"What a tasty fika!"

Translation:Vilket gott fika!

November 18, 2014

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Joelinguo

Interesting, I would say fikan not fikat. (32000 results på fikat 8000 på fikan, guess I'm a minority!)

November 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

I think many of the results you got on fikat were probably of the Vi har fikat i dag kind.

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Standard text selection in Korp gives 12 548 hits for en fika vs 35 for ett fika (I just did the simple search though so this doesn't include cases with a few words in between).

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pampelius

I had a discussion with my linguistics teacher about the gender and plural of fika the other day. Ett fika or en fika? Flera fika? fikor? fikan? I don't know when you would have to use it in plural though

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

I'm a native Swede and personally, ett fika sounds weird to me.

A fika-place, on the other hand, is always ett fik. :D

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

I could possibly use ett fika in the sense fikabröd, the thing you eat when you fikar.

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Me too I am a native Swede, 'en fika' is coffee for me, maybe with a cookie or bread, the whole package. - My question is - Why does the English sentence contain the word 'fika' ???

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

It's the kind of typical Swedish word that English native speakers who live here tend to pick up and incorporate into their speech, since there's really no exact English counterpart (and the word also seems to have some special connotations).

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KiwiDressager

While I do think that "fika" is a common practice amongst English speakers, (at least as far as I can tell from reading a number of different accounts of what it entails) I will agree that we don't seem to have a specific or consistent word for the phenomenon. I therefore find it completely appropriate to learn the word as it is, rather than inserting a slightly awkward sounding equivalent phrase in English. It is really helpful to have stuff like this in the course - I am sure I will have reason to use this word when I move to Sweden later this year.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KiwiDressager

Now that I actually live in Sweden I can confirm that as someone learning Swedish it remains entirely appropriate to leave fika as fika in the preferred sentence rather than attempting to provide a convoluted translation to English.

September 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

So you have to live in Sween do understand it - then I feel it is wrong to use it in the English sentence at Duolingo. It can't be more difficult to say 'having a coffee', than say 'maternal grandfather'. :P

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Joelinguo

Yeah, it's a bit tricky as there doesn't seem to be one correct answer. Regarding what to use in plural- I've had my fair share of fika (fikor?) and I'm fairly sure that it's a word mostly used in singular. Unless you're a mästarfikare...!

I'll stick to my 'en fika' :-)

Considering that, I think these should be allowed too: Vilken god fika, vilken smaklig fika, vilket smakligt fika

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/123annn

the reason for this variety is that it is a quite recent loanword (though it is considered as typical swedish). It is from Romani and is just a turn of the word ka-fi (coffee)

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

It's not from Romani, but from some kind of slang that, as you say, changes the order of syllables. It's not clear whether it's Stockholm slang, knoparmoj (chimney sweeper's slang) or some other slang, like fikonspråket, but it's not Romani. (see e.g. http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fika)

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/123annn

ok, I got this from my linguistics teacher who investigates Scandoromani. Dunno who wrote the wiki-page.

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Well, backslang is what most sources say.

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

To me it is also "en fika" (as in "Ska vi ta en fika?").

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Anrui

I would also say "Ska vi ta en fika", but I would definitely not say "Vilken god fika!", then I'd prefer "Vilket gott fika". So I guess the gender changes to me.

January 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Can you really use 'fika' as a word in English?

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeFerguson93

Fika has no English counterpart, therefore fika can be used in an English sentence. Fika, as I understand it, is not simply 'having a coffee', it's more like an event. Someone correct me if I'm wrong

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

I agree, it's something of a social institution, though it can of course be done in many different ways. If we just have a cup of coffee, we can say things like ta en kaffe or ta en kopp kaffe instead.

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

It's just a snack, that is not a meal. You drink and eat a cookie, a sandwich if you are hungry, a cake if it is somebody's birthday. How can that be so culturally 'Swedish' that it cannot be translated?

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

So how would you like to translate it? I think that afternoon tea is misleading since to most people "fika" means coffee and since it does not even have to be in the afternoon.

I agree with you that "fika" should not be used in the translation of a Swedish novel, but this is a language course and I think it's different.

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

I know it is difficult, I was just so intrigued by the fact that it was used here, that I wanted to know if it really is used outside Sweden, as a new loanword. On the other hand, I don't really believe in creating a 'myth' about 'fika' as so very special for Swedes. - but of course it is hard to translate, since we have to know the context, often it is 'just a coffee'. other times not.

January 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

True. If someone moves to Sweden just because of the "fika" they are bound to be disappointed :).

