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  5. Jag har börjat min ugglesamli…


Jag har börjat min ugglesamling!

The tree looked interminable at the beginning; I never thought I'd get to the end of it...

It was pure chance that I started Swedish on Duolingo on one grey day out of boredom and idle curiosity. I suppose it was because, compared with all the other languages being offered at that time, Swedish was the one I knew absolutely nothing about whatsoever. At first, it was purely an exercise in whiling away a dull moment. However, I did slowly carry on doing it, and at some indefinable point, a remarkable thing happened: Swedish suddenly became both fascinating and elegant.

So thank you to all the creators of the Swedish course! Were it not for your efforts, I doubt I'd ever have acquired any appreciation of this language. I shall certainly continue with it.

September 13, 2015



Glad to hear that you like the language! :)

By the way, you would say "ugglesamling" not "ugglasamling" :)



Thanks, but why 'uggle'? I was going by the analogy of konstsamling and boksamling, where the thing being collected appears to be singular indefinite; why does uggla become uggle?


As you know you can create new swedish nouns by just adding nouns together. If there are three or more you will have to add an extra s, but otherwise it is simple. Most of the time. The exception is nouns ending with an a. In some cases the a will be kept, as in the word lavalampa. They can also be replaced by an e as in your example ugglesamling, replaced by a u as in varuhus or just removed as in lampskärm. It is something you will have to learn, and it does not just depend on the first word. Some words, like gata, can behave differently depending on the context. It is for example gathörn without the a and gatukorsning with a u instead.


In addition to that, the final -a can in a few occasions also become -o, as in kyrkogård (graveyard) or hälsosam (healthy).


Kyrka is one of the difficult ones. You mentioned kyrkogård where the a is replaced by an o, and the same o can be found in for example kyrkobyggnad and kyrkokör. However, in some other cases with kyrka such as kyrksilver, kyrktorn, and kyrkvaktmästare the a i just omitted.

But of course it is not this simple either. Specify the church to for example domkyrka (cathedral) and the o will suddenly be back and you will get domkyrkosilver, domkyrkotorn, and domkyrkovaktmästare.


Many thanks for the explanation. I must admit I am surprised that such a presumably little-used word as 'owl-collection' turns out to be irregular. I can understand how irregularity could develop in commoner terms, but ugglesamling boggles the mind!


It was a special landmark birthday of my only Swedish friend (at the time). He always spoke to me in excellent English. I took to Duolingo's Swedish to surprise him. Fact is I have grown to love Swedish but it is not easy to practice speaking it in the country I live in at present. Thank you for this amazing platform. Love the design of the teaching learning, assessment & evaluation methodology.

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