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Monday, October 19, 2009

More Finnish News ** UPDATED **-

Link to the original

Urutsk and cosmic Finns

(I have hastily written this translation to English because I have learned that people are using Google translator to read my yesterdays post, and that program pretty much mangles the meaning of what was written and it doesn't of course understand idioms, I really don't claim to write very well in English but this might give better idea. The passage I quoted and translated has been put here in original English form so it can been seen what I have quoted.)

In comment section of my earlier writing author of Urutsk campaign world and roleplaying game passed over to write some comments, where quite an interesting detail was revealed. Apparently one of the important peoples of the fantasy world are based on Finns. Fantasy world in question is more like Barsoom than Lord of The Rings, more T├ękumel than Greyhawk. That earlier writing of mine has also been linked in her blog.

What the rulebook says about these cosmic Finns is actually pretty interesting reading, here's it after about a quarter of an hour of translating:

"Yirinn are a short, stocky ethnicity; both male and female Yirinn stand around five feet tall and typically weigh around 150 pounds. Their long hair tends toward dark brown or black, but turns grey or silver with age. They have a pale to ruddy
complexion, but most have blue eyes. Yirinn have stout frames and a strong, muscular build. They are rugged and resilient, with the capacity to endure great hardships.

Yirinn are typically practical, stubborn and courageous. Culturally they are introspective, suspicious and possessive. They have an average lifespan of over one century."

That is to me quite flattering and somewhat hilarious characterization if you connect it with Finns. Some could easily see that as troubling and even get indignant if intentionally wanting to get it wrong. I don't find it troubling at all, these Yirinn clearly are not Finns but fictional people whose origin of inspiration are Finns. It should be clear to all that this is just playing with wide stereotypes.

Finns have already been influence or made impression in fantasy across the pond. For example Forgotten Realms and other old D&D-campaigns are filled with details that are for example inspired by Kalevala but the influence has been through so thick cultural filter that their origin would not be easily guessed if familiar or familiar sounding names wouldn't be used. Even so called standard fantasy could be seen as pretty exotic version of medieval central Europe. Urutsk though has no qualities that could be described as standard fantasy, which is why it may be so fascinatingly different.


  1. No, actually you did not offend me at all, no apology is needed. Translator program you have used does really bad job in translating the actual meaning what is said, basically it has turned whole thing upside down, kind of like if you would read english language text without knowing difference of "do" and "don't". Finnish is not indo-european language so basically you have list of words translated either correctly or not, you can tell what is discussed by the words and only speculate on context. I'll post translation on my blog soon. My best wishes.

  2. Thank you for clarifying.
    --I'm grateful for that translation you provided. :D

  3. From now on we shall refer to this as "the Finnish affair." :D

  4. Your comment made me very happy today.
    --Thanks. :D