1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Du gamla, du fria"

"Du gamla, du fria"

Translation:You ancient, you free

November 27, 2014

55 Comments


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

The Swedish National Anthem (from the opening game on Friends arena):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHoBPpQ6ajM

where Zlatan scored four goals. Number four:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzvQCbdAIZQ


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

Det var FANTASTIK!


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

"I wanna go and give you a man hug" - That killed me ahah


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sotnosen93

For ett-words like "det", it's "fantastiskt".


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

Best anthem ever :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Batze43

Ever heard the National Anthem of Djibouti https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGpZWnViNY4


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ezupo1

" Du fria" sounds funny for Spanish speakers since fría means cold in Spanish, so at first sight I have read it as ...you old, you cold


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

In Portuguese as well. XD


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

Ja, Jag vill leva, jag vill dö I Noooooooooooorden


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/effi2002

För Sverige!


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

Jon Snow's theme.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DBlomgren2

I believe the anthem was written for the Scandinavian countries. That's why it references the North and not Sweden.


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

Not quite. When it was written Norway was part of Sweden (technically United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway) and that's why it refers to the North instead of Sweden.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Friedrichv6

I get what it is, but without context it was impossible to understand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DBlomgren2

Yes, that's true, but now you know the first words of the Swedish national anthem. :)


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

För Sverige i tiden!


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

Du fjällhöga nord <3


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

Du tysta, du glädjerika sköna.


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

jag hälsar, dig vänaste land uppå jord


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

Din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna :-)


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

Det vackra landet av majestätiska nord.


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

Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar, då ärat ditt namn flög över jorden


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

Jag vet att du är och du blir vad du var. ja, Jag vill leva, jag vill dö i norden!


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

A very beautiful version. And Sweden has a beautiful anthem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steph927304

Awesome vid.. and wow, an anthem without any word about going to war killing enemies or about how the local people are better than in any other place.. I'm positively impressed :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LearnLang302

This rendition is fantastic.


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

Why are the adjectives in plural? Is this some sort of honorary form of address?


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

No, it's just in definite form - not plural - since it addresses an entity, i.e. the nation of Sweden.


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

Does that mean that gamla and fria are nouns ('the ancient one', 'the free one') rather than adjectives? Could you say 'Han är fria' to mean 'He is the free [one]', as opposed to just 'Han är fri' 'He is free'? Or is this only the case if someone or something is being directly addressed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

I think they are just adjectives, but definite, like when you call a king 'Charles the Bald'!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2907

When you use an adjective as a noun you need the definite article: "Han är den fria". In this case also "...den frie", since it's a man we're talking about, though I think this rule is not observed everywhere.


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

Thank you; I realised this long ago. However, I still don't really understand why putting an adjective in its definite form should give it a vocative meaning, as in this song; it would be nice to see more examples of it, but I've never come across any.


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

I don't think the adjective form makes it vocative. It's just du that does that. The adjective could only be in the definitive form here, so there's no choice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2907

What about "gode Gud", or "kära"?


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

'Kära' does indeed seem to be an excellent example! Thank you; I knew the word but never really processed it grammatically.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2907

Ops, there was a typo in my previous answer, fixed now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nassreddin2203

It's rather definite, because 'Du' is used. So we know who is old and free and therefore the plural/definite form is used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ens5
  • 570

I guess I would have felt more comfortable with an English translation of You the ancient, you the free. It just seems that in English we pretty much always put the appropriate form of to be between a personal pronoun and an adjective (You are ancient.... ), or else convert to something more like a noun (the ancient). I can't really think of any situations other than inner-city slang (e.g. You bad!) where one might just juxtapose you and an adjective.


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

I can't really think of any situations [...] where one might just juxtapose you and an adjective.

'O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant'?


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

In addition, in du gamla, du fria, both of those are in the definite, which turns it into a name-like function.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ens5
  • 570

Well, I suppose faithful is an adjective, but it is also a noun, and it is that aspect of the word which I think is being used in the English translation of Adeste Fidelis, and then the joyful and triumphant are simply modifying that noun. As to devalanteriel's comment, I was not complaining about the Swedish usage of gamla or fria being put in direct apposition to du, acting as a noun when put in the definite form, it was that doing effectively the same thing in English by turning ancient (adjective) into the ancient (noun) wasn't accepted, and it seems to me that throwing the in front of the adjective does that for English where we can't show our purpose by changing the ending on the adjective to make it definite. Of course, ancient, as faithful, has a specifically noun form without throwing a the in front of it, but specifically referencing people of ancient times (except for a few obsolete specific uses), and is usually used in the plural, as in the ancients.

All that said, I probably spoke too quickly, being momentarily annoyed that my translation had not been accepted. The Swedish Duolingo is so good at considering natural alternatives, compared to say the Russian DL, that usually when something I try is marked wrong it is simply because I really made what I consider to be an error. Perhaps that is because Swedish and English are so similar, but I think in large part is because the moderators are so thorough and meticulous.


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

I don't know if this helps, but for "you the old, you the free" the Swedish would have been du den gamla, du den fria, or variations of it for other numbers and gender.


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

Well, I suppose faithful is an adjective, but it is also a noun, and it is that aspect of the word which I think is being used

Well, if 'faithful' is a noun in that case, it isn't preceded by an article, so it still serves as a example of the same construction as the English translation of this sentence —'ancient' and 'free' can equally be nouns without needing articles; in fact, any adjective at all becomes a noun if you treat it as one by the same rationale, so distinguishing between adjectives and nouns in these instances becomes something of a technicality.
I agree it's not a terribly common usage, but it is still good English, and bear in mind that it is being used here to translate a fragment of poetry, not an everyday utterance.


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

Did I miss a lesson? This sentence is completely out of context (of the lessons) and actually doesn't translate into english.

"You old, you free." What rule are we supposed to learn from this?


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

It's the first line of the Swedish national anthem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miyam19

This sounds really odd in English. Is it meant to mean that you are old and free? Or is something lost in translation.....?


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

It's the start of Sweden's national anthem, so it's about the North.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMorga430495

According to the last sentence of the exercise, gratis means free. I was counted wrong for using the word "fri". But in the very next sentence of the exercise, I am not allowed to use "gratis" to mean free, but (you guessed it) "fri."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

James, the English word "free" has different meanings:
1. unconfined = fri
2. with no monetary charge = gratis


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

and the third one: ledig = not busy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2907

No idea what sentences you are talking about, but "gratis" means "free" only in the meaning of "no cost". That is, as in "free beer", not as in "free thinking".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steph.Ro

Another reason I love the Swedish course. Thank you to all the contributors for giving us these cultural tidbits.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.