1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Han talar inte svenska."

"Han talar inte svenska."

Translation:He does not speak Swedish.

November 17, 2014

82 Comments


[deactivated user]

    I feel like Duolingo is talking behind my back...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CakeEatingDragon

    Duolingo is right. He doesnt speak Swedish. That is why he is on duolingo.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattheworb

    Hmmm. I thought it meant "he speaks no swedish", but Duolingo marked me wrong. Does it only mean "he isn't speaking swedish" or "he does not speak swedish"? In English, "he speaks no swedish" makes sense, and this seems like a direct translation?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
    Mod
    • 3

    "He speaks no Swedish" is not a correct translation for "Han talar inte svenska" since this sentence could mean two things.

    Either "he" can't speak Swedish, or he is simply not speaking Swedish at the moment. Since it could be interpreted in both ways we only accept "He does not speak Swedish".

    "Han talar ingen svenska" would be a perfect translation for "He speaks no Swedish".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rnlddmrrs

    I don't think a native english speaker would interpret "he speaks no english" as anything other than "he is not able to speak english". this seems unusually strict.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    It's certainly the same end result in practice, but that doesn't mean it's a proper translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhoanses

    Anrui you did not use inte as negation instead inge that is right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
    Mod
    • 3

    I'm not entirely sure I get your question, but I'll try to answer.

    I use inte in the sentence above since ingen means "no" as in "No Swedish".

    You cannot use "inge", you have to choose between "ingen", "inget" and "inga" and they have the same meaning as "not any" (or "inte någ(ot/on/ra)" in Swedish).

    I.e.
    Jag har inget vatten - Jag har inte något vatten - I have no water - I do not have any water.
    Jag har ingen mjölk - Jag har inte någon mjölk - I have no milk - I do not have any milk.
    Jag har inga vänner - Jag har inte några vänner - I have no friends - I do not have any friends.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paige981543

    Anrui is the swedish god


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhoanses

    Thanks a lot very well explained Anrui.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devianart

    This is my understanding. 'Inte' negate verb and 'ingen/inget/inga' negate noun. Isn't it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jungla3

    It means "He doesn't speak Swedish", although literally this sentence means "He speaks not Swedish" ('No Swedish' would be 'ingen svenska')


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PartisanGerm

    It's the most common newbie mistake we're all trying to overcome: grammatically correct vs. Direct translation. I got it wrong too thinking it would be fine, as it is in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    But the suggested translation here is both direct and grammatically correct. inte means not. If the Swedish sentence had been Han talar ingen svenska, the correct translation would have been He speaks no Swedish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PartisanGerm

    Yeah, I meant for the uninitiated language learners, the difference between no and not isn't obvious.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    Ah yes, you're right!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calhob8

    It would translate into "han talar ingen svenska"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattheworb

    so what is the difference between ingen and inte?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jungla3

    Inte = Not

    Ingen = No


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

    Inte modifies the verb (here: talar), whereasingen modifies the noun (here: svenska).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OhBogy

    What about " he doesn't talk english"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ungewitig_Wiht

    If you were to say that you could talk English, those around you would realise the contrary was true


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanTheRealDan

    this is still funny four years later


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

    "Talk" in English is not a transitive verb, meaning it can not take a direct object.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VitaBonaEst

    So "inte" mean "not"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    Yes, inte means not, and ingen/inget/inga means no. (Well, no as in No I don't is nej).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VitaBonaEst

    Thank you! Can you also explain, "kvinnan" and "kvinnon" and the same with men? Tack så mycket!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    The forms are
    singular indefinite: en kvinna ('a woman'), definite kvinnan ('the woman')
    plural indefinite kvinnor ('women') plural definite kvinnorna ('the women').
    And for men:
    en man, mannen (a man, the man)
    män, männen (men, the men)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VitaBonaEst

    Tack så mycket! You're very helpful. Can you also explain "en" and "ett"? I know they both mean a(n), and the tip blurb said it's human v. nonhuman things, but it didn't make sense in the examples. Snälla!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    I think the explanation here is pretty good: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sv/Basics-2


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

    Unfortunately, it's not as simple as "human v. nonhuman things". Every thing in Swedish (like most Germanic languages) is divided into different grammatical genders, which sometimes coincide with actual genders, but not necessarily. In Swedish, there's the common gender (combined from what used to be male and female genders) and the neuter gender (meaning non-male/non-female).

    Common gender nouns are en-nouns (en mann, en hund, en sko, etc.), while ett-nouns (ett socker, ett barn, ett brev, etc.) are of the neuter gender. From those examples, you can tell that humans can be both en- or ett-nouns (en mann, ett barn), while non-human things can be either en- or ett-nouns, too (en sko, ett brev).

    Both en and ett are translated as a/an, and English doesn't have the gender distinction, so it's kind of hard to explain the concept of gendered articles. I definitely recommend learning the en/ett article when you learn the noun, as it will help you when forming the correct adjective and definite forms.

