my dictionary says lagom is ¨sufficient¨or ënough¨, both of which seem different from what I mean when I say something is ¨just right¨ Can you clarify it for me? And by the way, would I say ¨var snälla och förklara¨? I mean is the good phrase, or is something else better, more polite, less stilted, or whatever.
Lagom is a bit hard to translate, but it means all of what you mention. It's just the right amout in regards to both sufficiency and politeness as well as preferred amount.
Yes, you could say "var snäll(a) och förklara". Include the A in snäll(a) if adressing more than one person.
Yes and no. My five eurocent are that Perfection is slightly another concept than lagom. If you're pouring me something to drink and I say that "det blir lagom" at a certain amount, there might be dimensions of politeness and moderation as well as generosity, for example. Perfection might be a narrower concept, while lagom is wider and involves more interpretation.
too me. "just right" and "about right" mean different things. "just right" means it's exactly right, while "about right" means it's more or less right. there's more room for fluctuation with "about right". If you say "that's just the right amount of coffee" it means that the amount of coffee is good, it isn't too much and it isn't too little. if you say "that's about the right amount of coffee" it means that it might be a little too much coffee or a little too little coffee, but it's close enough to the right amount that it's not really worth bothering to adjust for.
another example would be going to the deli. let's say you ask for 1 lb of turkey. If the deli worker measures out somewhere between say 0.95 lbs and 1.05 lbs, that's "about right". But if the deli worker measures out exactly 1 lb, that's "just right"
Ambitious does not mean striving to be better than someone else. An ambitious person might be doing that, but ambition refers to a desire to do better, regardless of what someone else is doing. It means someone is willing to work hard to accomplish something.
By itself, it is a compliment or a neutral statement about a person.
If it is used to describe something other than a person, the meaning can be a little different. For example, "That is a very ambitious project" means it is a BIG project, it will take a lot of work. "That plan is too ambitious" means the plan will be impossible to carry out because it is too big in scope, or too complicated, etc.
There are a few phrases that involve the word "ambitious" that are definitely negative and can be used as an insult:
"Blind ambition" = working hard but caring only about accomplishing your own plans while ignoring the needs or wishes of anyone else, possibly ruining other people's work in the process without realizing it, or ruining relationships because the only thing you are focused on is your own success at work or on some single project, not that you are deliberately mean to others but they suffer because you are focused elsewhere, it's about being stupid or short-sighted or oblivious to the negative consequences of your choice to focus on your work/project/moneymaking/etc.
"Selfish ambition" = pretty much the same as "blind ambition" but more emphasis on the selfishness of the person, implying that they deliberately choose their own interests over the known interests or wishes of others, out of selfishness, a definite insult to a person's character. Someone with "selfish ambition" might say, "I'm going to do everything I can to succeed at this, even though I see how it will hurt several other people, because my plans are more important to me than other people's success or failure or feelings."
"Ambition" by itself is not assumed to be negative. It is either a benign fact (someone spends a lot of time and energy on trying to succeed at a big project), or it is a definite compliment (someone works hard at accomplishing important things, which benefits society or their family, or which improves their skills or their character, or allows them to realize a dream, or lifts them out of poverty).
At least in the U.S., "ambitious" doesn't mean anything to do with social status. If nothing is specified, it is assumed to be about earning a living, taking on a project, or improving one's skills. (We have other words and phrases that are specifically about trying to gain social status or trying to be better than someone else.)
Of course, a good old-fashioned Germanic dative plural! Wiktionary gives the etymology from "lag" meaning law — so it originally meant something like "in accordance with the laws", and by extension, acceptable, sufficient etc. That totally makes sense! https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lagom#Etymology
So, colloquially "get" can mean "become" — in fact that's pretty mainstream, in sentences like "It's getting hot" — so it's possible to imagine a scenario that would justify saying "It's getting just right", referring perhaps to the temperature of an oven or something like that. It's harder to think of reason to say "It gets just right" since taht would have to refer to something that happens, or is happening, repeatedly or continuously. Maybe as part of a description of a process? Like... "I turn on the cooker, then I wait a few minutes and it gets just right...". The aspect of the verb is very subtle, I think, but perhaps in this case you might translate it as "Det blir lagom"!
As I am not a native english speaker, I am not quite sure of its meaning, although I am almost sure to have heard / read it somewhere already. As I understand it it could mean something like “It is turning out to be just right”. For instance, let’s consider a situation is evolving, and at the very moment I say it: it [the situation] gets just right.
I hope I made myself clear…
I feel like "lagom" is a word that we should have the option of not translating. Much like "fika" it has a uniquely Swedish meaning that is difficult to cleanly translate. Whilst I appreciate that you need to introduce the English meaning in a course that teaches Swedish, this is a word that I now use even whilst speaking English as it is so unique and interesting that I find it has value outside of svenska. Could "that is lagom" or something similar be included as a possible answer?
Well, we might not understand "lagom" as it is applied to the cultural identity of Swedes (though it has been explained pretty well here), but it definitely can be translated and understood by English speakers and foreigners who have not moved to Sweden when it is used to communicate that there is enough coffee in one's cup.