"Vad är frågan?"

Translation:What is the question?

November 21, 2014



Att vara, eller inte vara. Den är frågan.

November 22, 2014


Lol, close. Att vara eller icke vara, det är frågan :)

November 25, 2014


I just want to point out that using icke in this way is extremely archaic. Modern Swedish is

Att vara eller inte vara, det är frågan.

November 26, 2014


As is Shakespeare :P

November 26, 2014


I can't believe we discussed this.

November 26, 2014


I know. Inte eller icke var inte ens frågan!

December 1, 2014


I haven't gotten to infinitives yet, but I'm curious. "Att" means "to" as in "to be," right? And I assume "vara" is the infinitive form, "to be." Why is the "att" necessary before the first "vara," but not before the second?


December 8, 2014


It isn't necessary in the first place either. For instance, there's an expression äta eller ätas, lit. eat or be eaten where we use two infinitives without att. Instead, the reason is literary. The classical Swedish translation of Shakespeare was made by Carl August Hagberg (all of his Shakespeare translations available for free here).
Shakespeare wrote in blank verse, which means five iambs (an iamb is like padam) plus often one unstressed syllable, like this (stressed syllables bold):
To be or not to be that is the question
In fact, Hagberg's translation doesn't really fit this scheme, because it contains six iambs:
Att vara eller inte vara det är frågan
But at least it's iambic. And this is the reason why it needs to have an att before the first vara: because otherwise it wouldn't fit in the verse scheme!

December 28, 2014


Thank you, that makes a lot of sense. I didn't think about it in terms of verse.

December 28, 2014


To be or not to be. That is the question.

<pre> - Shakespeare </pre>
February 22, 2016


What is the question?

November 21, 2017


That's the question I asked myself while translating this question too. Do you know what the answer was?

October 7, 2018



October 22, 2018


Vad ar kärlek, det är frågan.

January 1, 2017
Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.