"Han sover bara i rena lakan."

Translation:He only sleeps in clean sheets.

November 18, 2014

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I've heard the Swedish added a new pronoun, a neuter hen.


Yes, it has been introduced for gender neuter human beings.


I heard it comes from the Egalia kindergartens. Is it used colloquial or only in texts/officially?


It does not come from those kindergartens, but they may have played an important part in making it popular. The word was first proposed by a linguist in 1966. In the 90s and 00s it started to gain ground in queer circles and from there it spread further. Egalia didn't open until 2010.
Today the word can be found even in official texts like legal proceedings, various texts from municipalities and companies etc. It remains controversial however. See some native speakers disagree over it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5531330


Ah, that's interesting! Thanks!


Does this mean "He will only sleep in a bed with sheets that are clean" or does it mean "He will only sleep on top of clean sheets" (or would the latter be "på"?)


Sleeping ON top of clean sheets, would always be PÅ. I rena lakan is always between the sheets, 'inside' the bed.


It's weird to me that the English sentence says 'on'. I think I would generally say 'in', 'with', or 'under'. Saying someone sleeps 'on' sheets suggests to me that they're literally on top of the sheets rather than under them.


I agree about the weirdness of "on", and would offer "between clean sheets" as another (more normal-sounding) formulation. Would "mellan rena lakan" be unidiomatic in Swedish?


mellan honestly sounds really odd, though I'd argue i covers the same basic sense, since the point is that you're, well, between, as you say.


I'm a Swede and I would absolutely say "mellan rena lakan", in my opinion the most idiomatic phrase,


Really? Fair enough, I can honestly say I've never even heard that construction, but a quick check says it's about half as common as i, so it's clearly in active use.


Maybe it's from my mum's generation. So it feels normal to me. :-)


I agree 'on clean sheets' sounds not logical. But I think under, in and between are also accepted as translations.


Why not 'the clean sheet'?


Since rena has the -a ending and lakan isn't in the definite, you can tell it's plural: the sheets.


I wish Duo would explain things like this without having to read many comments to find the awesome ones!

At least, on mobile..


We have lesson notes that explain these things, but for whatever reason you're not allowed to read them on mobile. :( Rest assured we're just as annoyed by this as you are.

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