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swedish lesson

i have to translate from english to swedish. we english speakers don not say the lunch is a soup!! it does not make sense. also, i am married to a swede and he is listening along with me. i understand that the voice is probably not human, but the word gaffel was pronounced ''gaf-eel'' and he began to laugh at how incorrect the voice is.

December 1, 2014



"The lunch is a soup" absolutely makes sense. Imagine a restaurant that has a fixed lunch menu which rotates daily, or something. You ask the waiter, "What are you serving today?", and the waiter might reply, "Today the lunch is a soup, followed by grilled fish; and tonight the dinner with be a beef roast."

I admit, there are perhaps more natural ways to say this, and the contexts are somewhat limited, but it does make sense. I would defend the lack of usability though, as the phrases are not necessarily just set phrases they expect you to go out and use. I consider the set phrases as templates, and different vocabulary can be slotted in as needed. For example, take out all of the context specific stuff from "The lunch is a soup", and you have "The x is y". Add in some new vocabulary and you can get "The party is a disaster", or "The CEO is a crook". Nothing changes in the sentence structure, and at the same time you are learning how to apply the definite article to several words in Swedish, and perhaps learning new vocabulary as well.

As for the voice, the team making the course are well aware of the mistakes made by the TTS software, but there is nothing they can do about it right now from what I've read on the forums. Just take the audio with a pinch of salt, and consult other sources if you're particularly concerned about your pronunciation.


I thank you for your reply although I still disagree with ''The lunch is a soup''. Maybe it's fine dining as I have never experienced. I have only heard ''The lunch special is a soup'' or ''Today's lunch special is soup and the flavors we have available are......''.

I do enjoy this course. Please know this. Thank you.


If you want some really unusual sentences, you should check out some of the other trees. They can be downright dadaist--grammatically correct, but dadaist nonetheless. At least in the Swedish tree, the horses and the moose are only drinking water, not milk or oil. And the penguins aren't everywhere, drinking our beer.

The sentences are designed to give you practice translating, not necessarily give you phrases you can regurgitate safely on a trip. Check out this reddit, this twitter, and this tumblr for some great examples.


I particularly liked, "È più piccolo, ma più efficace."


A brief google makes me fear what that translates to... :)


Lets just say it has something to do with the size and effectiveness of an unspecified object :p

Thanks for the links. They made my morning!


I'm not involved in making the course, so there's no need to reassure me that you're enjoying it haha!

The reason I think we don't hear this phrase is that we are often given choice when we order in a restaurant. The lunch special comes up because there may well be one lunch special, but it's very rare that there is only one lunch option. It might seem a lot more natural if you start slotting in some adjectives, like "The best lunch is a soup". Fundamentally, nothing has changed here: just as we are picking out a specific lunch with "the lunch", we are picking out a specific lunch with "the best lunch"; the latter just happens to be a lot more common in natural language for entirely practical reasons.


And sometimes there is only one lunch option, like school meals.

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