Svengelska bloggen

Svengelska bloggen

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I aim to use this blog to keep up my English and maybe give others some insights in Swedish language. It's not a diary - well not quite...


AbstrakterPosted by Gunvor 2013-05-17 16:45:46

Trio is ‘trio’, from Italian trio, from tri- patterned on duo. and means:

1 a: a musical composition for three voice parts of three instruments b: the secondary or episodic division of a minuet or scherzo (as in a sonata or symphony) or of a march or of various dance forms, usu. contrasted in key and in a quieter style than the primary division c: a performance of such a composition d: a dance by three people.

2: a group or set of three as a: the performers of a musical or dance trio b: three playing cards of the same rank c: a male and two female domestic animals (as poultry) froming a breeding or exhibition group”


AbstrakterPosted by Gunvor 2011-09-26 14:24:38

Asymmetrisk – ‘asymmetrical’ must be the word most difficult to spell in the Swedish language. Even on cultural pages in otherwise trustworthy newspapers it is more often than not spelled assymmetrisk. When I find it I immediately lose confidence in the writer and stop reading the article.

Asymmetrisk comes from Greek. The prefix a- is a negative, 'non-'. The Swedish relative is o-, the English and German is un-, Sanskrit a-, Latin in- .You could say osymmetrisk in Swedish or unsymmetrical in English (or maybe even insymmetrical) and immediately understand what it means even if those words are not in the dictionary.

So where does this unnecessary ‘s’ come from? The Latin preposition ad- means ‘to’ or ‘at’. When it is used as a prefix it is often assimilated with the subsequent consonant, e.g. affectus - ‘affect’, aggressio - ‘aggression’, alludere - ‘to allude’, approbare – ‘to approve’, attentio’ – attention. There are many such combinations with words starting with s-, e.g. assensio – ‘assent’, assiduus – ‘assiduous’, assigno – ‘I assign’, assimulo – ‘I assimilate’ assumo – ‘I assume’ etc. So for some strange unreason this double s has trampled into a field where it has no right to be.

(The Latin equivalent of Greek a- is in-, so there can be some confusion here too, as Latin in- can mean both non- and in, related to English in, and Swedish in and i.)


AbstrakterPosted by Gunvor 2011-07-15 13:34:20

Nyfiken is ’curious’, ‘inquisitive’, anxious to know’. Ny is ‘new’ and fiken is ‘covetous’, ‘greedy’. The verb fika efter means ‘hanker after’. The word is a bit derogatory. It exists also in other Nordic languages and could be onomatopoetic. (Fika also means ‘coffee’, ‘coffee break’, but that is another story)

Curious comes from Old French curios. The modern French version, curieux has been borrowed into Swedish as kuriös, meaning 'strange'.

Det här nyfikna gänget (This curious gang) spend their summer at the sculpture park Pilane. (see Liljekonvalj below) When we walked around the site somebody had left open the door to a black house and they all rushed there to see what was inside.

And what did they think of what was inside?


AbstrakterPosted by Gunvor 2011-07-07 00:02:39

Byte (ett byte, bytet, flera byten, bytena) is ‘exchange’ or ‘prey’, ‘plunder’. It is a medieval loan from Low German. English booty is related; it comes from the same source via Old French.

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