"Jag är född på sommaren."
Translation:I was born in the summer.
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So would you say that född isn't an exact translation of born? In English we refer to the specific event; in Swedish do you refer to the status of being alive and out of the womb?
I wonder whether at some point English was the same. We use the (slightly dated) suffix -born in a similar way:
She is my firstborn would be more usual, whereas She was my firstborn might suggest that the person is dead, or at least that you're referring to yourself at some time in the past. For an example of the latter, your reasoning for making a decision: I gave her my car. She was, after all, my firstborn.
Not that I endorse preferential treatment of children based on order of birth! Also, you could use the present tense in this case, though it kind of reframes it as something you're justifying now, rather than a story you're telling about the past.
Does anything like the latter case exist in Swedish? If your date of birth was relative to something that happened in the past, for example.
Yes, in English they express this with the past time. In Swedish, we feel that the result of being born is still present as long as a person is alive, so we want the verb to be in the present for living people. For people who are dead we would use the past tense: Shakespeare var född på sommaren. 'Shakespeare was born in summer.'
Just a quick linguistic question about the sentence. I wrote 'I was born in summer' which was considered correct and makes sense in English, in fact I think native speakers are more likely to say 'in summer' as opposed to 'in the summer'. However, I know Swedish is very particular about the definite form. So I was just wondering why it might be different here.
It must be the definite form in Swedish here, and we made summer definite in the main translation to make it easier on learners, since it seems it wouldn't be totally incorrect to say it that way in English, although I agree with you that one would prefer to say just summer. You can never say just på sommar as a time expression in Swedish, it's just not definite enough for us.
You know, I never thought of it before, but English is very inconsistent with its definite articles here; at least, my dialect of English is. I was born in the Spring but my girlfriend was born in Winter. Some friends were born in the Summer. Or maybe that's the summertime? Most of my friends were born in the Fall, but a few were born in Autumn :D It's that last one that cracks me up; same season, but one word for it takes the definite and one doesn't.
In that case, it is more that the situation is being described. We often use the -s passive for processes. So the meaning is the same, it's just that it is more descriptive. (you expect to be told more about the birth itself when it is presented this way, whereas jag är född focuses on the result – you're here).
No. Just 'is' and 'are'. 'Var' is 'was' and 'som' is 'as'.
It's just the way the word 'född' works; if that person is still living, then they are still born. If you were to say 'var född' it would usually imply that that person is no longer alive.
Edit: I just noticed you've been at it for four months, so you probably understand it by now :P
Consider it irregular, or an idiom. Like in Russian when you say у меня есть instead of I have. . Just the way it is. Being born is described differently in different languages is all.
Edit, oops, I read your flag wrong. Scratch the reference to Russian! But in Swedish if you haven't died yet, you're still born in the present tense.