Hyphenating translations in Finnish language

The “Getting Started” portion for Sailfish OS localisation has this to say about hyphenation in the Finnish language:


Leave a space before the hyphen in compound words with many parts. Also, the hyphen should be a non-breaking hyphen \u2011 instead of an ordinary hyphen. E.g.:

  • Correct: vain luku \u2011tiedosto
  • Incorrect: vain luku-tiedosto or vain luku -tiedosto

Do not use an ordinary hyphen if you need to hyphenate a word because it does not fit on one line. Always use the soft hyphen \u00AD for this.

This got me wondering about the cases where the original English text has a written hyphen instead of Unicode code for hyphen. When translating to Finnish, should you still use the Unicode code for hyphen (and should the original text also have the Unicode code instead of the hyphen graph) or should you just write the hyphen whenever the English original has a written hyphen which would also be present in the Finnish translation?

Should all the special marks such as hyphen be written as their Unicode code, or is this because the hyphen has some special actions in a line break?

IMO (!) you should use the same type of hyphen the English original uses.

I guess the Finnish localisation mentions this at all because the Finnish language rules for compound words with hyphenation are - IMO - really confusing and weird.

A non-breaking hyphen is not something specific to Finnish btw.

Yes, now to think of it, the mentioned rule to leave a space before a hyphen is just the regular Finnish grammar rule when you further compound a combination of words, e.g. ‘read only -file’. Normally the compound words in Finnish are normally written as one word, whereas for example in English there are ‘key chain’ type of spaced compound words as normal business. Technically this is a purely grammatical thing that any Finnish translator (even a hobbyist) should be aware of beforehand and should not warrant a mention in Sailfish OS specific translation instructions at all.

Except for that you should use a specific Unicode hyphen for the purpose, and then suddenly two other types of Unicode hyphens get mentioned, and everything gets messy due to the lack of examples.

This instruction badly needs a rewrite.