    I felt the link provided by Arnauti is useful, if you already understand the concept of gendered articles, but it's missing an introduction :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HazyBreeze

    How is 'he does not speak Swedish ' wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    That's actually the default translation, but I can see there's an error report from the same time as your comment, so I'm assuming that's from you. You submitted "He doesn't speak svenska" - I think you accidentally switched languages at the end there.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faz_540

    Is there a reason why the word "svenska" does not have an upper case S?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    We only capitalize names in Swedish, and we don't consider the words for languages, days, months, or nationalities to be that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ashl.ym

    Han and Han are woman and man but for the first one it said Han atalar inte svenska, And later on it gave me it again but saying Its a she...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skalpadda

    Han - he.

    Hon - she.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erwin-Dutch

    I hear tolar in stead of tàlàr. Is that correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    The long a in Swedish is often perceived as an o sound by non native speakers, but with practice you'll get better at hearing the difference. Swedish has relatively many different vowel sounds, so we sometimes make distinctions that other languages don't. (the voice sounds ok here and I hear a clear long a sound in talar).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erwin-Dutch

    Thank you for your answer. Is there in English a word what sounds like the long a?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariail

    How do you determine the position of "inte" in a sentence? I've read Swedish sentences with "inte" being pushed to the end.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan-Olav

    In present tense 'inte' is usually placed just after the verb.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KreislerEh

    is he doesn't know swedish not right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan-Olav

    That would be 'han kan inte svenska'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joseph_lh

    If inte = not and talar = speak, where did the "does" come from? and Why wouldn't "He speak no Swedish" translate into "Han talar nej Svenska" instead of "ingen"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    Nej 'no' is only used as the opposite of ja, 'yes'.
    Does is a construction that English uses, but not Swedish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfesl

    I remember learning "Jag inte talar svenska" - is that word order acceptable (perhaps in different regions?) or has my brain just rearranged things in the last 20 years?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

    It's not acceptable in any region as a main clause, but it can be as a subclause. Jag förstår inte, eftersom jag inte talar svenska ('I do not understand since I do not speak Swedish') is a correct phrase (and you can't change places for either of the inte in there).

    In clauses that are not subclauses or questions, the verb always needs to go in second place (the V2 rule), which means as a main clause, it must always be Jag talar inte….


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfesl

    Got it! Now I just need to remember it.... :). Thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/djangg0

    What is wrong with this translation: "He cannot speak Swedish?"

    Kindly do let me know.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brygarciab

    I'm wondering something. What's the difference between: "han talar inte svenska" and "han talar nej svenska"???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Well, the latter is not grammatical.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmaPuklin

    Can someone help me with how do I choose between "ingen, inget, inga"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Singular en-words, singular ett-words, plurals.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saint413032

    I put in he dose not speak Swedish and it keeps telling me im wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    You need the correct spelling "does", not "dose".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanMarz

    I was failed for "He doesn't speak Swedish".

    Meaning: He does not speak Swedish.

    "Doesn't"'s an abbreviation of "does not" that's used more often than the long form.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Of course we accept "doesn't" as well. If you were marked wrong for exactly that phrase, you suffered a bug.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/draculasboy

    I put "can not" and it said it was wrong, so this is just "does not"? What would "can not" be?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    That would be han kan inte tala svenska or just han kan inte svenska. Though the latter is more like "doesn't speak", idiomatically.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zar.a

    where the nuter pronoun


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    I don't understand. What do you mean?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam386517

    I know that talar means speak and pratar means talk. Nevertheless, Every Swedish person the I asked tells me the more common sentence is "Jag pratar inte svenska".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Frequency counts tell that talar is indeed more common, though it's not by a huge margin - a ratio of about 7:4. So we accept both, of course. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam386517

    Not only do people use pratar, they even teach that in SFI (swedish for immigrants) here in Sweden. Saying "talar" is a more official way and rarely used in everyday talk.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Hence why I said that both are accepted. I strongly disagree with your SFI teacher, though. Using talar in everyday speech is perfectly common as well - not weird at all.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleksandra313304

    Doesn't accept doesn't :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    It does, but your error report says "She doesn't speak Swedish", and the sentence is about a male - it should be "He".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueberryC928157

    Why didn't doesn't work it means the same as does not


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Godwilligb

    Where did i go wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Well, what did you put? We can't know if you don't give us that info.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/corinne191800

    I answered : He doesn't speak swedish. instead of : does not , which is the same , right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/corinne191800

    but i was marked incorrect. maybe the computer is set up a certain way, anyway does not matter much.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    There could have been a bug, or you made an error withour realising. If such an obviously correct translation is marked wrong for you again, please consider leaving an error report. That way, I can either see what went wrong or send it off to the developers as a bug.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nighteyes13

    Surely "He doesn't talk swedish" is also a correct translation. As talk and speak are interchangeable in english.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

    No, because "talk" does not take a direct object in English, except in a very small handful of idioms.

    Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.