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  5. "Västkusten är Sveriges frams…

"Västkusten är Sveriges framsida."

Translation:The west coast is the front side of Sweden.

November 27, 2014



What does this sentence actually mean?


Stockholm (the capital) is on the east coast, and Gothenburg (the second-largest city) is on the west coast, therefore Gothenburgers sometimes say that ”yeah you might be capital, but we’re the front side of Sweden”.


Okay...? So the west coast is 'front'?


Well, it's facing Britain (across the North sea) while Stockholm and the East coast is facing Russia, so I guess there's this sense of cultural preference too. Military speaking, Russia is the old arch-enemy of Sweden.


And Britain's a friend...? * pulls hopeful face*


Gothenburg is even called Little London. :) Most Swedes definitely have friendly feelings towards Britain.


Industrial heritage left especially by Scots.


Militarily speaking, that may be true today... https://taskandpurpose.com/mandatory-fun/fake-swedish-officer-nato-hq Supposedly, the fake officer didn't share (w/ Russia or anyone else) any intel he gathered while in Afghanistan working "on an intelligence system operation used by more than 48 nations to share "surveillance and reconnaissance information.""


If the enemy is in the east, shouldn't east be where the front is?


No, his point is that it's the front side, not the front. If it had been the front, it would have been in the east.


I guess since you read from left to right, the left side is considered the ”front” and the east the ”back”, jokingly by people from Gothenburg of course.


Perhaps the trade routes (shipping) were also more extensive on the west coast; so that's what they would consider the front.


In English, the front side of a building is the side you would normally see first, the most important part of a building, the side where the front door is located and the most frequently used door into the house. In our old towns, the importance of the front side was evident in the construction of a special facade, an appearance much more attractive than the other sides of a building.

For a country, the location of the most traffic would be the "front side," so to speak, and the busiest port might be considered "the front door."

Most English speakers would understand "framsida" best by thinking about the front page of a newspaper. News that might not seem significant but is important to someone and then found on the front page would prompt a squeal of delight and a desire to celebrate. It is my understanding that, in Sweden, the front page of a newspaper or the front cover of a book is considered the front side of the item, so it might be a good idea to learn "framsida" in the context of a newspaper.


Also because historically, Western Europe is where things happen.


Well, in Sweden, most things went down in the East. Our country is not very wide to begin with.


Keep in mind things did happen in the East coast, just not as much as things happened in the west coast in the last ~500 years :^)


"You are not the front side. Stockholm is the best" my angry swedish friend


And if Stockholm is on Sweden's backside..... ?

An English comedian once described Birmingham as the ######## of England.


The English translation is so weird it's almost incomprehensible. A better translation could be "The west coast is Sweden's opening to the world." Even closer idiomatically is "The west coast is Sweden's front yard [the Baltic coast being the backyard]."


Extremely odd sentence.


But referential to Swedish culture. Gothenburgers often like to refer to their city as the front side of Sweden, since it faces the west onto which Sweden is turned economically, politically and culturally. Also, it's a bypoint that that would make Stockholm the rear end... Which we Stockholmers of course violently refuse. But we're got insults for them too, mostly fish-based, so I guess it evens out. :D


I need a level with the fish-based insults now


Front side is not an expression a native English speaker would use.


i think we would say oceanside and bayside (oceanside being the area where the port activity is greatest.


Yeah, this just doesn't translate, my wife is from Karlstad (central Sweden) and she doesn't recognise the phrase at all


Yes, but the sun rises in the east, so... ;)


Västkusten är den bästkusten (enligt folk som är från västkusten). Jag bodde både på östkusten och västkusten, och jag kan inte förneka vad de säger!


Jag förnekar det gärna! :p


The Stockholm area has some significant ancient history, especially the Gamla Upsala and Sigtuna sites. An argument could be made that the east coast, with its superior length and its history as a Viking center involving much "front door" connections with the Rus roots in what is now northern Russia, especially Old Novgorod, is really the front-side of Sweden. Of course, the Danes have ancient roots in the west coast of Sweden and would like to claim their history as primary. Perhaps Sweden's "front door" has shifted back and forth through history, and so both have a claim to this distinction.

This regional competition for fame is interesting, and I am so glad that duolingo is introducing us to Swedish culture via this vocabulary -- framsida! Because of the various uses of this word in the duolingo exercises, I will always remember the connotations.


Yes, pekarekr, I agree: I love that there are lessons, so to speak, in Swedish culture here in the Discussions. I wish there was even more...


Based on what? :P


Being a Stockholmer! :D


Hah! You should see more of the West Coast to be a fair Stockholmer... :P


gotherburg is called little london? : D 1st time hear about it but that was my impression when i was there, especially the style of clothes i saw when walking randomly.


Gothenburg is the only non-British city I've come across that seems to have 'British pubs' rather than 'Irish pubs'. There's a pub in the central station actually called Little London, and I had a very passable fish and chips in another one. As a Londoner myself, it certainly makes for a strange experience when visiting there...


This sentence really should be changed. It doesn't make sense in English. "front side" is not a phrase we have.


Please read the previous comments in this thread.


Yes, I get what it means in Swedish - I am saying the English sentence should be changed. Translating it into English literally doesn't make sense is my point. Saying that "all Swedes have heard this" doesn't change the fact that the English translation is unnatural. Like MrPitcher has said above, perhaps using something like "main coast" makes more sense. For example, "so-so" in Mandarin is literally "horse horse tiger tiger" (馬馬虎虎), but I don't insist on saying "No, every Mandarin speaker will know that if I say horse horse tiger tiger in English they know what what I mean."


I get that, I just don't feel we have a very good alternative yet. main coast doesn't catch the meaning, I'm afraid. PS what do you call the 'front side' of a house?


Just "the front".


At least that's an accepted answer.


So, I love sentences like this: they really just don't translate smoothly to English. Why? Swedes are culturally distinct from English speakers. They are bound to think and feel in different ways that may not correlate to English. This is where things get interesting for me! I love learning about how people experience the world in ways I haven't yet.


Main coast - should be able to work here... but front side ? maybe time to change the sentence.


This is a very idiomatic sentence that all Swedes have heard.


The west coast of Sweden is the front side, is also a correct translation.


hi everyone, I learned interesting things about Stockholm and Gothenburg so thanks for that. furthermore I'd like to know about the literal meaning of front side in English not Svenska. does it mean something like "gratification" or "making to proud"?


No, just the front side. Literal but metaphorical.


Hmm, so if Stockholm is the behind of Sweden and Turku is the rear end of Finland, then that means that the two countries are practically pointing their butts at each other. :D


Is Turku considered rear end in Finland?


Yes, and 'rear end' is a politer term than what most people would use, by at least a few orders of magnitude. :_D


I think the phrase/term itself got popularized by an online video, but I haven't seen it, so I can't say for sure. Making fun of different parts of Finland through stereotypes and the like is an age-old joke though, and those exist for practically everybody, not just Turku.


Sweden has one more place which is known as its rear end, that is the small town or community Trosa which is in south of Stockholm. This is because the word trosa in Swedish also means '(ladies') underpants'.


Why not "West Coast is the Sweden's front side"?.

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