So I'm guessing it is just context to tell you if barn is singular or plural
If barn can mean both child and children, can barnet mean both the child and the children?
No, the definite plural form is barnen: The children. The plural depends on the word being ett or en and the ending of the noun. You should look up the rules
No, that is not how it works. "the child" is barnet and "the children" is barnen, since this is a general pattern of ett-words.
Does Swedish makes a strict difference between the two, or is it like English where the people who act as if there is a real, concrete and objective difference are pretentious eggheads trying to feel special but no one else actually cares?
Most dictionary definitions of several is something like "more than a few, but less than many". Swedish uses the same definition. The difference can be tremendous in e.g. business settings, so maybe try to be less rude next time?
It can mean both. Ett barn is both the indefinite singular form and the numeral form. When you count something, number one depends on the family of the word. So for example: ett barn, två barn, tre barn compared to en anka, två ankor, tre ankor etc.
Ett barn, barnet, barn, barnen.I think. Ett barn is a child and you are talking about he/she for first time. Barnet when we know that it's the child and the second time we talk about he/she. Barn is used then when we are talking about many children for first time. Barnen is used then when we know that is "the children" and if we talk about them at second time.
Sorry my english is not very good to explain things. :)
You complain this is confusing? At least here you don't confuse children with a bear every two sentences (ahh Danish... :D).
Shouldn't it also be correct to translate this as: "a child, several children"?
If 'Flera' is several, what would we use for many children?
I use several and many interchangeably in English, although it's just cause I'm lazy and i'm probably wrong to do so. Is there a more distinct difference in Swedish between 'flera' and whatever word I should use for many?
Många is many. And I do not think that you can use several and many interchangeably in English.
You could in this sentence. "One child, many children" would be interchangeable with "One child, several children". In other places it wouldn't imply the same thing.
Does Swedish demand a qualifier like flera, or could you just say Ett barn, barn? (A child, children.)
Depends on the context, I suppose. You're being asked to translate word for word here, though, so I would assume it is not an accepted translation.
We can't see what you entered, but if you put the exact same as the correct answer, there was a bug.
Only "several", when choosing between those two. If can mean "multiple" as well.
So when several is in front of the words you don not have to write the plural form for words?
I think this is a special case with the word for children - it is not always the case, for example with 'en bok, flera boker'.
Please correct me if I am wrong, I haven't been learning long.
I'm in the same boat, not sure, your view does sound right though. It makes sense, since no other thought process I can figure out I will stick to your explanation! THank you!!!!!