January 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

I guess we're just honoring the tradition they write about here: http://www.thelocal.se/20120320/39784

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Lol, I love this. Thanks.

January 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Not an event, more lika 'afternoon tea' - but based on coffee. And of course, all of us who do not drink coffe, have tea. --- It's just a break, with a snack and something to drink. So, why would you say 'fika' in English? If we are to translate a Swedish text into English, would an English reader understand it? Or do they need to learn Swedish first? If they do, I think it is a poor translation.

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeFerguson93

I disagree. Some traditions don't have translations. For example 'morris dancing' doesn't have a swedish translation. Some things have no equivalent

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Exactly. Smorgasbord might be one of those things, and 'ombudsman', but not 'fika' - unless it already really already is a loanword spread over the world. Tha's what I wanted to know. It 'fika' a word know for its own 'social institution' outside Sweden. Doesn't people aoutside sweden snack betweeen meals?

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BrendanFur

I'm a native English speaker living in Sweden, and English is the common language among my coworkers (scientists at a university). Nobody ever calls fika anything but fika in English. It's the third word you learn after coming to Sweden, after "hej" and "tack". I think "fika" absolutely needs to be an accepted translation. However, I do see that it could be confusing to someone who doesn't know what fika is. I'm on my mobile now, so I can't see the lesson notes. Maybe there needs to be an explanation there, if there isn't already?

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nina932541

In dutch we also have an ombudsman!!!

December 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Penttini

Just because it doesn't have word in English doesn't make it unexplainable in it. It should as such be given something other than 'fika' as its English explanation.

August 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/historicbruno

It absolutely does have an English equivalent, although it varies depending where you are. In my part of the US, people frequently suggest "having a coffee" together, actually it does not matter whether you drink coffee, or anything at all. "coffee" is used as a generic placeholder for the shared activity. The purpose is to meet face to face and socialize over something less formal than a meal, which sounds like the dictionary definition of "fika". What gives it a distinctly Swedish meaning?

surströmming is something with no English equivalent, but fika seems like a standard part of many cultures.

June 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/anna727913

Hej! Native UK English speaker here putting in her 'two pennies worth' on 'The Fika Debate'.......I'm thinkng that in general nowadays just suggested to "Go for a coffee" could without doubt include some finger food....a piece of cake, a muffin, a sarnie (sandwich) ......but if it's before lunch you could call 'it' 'Elevenses' ......which could get confusing with it's similarity to the word for 'pupil' in Swedish ! ; o) .....and if it's in the afternoon 'it' could be called 'Afternoon Tea' (which would imply a beverage..usually tea or coffee and a snack).... But as I said earlier 'Let's all meet for a coffee' would defo suggest some nibbles....savory or sweet! I'm hungry now....Vi ses ; o)

May 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KiwiDressager

NZ native English speaker with very British (and influential) grandparents here. I agree that it sounds much like "morning/afternoon tea" or "tea/coffee break" or "go for a coffee". The latter certainly does not typically mean just coffee or even coffee at all! It would also sometimes be called "smoko" - though this usage is generally more commonly amongst trademen etc. (Obviously smoko does not need to include cigarettes and these days usually does not - it is more used for organised breaks in your shift where you have a drink/snack and socialise.) Regardless, this does not seem to be a concept that is unique to Sweden at all even if English does not have a specific uniform word for it.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/John_Swede

No one, absolutely no one would ever say "Nu ska jag ta mig ett fika" (now I will get me a coffee). It is clearly the N-gender for fika in this context. However, fika is used in other contexts too, like "Har du något fika?", T-gender, (do you have any fika?). Then it's more like, coffee and something else (a cake a sandwich, whatever).

It was great fun to give this a thought! :)

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

No, that's right. I would say: "Nu ska jag fika" - that is what 'everybody' would say. I thinkt that is the most common way of putting it, to use FIKA as a verb.

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/elsaworth

even with all this commentary I do not know what a "Fika" is. I gather it has something to do with coffee and something to do with having coffee with others. Is it an event? a gathering? a place to get coffee? a tradition? Please explain!

I have found this word confounding in duolingo because it is not explained, whether it is proper to use it in English or not. The dictionary just says "coffee" so I have no idea why you can't just say Kaffe

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Fika is not an event, since it is mostly an everyday snack. Not everyone drink coffee, children drink juice, others drink tea, and it also includes buns, cockies, cake, sandwiches. Since fika ends in -a it can be used as a verb (to have coffee; jag fikar, vi fikar), as well as it is a noun for a coffee-break/snack. I would not use it in English; but it seems that English speaking people in Sweden use it. Which is not so strange ...

