"Vi är flera syskon i familjen."

Translation:There are several siblings in my family.

November 21, 2014

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/warhymn

Why does this sentence work as a possessive? I see no word indicating "our".

December 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

We generally like to use definite forms when speaking about things that are most likely our own. I've written something about this here (about 'my pocket' vs 'the pocket') and Lundgren8 has written a long post about how to speak about body parts in Swedish which is here.

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeDeacon

I think it's a more natural equivalent in English, rather than a direct translation. That said, "we are several siblings" isn't a phrase I think I've ever heard. "I have several siblings" perhaps... and the family is implied by the fact they're siblings. But I digress.

December 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Joel__W

From my own experience, it is actually becoming more common in Swedish to refer to your own family members and partner in the definite form, especially among male speakers, and not use a possessive pronoun. I'd bet there are a lot more guys other there who refer to their girlfriend as "tjejen", than there are girls who call their boyfriend "killen". The definite is also more common when using colloquial terms, e.g. "syrran, tjejen, farsan" vs. "systern, flickvännen, fadern" (c.f. "min syster, min flickvän/tjej, min far"). I believe "familjen" enjoys a much wider usage though, when the fact that it is my family is implied by the context.

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

I don't understand how vi är is there are? Can someone explain this to me please?

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

I have an idea about what could be confusing!

The Swedish sentence says: Vi är flera syskon i familjen". Since we don't use the possessive pronoun before family (it would have been min familj), we have to say "vi är" or else it could be any family. (compare to : "Det är flera syskon i familjen" which could be any family).

Now to the default English translation: Here, the possessive pronoun "my" is used with family, so we already know which family we are talking about. Then, it is okey to use the neutral "There are" in the beginning.

So there are just two different ways to specify that it's my family:

Vi är... blablabla... i familjen
There are... blahblahblah... in my family

Come on now! Swedish is fun. And easy :)!

February 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SrMarien

That is a nice explanation indeed!

February 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jangboo

This is a great explanation! Take my lingot ;)

June 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

I am coming back to Swedish now that I have more time & now I find it easier :3 But I just read your explanation again... Could you also say "Det finns blablablabla i familjen"? Because in English it sounds unnatural to say "We are several siblings in the family" -- that is different from "There are several siblings in our family" o_O

Is this just a Swedish thing to say?

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

"Det finns många syskon i familjen" is a perfectly normal sentence, but it sounds as if you are talking about another family (there is no "vi" and there is no "vår").

If you really want to say "Det finns många syskon i min/vår familj", people will of course understand what you mean :). It just sounds a bit unnatural in Swedish.

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Andra946801

Not that easy

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/p4radx

Easy? I'm not so sure :P

May 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SrMarien

It doesn't literally translate to it, but it is the best english translation though. Literally it means "We are several siblings in (the) family". Think of it as "We are WITH several siblings in the family". There is not a real explanation for it, it is just a swedish thing .

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

So "Vi är skedan i köket" = "There are spoons in the kitchen"...? I can't even understand how it would be the slightest bit of sense in meaning "There are"...

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Anrui

No, "There are spoons in the kitchen" would be "Det finns skedar i köket".

The reason why the sentence above looks the way it does is because it is not possible to make a direct translation between Swedish in English.

A direct transltaion would be "We (Vi) are (är) several (flera) siblings (syskon) in (i) the family (familjen)".

So "vi är" only means "We are", nothing else.

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

That is what I answered and it was right... But does that not actually mean that we are several siblings of a certain family?

Can "vi är" mean "there are"? Sorry, I'm still quite confused.

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Anrui

We accept "we are several siblings in the family", but since it really sounds bad in English, we cannot put that as the best translation.

"Vi är" can never mean "there are" :)

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Oh okay, thanks I understand that. I understand the "We are several siblings of a family" part, but there was a second correct translation suggestion that said "THERE ARE several siblings of a family" which confused me a lot because vi är wouldn't make sense to be "there are"...

Thanks, I kinda understand it now

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Anrui

Hmm... I cannot find that sentence among the accepted translations, so you must remember it wrong. However, we do accept quite a few translations here since there is no one perfect translation. (To be specific there are 74 accepted English answers here)

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SrMarien

De enige reden waarom there are goed gerekend wordt is omdat dat een equivalente engelse zin oplevert. "We are several siblings..." zou gewoon geen correcte engelse zin zijn snap je? Het is puur een eigenaardigheidje van het zweeds dat niet letterlijk naar het engels te vertalen is :)

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/curiousminds

I believe we do in fact sometimes use a similar construction in English, using 'we are many' to mean "there are many of us". For example a waitress might ask "how many are you?" when seating a large group, meaning 'how many of you are there?'.

