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"Det är knappast en spindel!"

Translation:It is hardly a spider!

3 years ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lesliewilman
lesliewilman
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Why? Does it have only seven legs? Has it not yet hatched? I struggle to imagine a context.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gertyb
gertyb
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Det var bara en harvestman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opiliones

Commonly mistaken for spiders, but completely harmless! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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In Swedish, it's called en lockespindel.

knappast in this sentence means 'hardly' as in 'it is unlikely that it is a spider'. So I could be claiming that some dark spot on the wall is an insect and you'd disagree with me. You're just saying that you don't think Object X is a spider.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IanCaliban
IanCaliban
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The English rendering leaves something to be desired for a native speaker.

In the sentence given, hardly is read as synonymous with barely, turning the sentence into something akin to It only just qualifies as a spider.

Much more natural in English is I don't think/believe that's a spider or the more emphatic There's no way that's a spider.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HejjagarMary
HejjagarMary
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I had understood it the wrong way too ahah, even though English is not my native tongue.

For those of you who speak Italian, I think that "Difficilmente è un ragno" is an accurate translation in this case. The English translation made me think of "è quasi un ragno", which is not the actual meaning of the Swedish sentence!

Is it of any help for someone? :)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom98033

The word hardly doesn't mean what you think it does.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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It really does, but it has other senses as well, and many natives - like you, Ian, and Leslie - are not accustomed to this sense used in this manner. We've had several other natives look at the sentence as well, so it's not just Swedes trying to teach English, and the sentence does not have high error rates, so most people appear to understand it.

I'm not saying the sentence is good, nor that you're understanding your native language wrong. Clearly, any sentence that results in unnecessary problems for a lot of our users is a good candidate for change or removal. But just writing that we don't understand a word is hardly constructive.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Embla_
Embla_
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'hooiwagen' in dutch (haywagon), I like the names for these things! (my dad used to call them 'play spiders' so we wouldn't be scared :P)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victor-Lecomte

It was changed forever when it found that ring in the riverbed.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cathmach
cathmach
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I think the problem with "barely" is that it is a synonym of "hardly" when that means "only just/almost not" (e.g. "She was hardly/barely able to speak") but not when "hardly" means "probably/definitely not" (e.g. "That's hardly surprising"). In this sentence "knappast" means "hardly" in the second sense, so that's why "barely" isn't accepted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/takver

what about 'barely' as well? It seems to me like a pretty exact synonym for 'hardly' in this context.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CsabaDaday
CsabaDaday
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Hardly is often used as a euphemism for "clearly not." Like "I am hardly an expert on this, but..." Barely is used literally. "That is hardly a spider!" Can be used in a debate when you and another person. "What is that insect there? A spider?" "I am not sure but it is hardly a spider, it has wings and feathers!" "Barely a spider" would be used for a very very small spider I guess but just sounds strange to me. However, I have no idea if the above applies to the Swedish word too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuki_Shiro
Yuki_Shiro
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A spider is hardly an insect :).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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https://www.duolingo.com/sustained
sustained
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Are "knappt" and "knappast" synonymous?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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Knappt normally means "a little less than": Han väger knappt 80 kg.

Knappast means "almost not": Jag kunde knappast ta mig över den hårt trafikerade vägen.
Knappt works here as well: Jag kunde knappt ta mig över den hårt trafikerade vägen.
(I could hardly cross the busy road.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sustained
sustained
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Ah okay, so the opposite of drygt then!

I thought I had seen cases where knappt was used in place of knappast but I must have been mistaken.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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Exactly, "knappt" is normally the opposite of "drygt" :).

But "knappt" can also be used instead of "knappast" (see my examples above).

I just realized that "knappast" actually can be used in my first sentence, but then with a different meaning:
Han väger knappt 80 kg - He weighs a bit less than 80 kg but
Han väger knappast 80 kg - He almost surely doesn't weigh 80 kg

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN
Matt92HUNPlus
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Why is barely wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matias426045

See the comments above.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NordicWay
NordicWay
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So the -ast ending its not coming from the superlative ending right? it s just a coincidence?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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Quite the contrary, actually - it does originally come from the superlative knappast, from the adjective knapp. The adjective means "scarce", so the superlative was "scarcely", so to speak. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaroldWonh
HaroldWonh
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This is a nonsense sentence. It is either a spider or not.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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I imagine this phrase would primarily be used for e.g. satirical purposes. I could easily imagine a British panel show with a scenario like

Host: *shows image of weird-looking animal*
Contestant 1: What on earth is that?
Contestant 2: I think... it might be an elephant from the back?
Contestant 3: Well, it's hardly a spider.
Audience: HAHAHAHA
Jimmy Carr: Ca-caw!

Besides, I don't mind a little nonsense now and then. I find that throwing people an occasional curveball may even facilitate learning.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Antti22
Antti22
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I wholeheartedly agree on the part about curveball facilitating learning. A little nonsense makes me think about the word slightly differently and gives me another perspective. So thank you, semi-spider, for teaching me the word knappast!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaroldWonh
HaroldWonh
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I see your point about lightness in these lessons. But I am married to a VERY scientific woman, and so . . . "Curveball" - DL is so good at showing up my ignorance of American culture! Let me see: I know it's about baseball . . .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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I suppose we could talk about spin bowlers instead - I can't imagine many Americans having heard of those. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danielmccord
danielmccord
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This should do the trick. Find one of these in a dark basement or staircase and see what you say. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhaphidophoridae

1 year ago