The moose is considered the national animal of Sweden. We have lots of them (300,000-400,000 in the summer) and when I just googled this, I found an article that said that Sweden and Norway have the highest "moose density" in the world (twice as many moose per hectare of forest even than in Finland, which comes second, and in turn has twice the density that Canada has).
Moose are very noticeable animals, they're a serious danger when driving in the countryside, and hunting them is a big deal in some circles.
why is it that EVERY COMMENT about älg seems to be about the distinction between moose and elk, and nobody cares that the pronunciation sounds more like äli and no g to speak of? what's the deal with that? is there something regular about it? can someone clue me in? the distinction between moose and elk is irrelevant to an Australian lol...... we don't have either.
Alces alces or "älg" in Swedish are elk in Europe for the same reason they are "moose" in the USA: because that's the English version of what the locals called them. "Elk" is an anglicization of "älg" and "moose" is an anglicization of the north american native (esp. Algonquin) word. In America both USA moose and USA elk were once (18thC) frequently called moose by Americans (grey moose as opposed to black moose)! Eventually it became the accepted convention to borrow the brit word "elk" to describe the wapiti (Cervus canadensis.). Wapiti is the native american name for this creature and is also acceptable as its English-language name.
So when an English-speaking person in Europe once pointed to an Alces alces and said "what is that?", he recived an answer from Germanic locals that sounded like "elk". So he called it an elk. When an English-speaking person in north american pointed at Alces alces and said "what is that?", he recived an answer from the locals (speaking some flavor Algonquin) that sounded like "moose". Without many picture books, naturalists or the Internet to point out this conflict of names, the 2 names for 1 creature have caused confusion ever since.
I understand moose and elk to be separate and distinct animals. The definition choices for "alg" list boht moose and elk.
Would someone be so kind as to clarify if this word is specific to one animal or if it truly means either moose or elk such as "just a large member of the deer family".
Moose in American English and elk in British English. And to make it even more complicated, there is another animal called elk in America
Surely it wasn't an elk. Moose have bigger snouts, and bigger ears, and maybe bigger eyes...and teeth! Oh my, those teeth!! Are you sure it wasn't en varg? Was your sister wearing a red, hooded cape when the "moose" bit her?
Seriously, moose and elk are different. I'm looking forward to learning the Swedish words that distinguish the pair.