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  5. "Ett halvår"

"Ett halvår"

Translation:A half-year

December 1, 2014



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.


isn't a semester 6 months ?


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


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.


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...?


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


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


Maybe because in Swedish, semester, means vacations


Is "Half of a year" not correct?


I'd say "half a year" instead.


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


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


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


"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


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?


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


just the 2 of us in 3 years


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


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.


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


Dutch has it too :D


German too – Halbjahr, literally halfyear


We have "półrocze" in Polish.


A semester should be accepted, shouldn't it?


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.


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.


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!


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


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


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


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


"Six months" is accepted.


semester isn't though…


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

Halv=half År=year. :)


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


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.


I've heard trimester used about pregnancies.


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


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.


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

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