December 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/bonoetmalo

Is "vi är" always the plural of "det är"?

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

I think it's English that is odd in this case – for some reason We are several siblings in my family sounds wrong.

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SrMarien

Is 'det är' the swedish version of 'es gibt' in german and 'er is' in dutch and 'hay' in spanish?

January 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

No, that would be det finns.

January 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MarlenaMarlenaMM

I just have a great feeling that this sentence is translated incorrectly. Those should be simple examples that don't need deep philosophy to justify them

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

What do you find incorrect? I honestly don't see how you would require "deep philosophy" to have a family with several children.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Balder94

I understand the logic behind saying it like this, altough it is confusing when you compare it to english. I am wondering, if these sentences would also be correct: "Det är flera syskon i min familjen" "Jag har flera syskon i (min) familjen" ( Now that I type it I suppose this way you're not mentioning clearly that they are Your siblings)

March 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

They're both wrong. You can say Jag har flera syskon ('I have several siblings') and Det är flera syskon i familjen (but then it will sound like you're talking about someone else's family, not your own).

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zoomer88

Even though Balder94 suggests adding "min"? I.e. does it still sounds unnatural to Swede's ears and in that exact case we should really stick to "vi är"? Also, are there any similar cases where we should use "vi är"? For example "there are several of us in the garden". Should it also be "vi är" here?

September 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel798919

Why does the word 'flera' only translate as 'several' and not 'many' (which is much more commonly used in English, for example)?

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sustained

But "several" doesn't mean "many"? Several is closer to "a few" and many is closer to "a lot".

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/david967443

So why would you say "vi är ..." rather than "vi har flera syskon"?

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Scroll up ^

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/david967443

Thanks! - thought I had but I missed it.

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Yamese4

wouldn't you say "Det finns flera syskon i familjen." ?

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

That sounds to me as if you were talking about another family. With "We are..." it is clear that I am one of the siblings.

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Super8Mario

that's because "familjen" doesn't have a possessive pronoun here, right? so is "Det finns flera syskon i min familij" right here? or we should always use vi är

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

It is correct, but it still sounds a bit odd, I think. Since it's my family, I am either one of the children or one of the parents. If I am one of the children, it makes sense to say "we are.. " and if I am one of the parents, I would probably talk about "my children" instead of the siblings in my family.

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Super8Mario

tusen tack! Makes sense now, it's the exact same sentence structure as my first languge

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/stephenbal4

Every time I get to this question, I struggle to come up with the English version that's considered the answer. Not sure I've ever gotten it right. This time, I tried "We have several siblings".

August 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Goose_Gosselin

This one confused me, so did the explanations. I guess it just chalks up to being a Swedish thing. C'est la vie. Really a great language lesson though, thanks to all involved!

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Austin211825

We tend to use definite forms in England too when talking about our own immediate family. "The family." I'm don't know about other English speakers in the world though

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Austin211825

In England we sometimes even use definite forms for immediate family members. The mother = My mother in some cases when it's obvious it's one's own mother being discussed.

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FaroukHaj

We are several siblings in the family

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SchonBaume

What word means "my" here??

May 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SunnySundquist

There is no direct translation to ''my'' as Swedes do not use a possesive pronoun before family, as I just learned also. ''Vi är'' denotes that you are talking about ''my family''. I'm guessing it is a respectful thing, as to say ''my family'' is to say that you somehow own the family instead of being a part of it. I like that idea, but not sure if I am correct...

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SunnySundquist

I have probably always said this wrong then, ''Min familj bor på Höga Kusten.'' How would I say that correctly?

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SunnySundquist

My(but not me) family lives on/at/in the High Coast. Tusen tack!

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NormanAllanson

My father's generation might say "we are four boys in the family". It would only be said by one of those boys, so it was different from "there are". For example Mother would not say it. So, who can say this Swedish sentence? Anyone in the family or just one of the siblings?

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

Just one of the siblings, I'd say.

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nightskymama

I am still a bit lost. Could someone explain it again but different so I can grasp why Vi isn't the word We in this case?

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

We do allow the literal translation "We are several siblings in the family" as well, it's just that this is a far less idiomatic way of saying the sentiment in English, so we use another way as the default translation.

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ColorOMagic

I typed "We are several siblings in my family." is it correct too? It marked it correct.

January 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

Yes, that is correct.

January 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SaharKamal11

The meaning is :we are... Why you translate there are????

May 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

The literal meaning isn't very idiomatic in English, so we default to a better fit.

May 25, 2019
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