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  5. "Sjutton också!"

"Sjutton också!"

Translation:Darn it!

December 5, 2014



Wonder what the story behind "Seventeen too!" being an idiom?


Turns out it's a Scandinavian thing to use numbers instead of swear words. The background is that 18 was a dangerous number since it was the number of the main Nordic god Oden, (aka Odin in English), and then 17 was a little less dangerous.

Edit: the first link no longer works. Go to this page and search for the word 'sjutton', I can't seem to find a way to link to the search result. (The text is in Swedish).


Wow. Thanks for that - fascinating. BTW really enjoying Swedish - you guys did a great job. I'm able to look at Swedish websites and pick out words and get about 15-20% of the picture. So it's working!


Thank you! Swedish shouldn't be that hard for someone who knows English already, I think, although some things may be a little tricky.


I know English and bad German, so I'm finding it pretty enlightening :)

I don't know if I will ever be able to speak it, but its crazy fun seeing how much they are like three lost cousins...


Try Dutch next, then! (Even the name seems Deutsch).

Once I heard people speaking Dutch, and I was like....that's English....no, that's German....no, no, it's English.......wait....


Another very close group is the Romance Languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French. Once you learn two of them, the others are just connections.

The most interesting part is how much German seems to match Italian and Portuguese, sometimes more than English (in constructions and rules, mainly).

Learning all that language pack is like seeing them all together coming from the same origin.


Good topic! One of the most interesting things I read about modern German is that it came together as a sort of umbrella dialect created to be as understandable as possible to various german states. The details are lost in the porridge that is my brain, but I think the idea is fascinating given how close some modern language families are...


An Italian friend of mine once said Italian was basically Spanish with an O on the end. I was able to figure out a surprising amount of Italian from my high school Spanish as well as Dutch from my 1 1/2 year living in Hamburg and dating a man there for the last 7 months who didn't speak any English. :-) I was far more fluent in German than after 2 years of Spanish. :-) Nothing like loads of real life practice.


Swedish has unexpected similarities with Russian. What I cannot figure out with English or the remnants of German, I can do so with Russian :)


Working my way through Harry Potter 1 in Swedish. Getting a lot and having a great time!


Where are you? I'm having trouble finding books in Swedish. I found a great bookstore online, but they don't ship to the States. :(


If you are in the NYC area, the Church of Sweden has used Swedish children's books that you can buy for $1. They also sale yummy Swedish cinnamon buns! This has been the only place I have found actual Swedish books.


The Strand in NYC has some books in Swedish in the basement. Ikea in Brooklyn has lots on display but they aren't for sale! Maybe we should contact them against the inevitable time when they change décor. I occasionally see books in Danish put out on the street in Bkln; once in a blue moon in Swedish. Norwegian ones are more expensive and their owners don't part with them so lightly.


I was able to get "Harry Potter och De Vises Sten" off of Amazon. I can't remember if it was UK or US, but they shipped to the US.


Seems like you might be able to get some from Ebay


What a coincidence! I have been watching the game playthroughs and skipping to the dialogues to train my ear. XD


I totally agree. It's a great language course.


You can also say attan också which is a variant of arton (18).


This makes my inner nerd happy on so many levels I think I may explode :D


In Italy some people consider 17 an unlucky number. I wonder if it trickled down form Odin as well.


That actually comes from the Romans. It is considered unlucky because written in Latin numerals it's XVII, which is the anagram of "VIXI", i.e. "i died" (literally "I have lived"). :) That is kind of similar to what happens to number 4 in chinese, japanese and korean, because it has the same pronunciation as "death".


There is a number pun my grandson told me. "Why is six afraid? Because seven eight (ate) nine."


What does zero say to eight?

Nice belt.


Wow, that is interesting. Not something I would have ever thought of googling... so thanks!


In China, the buildings have their floors numbered this way: 1,2,3, (skip 4) 5,...,10,11,12, (skip 13 and 14)15...

Also, people in China will to pay more to have a phone number with 8 in it, because it sounds like "prosper", and thus it is believed to be a lucky number.


I worked at a large casino/resort in Las Vegas... In one of the hotel towers, they skipped the 40th floors because of the 4 "thing" in the eastern cultures. It went from floor 39 and the next one up was 50. I knew it was because 4 was "unlucky" somehow, but I didn't ever find out why. Interesting it's because of the pronunciation of "death".


You know literally everything, Arnauti.


He's related to Duo.


Wait, have you ever seen them together? Maybe he is Duo.


The link no longer works but I would like to read about this, do you know if there is somewhere else I can go to do so? My google search gave way to no results unfortunately.


I found this about someone who has studied it in depth: http://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/fy-sjutton-vilka-konstiga-svordomar


I didn't look at the hovertext, so I just put in 'seventeen also!' (and wondered what the heck kind of a sentence that was). Imagine my surprise when it was correct, but: Another correct solution: Darn it!


How would you use this in a conversation?


On it's own, as a reaction to something that upsets you.


