me a little of you!

Lydia said...

@Francessa- Now that you say it I can see what you mean. It definitely is one of the ways I wear my hair, especially around the house with the animals!

bfk said...

Dear Lydia,
I'm not one for puzzles. But I'm a sucker for unanswered questions. So what does that line mean "Får på bete" on the Finnish postacard? I decided to go to InterTran a free Finnish online translator and it said it meant "Får på bete." I could have told them that.

Now I know "Suomi" means "Finland" and though I can barely read the last word in the first line ending with "mella," I thought I'd put "graze" in (in English) and out popped "olla laitumella," which probably means "lotta grazing." Well, that was easy. So all I have to do is put "sheep" in and I'll get that other word that I can hardly read at all. In goes "sheep," out comes "lammas." Perhaps the Finns get their sheep from Peru.

Then I started thinking, wait a minute, I know "bête" is French for beast. Maybe "Finland" is French for Suomi, and maybe "Får" is actually "Für" in Alsatian-French--where the French speak with German accents. So then it would be "Finland. For grazing sheep" in "Kinda French." But that didn't work out too well for me.

So then I went to the back of the card, and I see it was printed in Sweden. And according to Wikipedia, Finnish doesn't really use the "Å, å" since it is "redundant" as the Finns have "O o" and therefore do not need it. In fact, about the only time Finns do use "Å, å" is in Swedish proper names. Probably because Sweden used to own Finland before Russia did.

Now it was starting to make sense. Especially the heading on the back. "Postikortti" must be Finnish for Postcard. Go to translator... Check. Carte Postale is French?... Check. Therefore the Swedish "brefkort" must be... "brefkort." Wha?

Okay, so I tried "bref + kort" as two different words and that came up "bref" and "short" or what I would call "short short." The Swedes, it seems, call their postcard "postkort." As I guess we could have guessed.

And that's not all: In Swedish "bete" means "behave." So what does that mean? "Finland. Something something behave." I'll bet they're still sore at losing Finland to the Russians.

So I learned something here. Why do I hate puzzles but don't mind trying to find the meaning of Finnish postcards? And the answer is: In a puzzle, someone knows the answer and is withholding it on purpose. The bastards. It's just a test. I didn't like them in school and I don't like them now. Can't abide quiz shows either.

On the other hand with a problematic question: no one knows. It doesn't even matter whether you get the answer or not, the joy is in the looking. It never bothered Socrates. And he never even got a Finnish postcard.

Pretty picture, though.

Lydia said...

@bfk- I like puzzles about as much as you do. And I'm astonished with what your research came up with. I, too, had tried a Finnish translator for that phrase and it also repeated the phrase back to me. Helpful site.

But after having read the flaming hoops you jumped through to extract information that shed new light on llamas grazing, and the "ooos and aaaaas" speaking to intricacies of Sweden/Finland domination politics, I must say that I am impressed with the way your mind works. A big thank you for the fascinating theory that this card may contain a slam of such proportions from the Swedish card maker.

Please note the watercats earlier comment. You also would make the watercats most pleased (incidentally, their blog is one I think you'd enjoy lots). :)



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