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BrendanFur

As others have said, I think the best translation for fika as a noun might be "tea", in the sense of the light meal that happens in the afternoon in England. However, coffee is more popular in Sweden, so that is the norm, although tea is also common. A snack is also typical, although by no means universal. Additionally, fika often happens twice a day, once mid-morning and once mid-afternoon.

The difference between fika and "coffee break" is that fika has a status more like a (somewhat optional) meal. For instance, one can say, "Anders brought fika today", in the same way one might say "Anders brought lunch today." At my workplace, that wouldn't mean Anders brought coffee or tea, because we already have those things in the break room. It would mean he brought some danish or cake or something like that, to share with everyone else at fika time.

The other day we also had a "departmental fika". How would you translate that to English, for normal English speakers who don't know what fika is? A "departmental coffee break" sounds distinctly odd. I would probably say, "a departmental tea", because I've had those in America and I think the meaning would be more or less clear.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Well, there used to be an institutionalized coffee-break, mid-morning and mid-afternoon. But with the modern world moving faster and faster, it seems coffee machines becomes more and more common, people take their coffee at their work-desk. Of course at occasions like birthdays etc, someone will bring a cake or buns, having some kind of avdelnings-fika, where people working in the same department come together.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN

Hähä, fika means snot in Hungarian.

May 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rwhodges

I believe (native English speaker who lived and worked in Sweden for a couple of years at one point) that the best English translation of fika is coffee break. It has the same sort of properties: you're not necessarily having coffee but taking a break and probably having something to eat and/or drink. What it doesn't capture is the sense of social occasion that comes with fika - it's more social and a bit more of an event (even though it might happen twice a day!)

May 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearzerker

In Australia we call those kind of breaks "smoko(s)"

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KiwiDressager

I will second smoko on this one. Would be commonly used among blue collar workers and some professionals too.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Sounds as if it involves 'smoking', does it? If it does the Swedish word is rökpaus. Nowadays people aren't allowed to smoke in coffee break rooms, or restaurants ... etc

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearzerker

Kind of, you don't have to go for a cigarette if you don't smoke it's more of a work break

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BrendanFur

In the same way you can have fika without coffee, I guess. :)

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearzerker

Yeah, pretty much its just more common to

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Okay, but the question is, will there be some smokers around at a smoko, even if I don't smoke?

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Ah, well, that's definitely not a tasty fika :P

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KiwiDressager

But I disagree here. Smoko can be (and usually is) just a word for a coffee break where I come from (albeit not one I personally use.)

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearzerker

Yeah most likely if you're outside

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LauraEee

Now I'm interested to know which other languages have or have not a word for fika. In finnish it's called 'kahvittelu'.

February 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/aheawood

Never mind all that ;) what's wrong with 'vilket fin fika'?!

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Apart from what friswing explained, you can never say vilket fin, because both words would have to refer to the same word, so that it would have to be either vilket fint (for ett words) or vilken fin (for en words).

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

It feels wrong to use the adjective 'fin' with fika. It is 'tasty' = gott, since it has to do with 'taste'. fin has more to do with looks. (or sometimes situations)

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rakhelii

I don't understand how "good" necessarily means "tasty" here. Couldn't the sentence also refer to the EXPERIENCE of the fika, rather than the taste? Menaing "it was a good fika-experience" or "I enjoyed the fika," etc.?

September 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

No, not really. 'God/gott' (in Swedish) is about taste or smell in this context. The coffee might smell 'good', as well as there might be a tasty cake, etc. The experience would probably be more like 'trevlig' (nice experience).

September 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rakhelii

Okay, thanks!

September 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DonnaSchob

What about "smaklig"? It seems an even better translation than "god" but it was marked incorrect.

April 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaLudev

I am Not a native English nor Swedish speaker. But I think the word FIKA connotes 2 meaning in english. Fika as a (1)Verb, and as a (2) Noun.. Fika as a VERB, means to drink coffee or tea etc. While Fika as NOUN, basicaly translates as COFFEE. Hence the adjective "gott", since kaffe is an "ett" word.

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

Not quite - fika is a broader general concept in Swedish, which usually corresponds to e.g. having a coffee in English, but it doesn't mean coffee.

fika actually works as either gender, so vilken god fika and vilket gott fika are both fine. It's not because of the coffee, though. You need to look at the actual noun, not at any other noun it might mean.

January 13, 2019
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