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"An elephant and a crab"

Translation:En elefant och en krabba

2 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Catguy19

When is it "en [animal]" and when "ett [animal]"? At first I got the impression the English "an" equates to the Swedish "en" and the English "a" to the Swedish "ett", but that doesn't seem to be the case here. What are the rules regarding "en" and "ett"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adiatorix
Adiatorix
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There is actually a way...

you see, some words for animals that doesnt exist in sweden are barrowed from different languages, primarily french and dutch, and if the word that we borrowed ended with a vocal

giraffe

elephante

then the word becomes en, in unity with the original rules where all nouns that ended with vocals were common and all nouns that didnt were neutral

so lion for example has never had an a or an e in the very end so we say "ett lejon"

i hope that helped a little bit

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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Well... you're not wrong, and I'm glad you posted. It's an interesting piece of etymology. I don't really see how language learners would be helped by knowing that, but still. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adiatorix
Adiatorix
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Yes i know it doesnt help all that much now because we have swallowed so many vowels from the ends of words but.. umm, now you know :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrowingViolet
GrowingViolet
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For the polyglots among us who may be able to recognize when a word comes from another language, this at least serves as a helpful hint! And yes, if nothing else, it is definitely interesting.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Catguy19

Huh, that's really interesting. Thanks for sharing!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dbf12

Same here!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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They are mostly completely random, and you have to learn each one by heart. Unlike in English, it has nothing to do with vowel sounds. A good hint is that humans and animals are almost always en-words, but after that, it's mostly arbitrary.

2 years ago