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"Ett halvår"

Translation:A half-year

December 1, 2014

42 Comments


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

So halvår would be a combination of the words halv (half) and år (year)? That is actually pretty cool. I do not really hear anyone saying half-year in English. Usually people say six months.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Energy94

isn't a semester 6 months ?


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

typically at university in the stats a semester or term is about 16 weeks give or take


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qEsK17

That's what it means etymologically: "six months," but then its meaning changed or became more specific like so many other words have. In Spanish we still pretty much keep the original Latin meanigs:

Bimestre = (a) two months (period)

Trimestre = three months.

Cuatrimestre = four months

Semestre = six months.

And depending on the country and university, university terms usually have a duration of either four months (cuatrimestres) or six (semestres), so their names still manage to reflect their etymology. It's funny how it came to mean "vacation" in Swedish, though.


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

I was just thinking this myself, and wondering why a basic Swedish course would bother to teach such a seemingly obscure term. Unless it is often used in Sweden...?


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

Yes, we use it a lot. I rarely ever say sex månader or ett halvt år.


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

In German "Halbjahr" is also used a lot, especially when talking about school :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fabian708672

Maybe because in Swedish, semester, means vacations


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

Is "Half of a year" not correct?


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

I'd say "half a year" instead.


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

I think in American English, "half a year" would be more common, while British English would be more likely to have "six months."


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

I feel like this is the most common way to say it in English.


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

Where I'm from just south of London, we'd definitely go for "six months" over "half of a year". "Half of a year" is a strange construction, and we'd probably use "half a year" instead, but we'd definitely err towards "six months" even over that, eg: "It'll take six months" vs "It'll take half a year". I think it's partly out of laziness—"six months" is a whole syllable shorter than "half a year" and two whole syllables shorter than "half of a year", which as I mentioned above just sounds odd—and partly because of a general tendency to switch to larger units only when you pass the minimum threshold for the next unit up, eg:

  • 6 days
  • a week
  • four weeks
  • one month
  • six months
  • 11 months
  • a year
  • a year and a day
  • a year and three weeks
  • a year-and-a-quarter (I really should find out exactly why it is that I hyphenate this…)
  • a year-and-a-half (and this)

That said, we do say "six weeks" and "12 weeks" instead of "a month and a half" and "three months", I suspect because "six weeks" is three whole syllables shorter than "a month and a half", and "12 weeks" because we're English and we like counting things in twelves.

Yeah, laziness is definitely a common reason for why we do things the way we do in English. o.o


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

"Half a year" is a lot easier to say than "six months" though!

I'm gonna disagree and say they're pretty much interchangeable, except when you're being precise it makes sense to use the smaller unit - half a year could easily mean a month either way, six months sounds like you're being more specific. Twenty-six weeks feels like an even more solid, businesslike definition, and so on. Otherwise people seem to just go with whichever they feel like, I haven't noticed any trend either way personally


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

I hear a "b" sound here instead of "v" Do I hear correctly? And in that case, is that really the sound of "v" in Swedish?


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

No, that is not correct. And no, that is not the case of Swedish V.


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

just the 2 of us in 3 years


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

No I'm definitely hearing a 'B' sound here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pink345790

I think that's just because v and b are really close. It sounds like a v as long as you don't focus on the sound.


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

I like that Swedish has a word (even if it's just a conjunction) for a half year. It's simpler than in English


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

Dutch has it too :D


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

German too – Halbjahr, literally halfyear


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

We have "półrocze" in Polish.


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

A semester should be accepted, shouldn't it?


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

Some people here seem to think that "semester" is used to mean "half a year" in English. I've only ever heard it used to refer to an academic term, and Swedish halvår can never be used like that.


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

Should "A semester" be accepted? Originally it refers to the period of six months but I don't know if currently it only refers to an academic period.


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

The normal translation of "semester" into Swedish is "termin". Beware of false friends, the Swedish word semester means holiday (as in paid leave) in English!


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

Well, if you see it in Latin, it refers to the period of six months (SEX + MENSIS). In Portuguese it is also the period of six months, regardless of institution. Most definitions I see in English, though, refer to the "college period" (e.g. http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/semester?q=semester). That's why I brought the subject

If you refer to trimester, it is the period of three months: http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/trimester


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CFontaine65

yes but we speak of the english word here, and"semester" should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

I’ve only heard semester as in an academic period and then they are not the same thing.


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

In Swedish, ett halvår only refers to a six-month period.


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

"Six months" is accepted.


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

semester isn't though…


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

So this could either mean 'slippery spring' or 'half year'. Hal = slippery Vår= spring

Halv=half År=year. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/martin.mk

Just out of curiosity, how would you say trimester? (as in the pregnancy periods) Kvartår? Kvartal?


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

You can say tremånadersperiod (three-month period) I suppose.

Sometimes, kvartal is used in Swedish to refer to three-month periods but that's used mainly with economics and business.


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

I've heard trimester used about pregnancies.


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

I've encountered ett halvt år much more frequently. Seems like it should be a possible translation here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan600886

I'm not sure which makes me happier: that Swedish has a discrete word for half a year, halvår, half-year, or that it has a discrete word for fifteen minutes, kvart, quarter (hour). Very, very practical. I am delighted by both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yama842603

Hur pratar man „halvår”? Mer som „halvår” eller „halv år”?

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