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"The members of the Swedish parliament"

Translation:Riksdagens ledamöter

November 27, 2014

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vince.Ribeiro

This was supposed to be a translation – not some sort of quiz. If we were to translate the phrase as it is, then the translation should be "Medlemmarna i det svenska parlamentet" och inte "Riksdagens ledamöter". But if you wish to have "Riksdagens ledamöter" as an answer, then you should just write "Parliamentarians of the Riksdag". Riksdagen is ≠ Parliament.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Ledamot/ledamöter is however the word you have to use in this context, medlem meaning a member of an association or the like. Why wouldn't you think Riksdag and parliament means the same? They're both the elected bodies of representatives of the people, responsible for the governing of the country. It's just what it's name is in Sweden and Finland.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vince.Ribeiro

Because "Parliament" is a common noun for an elected body of representatives, and "Riksdag" is a particular noun (just like "the House of Representatives" in the US, or the "Bundestag" in Germany). Parliament in Swedish = Parlament. I saw, nonetheless, that you guys have also created another sentence with "Riksdag" (i.e. Riksdag members). That seemed better to me. In my opinion, some things are simply not translatable. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

And in Swedish, Riksdag is the word we use to mean our parliament.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vince.Ribeiro

Det förstår jag. Fast vi har också ett ord för det engelska ordet "parliament", och det är "parlament". ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Absolutely. But the question was quite specific about the members of the Swedish parliament. I think a learner should definitely learn that our parliament is called Riksdagen and never Parlamentet, and that a member of parliament is called a ledamot and not a medlem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/podgorsk

What about Ledamöterna av Riksdagen ? Why it is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GodlessGoat

I would like to know that, too. Does anybody have an answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It's one of those times where Swedish doesn't use the "of" construction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GodlessGoat

So generally the "of" construction exists in Swedish and it's just not idiomatic in this case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

The "of" construction is really lots of different constructions that all happen to share one word. It doesn't exist for possessives in Swedish, but it does exist for some other cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GodlessGoat

So it's not used for possessives at all, that is good to know :) Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erikvanrosmalen

I did 'Riksdagsledamöter' and it was incorrect. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GodlessGoat

The English version is in the definite form. When you say 'Riksdagens ledamöter' the definite form is implied by the genitive, but for your version I believe you would have to say 'Riksdagsledamöterna' to get that definite meaning, otherwise it's just 'members of the Swedish parliament'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Q_C

The problem with this is that "Riksdagens ledamöter" doesn't translate to the definite used in English. Since "Riksdagens ledamöter" is "The Riksdags Members", and not "The Members of the Riksdag", a completely different noun ends up as the definite.

So if "Riksdagens ledamöter" is accepted then I have to question why not "Riksdagsledamöter"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Since "Riksdagens ledamöter" is "The Riksdags Members", and not "The Members of the Riksdag", a completely different noun ends up as the definite.

I'm honestly not really sure what you're saying. Why wouldn't Riksdagens ledamöter translate to "The members of the Riksdag"? Translating the Swedish construction "the x's y" into the English construction "the y of the x" is very common, since Swedish lacks the latter option.

So if "Riksdagens ledamöter" is accepted then I have to question why not "Riksdagsledamöter"?

  • Riksdagsledamöter = Parliament members
  • Riksdagsledamöterna = The parliament members
  • Riksdagens ledamöter = (literal translation) The parliament's members = (indirect translation) The members of parliament = (idiomatic translation) The parliament members

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/podgorsk

I think I understand Q_S. He is possibly asking how in Swedish one can distinguish between the following four: 1. (some) members of the parliament; 2. the members of the parliament; 3. the members of a parliament; 4. (some) members of a parliament.

I am curious as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Riksdag isn't a general term in Swedish - it refers exclusively to the parliament of either Sweden, Finland, or Estonia. In practice, if you hear riksdagen or a variant of it in Swedish, you can be certain that the Swedish parliament is meant unless there's specific context saying otherwise. I'll assume we're not talking about Finland or Estonia below.

Hence, a riksdagsledamot is always a member of the Swedish parliament, and riksdagsledamöter are always (some) members of the Swedish parliament.

The same goes for the definite: riksdagsledamoten is a specific member of the Swedish parliament, and riksdagsledamöterna are (some) specific members of the Swedish parliament.

If you're talking about another parliament, you can use e.g. parlamentsledamoten. The same variations apply. It's common to be specific, though, as in e.g. ledamöterna av det egyptiska parlamentet or de egyptiska parlamentsledamöterna.

Does that help? I'm not entirely sure I actually answered your question, but I'd be happy to post follow-ups if I got it wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KurtThornb

The solution doesn't match the prompt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/podgorsk

I start a new thread since I can not add to the thread started by erikvanrosmalen. I would like to thank devalanteriel for the detailed explanation. It helped but there is one case that I still not sure (it applies to other contexts not only 'parliaments'). Can one say 'Parliamentensledamöten' to say 'the member of the parliament' vs. 'Parliamentsledamöten' to say 'the member of a parliament' if we are not specific about a parliament. I know that in context of parliaments it would be rare to distinguish between the two but there are other situations that such a distinction could be important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Ah, great question. I would use parlamentsledamoten for both of those. But if you want to make the definite extra clear, it's also idiomatic to use constructions that separate the two constituents of the compound, like ledamoten av parlamentet or parlamentets ledamot.

(Just note the spelling: parlament has no i in Swedish, and it's ledamot with an o in the singular but ledamöter with an umlauted ö in the plural.)

Also, I saw that I wrote above that ledamoten av riksdagen is unidiomatic. It is, but for parliaments in general it actually works even though it's not idiomatic and other constructions are recommended. That's because it can be interpreted not only as a possessive, but also as a part of a whole, in which case av can be used in Swedish.

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