Here's something to check out to answer your question: http://blogs.transparent.com/swedish/to-speak-in-swedish-tala-prata-snack/
I read that talar is more formal and pratar is casual (among friends). Talar would probably be used in business. Just a guess, though.
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I thought it would be incorrect in this case, as kvinnan is THE woman, not "woman"?
I think the 'the' is implied for the woman. I could be being pedantic though. :)
Yes, I think you're right. In English you can probably say both "the man and the woman talk" and "the man and woman talk", where the first "the" would sort of cover them both, but in Swedish, since the article is included in the word, it would of course be impossible to say "mannen och kvinna pratar".
Is pratar pronounced like "pråtar" kinda? The first a has an o sound too it.
Well, here's the deal. The Swedish long a-sound might perhaps sound similar to an long O-/Å-sound to non-natives. But to us natives there is a very clear distinction between them, and thus you're unlikely to get a Swede to say that it's anything like "pråtar" in speech.
Oh... So this is like close (nearby) and close (shut) in English? There's a tiny tiny difference that non-natives usually don't pick up?
But since there are so many accent in Sweden I can pronounce it slightly wrong and they'll just assume I'm from some random town in the middle of nowhere that can't speak proper Swedish? :D
That sounds crucial. What vowels are those in the IPA? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Swedish I can see the å one...
/ɑː/ and /o:/, I suppose. I'm not very proficient with the IPA though. But this thing of hearing the long A as Å is a problem that numerous learners have had here.
My ears must be so broken. I could swear that the TTS here and at Google Translate, as well as the forvo example — all sound much closer to the mouth, with a touch of umlaut even. :| Not the same as å, no, but something around 'cr_aw_l'.
Can this mean the man and the woman are either talking to each other or with other people?
Both, i think. It's not specified, although imo the implication is that they are speaking to each other.
If you want to specify "Mannen och kvinnan pratar med varandra" = to each other, but "Mannen och kvinnan pratar med andra människor"= with other ppl.
When are we going to learn about the Swedish pitch accent? I think the pitch accent and the pronunciation of letter combinations like sk and sj should have been covered at the beginning.
"Prater" is still a valid English word, meaning "To talk idly and at length; chatter".
I think you're thinking of 'prattle', but the similarity of the two makes 'prater' easier to remember.
I wonder if they're from the same root, and -le is sort of a diminutivizing suffix (think 'giggle,' 'snuggle,' 'cuddle'--not exactly words that convey seriousness), so it's "petty talking" about nothing of import.
I think there's a difference between talk and speak on the one hand and converse on the other hand. pratar means the former. converse has two better translations into Swedish, samtalar and konverserar.
The process of two+ people 'converting' ideas to human-readable representation is known as 'conversing' ;v
I always have difficulties with the difference in pronunciation of 'mannen' vs 'männen'. Am I right in thinking ä=e?
Also, why does this course not include pronunciation exercises (using the microphone) like the French and German ones do? I think this would make me much more confident and help my memory.
This course does have speaking exercises.... but.... only in the Chrome browser.
THANK YOU! I've been trying to figure out why my father has speaking exercises and I don't for the last 3 months. You get a lingot for being my new favorite swede!
I wonder why this sentence can't be translated as "The man and the woman converse." Converse seemed a perfectly reasonable English synonym.