Translation:There are several siblings in my family.
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.
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.
I don't understand how vi är is there are? Can someone explain this to me please?
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 :)!
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?
"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.
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 .
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"...
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.
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.
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" :)
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
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)
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 :)
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?'.
I think it's English that is odd in this case – for some reason We are several siblings in my family sounds wrong.
Is 'det är' the swedish version of 'es gibt' in german and 'er is' in dutch and 'hay' in spanish?
What do you find incorrect? I honestly don't see how you would require "deep philosophy" to have a family with several children.
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)
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).
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?
Why does the word 'flera' only translate as 'several' and not 'many' (which is much more commonly used in English, for example)?
But "several" doesn't mean "many"? Several is closer to "a few" and many is closer to "a lot".
So why would you say "vi är ..." rather than "vi har flera syskon"?
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.
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
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.
tusen tack! Makes sense now, it's the exact same sentence structure as my first languge
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".
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!
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
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.
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...
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?
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?
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.
I typed "We are several siblings in my family." is it correct too? It marked it correct.