Minun mielestäni ei ole epäilystäkään siitä, että Tom olisi tehnyt itsemurhan.

English Translation

There is no doubt in my mind that Tom didn’t commit suicide.

“epäillä” is a weird verb, because it can mean both “to doubt” and “to suspect”, depending on context and the rest of the sentence structure.

I commented on such a sentence before where I quoted wiktionary.
Now I came across this example, and I thought this one doesn’t match the English sentence either.

I had an interview with some natives and this is their feedback:

The Finnish sentence is understood as “I have no doubts that Tom killed himself”, which is the opposite meaning of the english sentence.

I asked: just to be sure on the first fact: “ei ole epäilystäkään” can only mean “there is no doubt”, right? No suspecting going on here.
Answer: yes, that much is correct

Also, the Finnish sentence sounds weird:

  • the “olisi” makes it a bit weird.
  • it makes it sound like a hypothetical, even tho the rest of the sentence describes something that already happened in no uncertain terms
  • “I have no doubt that he would have killed himself if X had happened, but X didn’t happen, therefore he didn’t kill himself”

An improved version (still with opposite meaning) would be:

“Minun mielestäni ei ole epäilystäkään etteikö Tom olisi tehnyt itsemurhaa”

  • the “etteikö” makes it clearer
  • The main clause is semantically negative. The subordinate clause is grammatically negative but the etteikö makes it semantically positive.
  • Here’s the ISK article on etteikö: VISK - § 1159 Kiellon kumoutuminen

A sentence that would match the meaning of the English one (i.e. he did not kill himself):

“Minun mielestäni ei ole epäilystäkään, että Tom ei tehnyt itsemurhaa”

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I wonder if the translator simply got tripped up by the double negative in the English sentence.

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Perhaps. :slight_smile:
But on the other hand, Finnish doesn’t have a shortage of such things either.
The sentence that was suggested is pretty much a straight forward 1:1 analog.