There are several mild swears in Swedish that might surprise English speakers. But I probably won't start that discussion here. :)


And several not-so-mild English swear words used in casual conversation. Can be a shock to a Brit to hear words used on the radio in the middle of the day that would constitute a firing offence back home! I guess words lose a lot of their cultural context when they are adopted by other languages, swear words included.


good to hear, the Dutch do this too (kinda) so I've taken to saying "fornication under something of the king" and "rude word for feaces" (does duolingo censor?) quite often. (fixed :P)


Yes, using that kind of expressions is actually against the Duo guidelines, even if you use asterisks, so if you could edit your comment it would be great. (But don't delete it, that will just leave one of those ugly [deleted] marks).

Edit: thanks!


Under command.


Is this a modern, everyday phrase in Sweden, or is it archaic?


No, it’s definitely used. It’s very mild though.


Tack för att lära oss detta ! En mer skäl att älska er!


*Tack för att ni lär oss detta! Ännu ett skäl att älska er!

  • 1132

Du är en sann svenskar! Mycket tack för att korrigera våra fel.


Could this not be translated as "damn it"?


I think we're not actually allowed to add that as accepted translations because of Duolingo's no swearing policy.

  • 1132

Damn it, not Darn it! trodde jag, men engelska är inte mitt modersmål. Kan någon berätta för mig vad som är skillnaden mellan dem?


"Damn", literally to curse or condemn. "Darn", literally to mend or repair, with yarn (as in socks, see the pun above in Beanybadgers post). However, in some versions of English "darn" is used to avoid saying "damn" ("Goshdarn it", instead of "God damn it") so in that sense "darn"(not-quite "damn") is a perfect equivalent to "sjutton". I have also seen "Dang" used in this way.


Also dagnabbit

Any arrangement of gosh/goll - dag/dang/darn - it.

I think there are dozens, lol.


One of my favorite little kid jokes is 'Heck is for people who don't believe in Gosh.' :)

  • 1132

Tack för svaret. Du har rätt, "sjutton också" är en mindre stark förbannelse. Jag kände inte ordet "darn", så du lärde mig något! Tack för förklaringen och berättelsen. O, ik zie dat je goed bent in Nederlands, dus we hadden ook in het Nederlands kunnen converseren!


this looks like German "verflixt", to avoid "verflucht"


Well, that was unexpected!

  • 1132

Bli inte förvånad, men dra nytta av det!


One thing I have wondered about ... is that, in English, we say "shoot" (at least here in the southeastern USA) to avoid saying the four letter word beginning with s that I shall not mention here ... and I have often wondered if maybe also "sjutton" is used as a similar alternative word for the similarly spelled Swedish swear word.


It isn't, see my top comment on this page.


Do Swedes use this alot?


Not a lot perhaps, but it's not uncommon either. Like Lundgren8 mentioned above, it's very mild though.

  • 1132

Zmrzlina: Jag håller med! Själv använder jag aldrig dessa ord när jag behöver en förbannelse!


En svordom. "Förbannelse" means a curse in the sense of cursing someone with magic.

  • 1132

Ja, du har rätt, jag har fel. Svordom är det rätt ordet jag menade, inte förbannelse. Svenska är mitt modersmål, men jag har bott i Nederländerna i många år sedan jag var ett barn och jag använder detta språk inte den nog. Att inte glömma min Svenska övar jag det med Duolingo.


I imagine if someone really needed you use this phrase, like "What are the winning numbers?" - "20, 17 also". And it would sound like "20, darn it".


While on the subject of swear words, my "sex år gammal barnbarn" was very alarmed when she heard your Swedish pronunciation(!?), on my phone, for the translation of English "forty". It sounds totally different and less offensive in GoogTranslate.


For reference, this is the page: https://www.duolingo.com/dictionary/Swedish/fyrtio/888b84cad41c6d635ffc41220f2e689b

The audio is honestly not that bad. I can see why someone might mishear it in English, but that's not really a reason to change it.


So, wait, she thought it was a swear in English or in Swedish?


The recording can sound a bit like "futt you" to someone who knows very little Swedish. I can easily see a six-year-old confusing it for the close English swear.


That's what I thought. I was wondering if I had the opportunity to increase my Swedish vocabulary. :-)

When my son was two, he used to very courteously hold the door open and say Eff you. He couldn't quite say after.


Aww, that's cute. :) Yeah, my son showed the whole family the other week that his middle finger hurt... you can guess how...


Iirc one of the memrise decks has 'skit också' for damn. Is that legit?


Thank you for the detailed explanation. I agree with the other comments that it is this sort of idiomatic detail that brings the language to life.


Learn that one years ago in a book from the 50ies, and thought nobody bellow 85 would still understand it in Sweden!


I love that this phrase was added. I had no idea about this history behind using numbers as swear words. <3


People use this word usually? Haha

  • 1132

Vissa människor, men inte jag, använder aldrig denna mening.


Didn't see this one coming!


So, Swedes love to put «också» in such phrases?


sjutton också = darn it, det var som sjutton = i'll be darned

  • 1132

Du har rätt, det är en liten skillnad mellan båda i betydelse. Men du hade glömt att nämna "fy sjutton". En tredje fras som har en sådan betydelse.

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