"Vintern kommer."

Translation:Winter is coming.

December 6, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Ok, I get the GoT reference, but why wouldn't it be just "vinter kommer"? Why does this need a declarative? Can seasons exist without "a" or "the"?

  • 71

In Swedish, a season almost always needs the definite form. You could not say "vinter kommer" and I guess the only reason I can come up with is that it simply is that way.

There are some examples where you wouldn't need an article, like "Nu är det vinter" (now it is winter)


So it sounds like you use the definite form if you're talking about a specific winter (makes sense, since that's what definite form implies). If you're speaking about winter as more of an abstract concept, like in your example, then you wouldn't need the definite form. Does this sound like a useful guideline?

  • 71

I think that it is extremely difficult to make a generalising statement like that. In general, we prefer using the definite form and the indefinite examples, such as the one above, are quite uncommon.


In this sentance 'Winter is coming' we are talking about "the winter that is coming soon" and not just 'winter' as a concept, so it makes sense to use the definite here.

Would it be correct to say that if we are dicussing winter in more general terms such as ''Winter is a cold season'' or ''I like winter'' (no particular winter, not last year's or the impending one) that it would just be 'vinter'?


It wouldn't be totally wrong to use the indefinite in those cases, but it would still be more idiomatic to use the definite. In English, you tend to prefer the indefinite for abstract concepts, but in Swedish, we don't really have that rule. Rather, our main rule is that the definite is used for known entities ("you know which one I mean"). And even if I say Jag tycker om vintern or Vintern är en kall årstid, you do know which one I mean, since vintern is a known concept to you.


But then, duo itself gives you this sentence: 'Sommar och vår är arstider' - so, definite article not always required...


It is like in German: "Der" Winter kommt.


I'm not sure of the answer, but I'm similarly confused with the use of articles in this lesson, and I asked the question on the discussion forum if you're still interested.

[deactivated user]

    The North remembers.


    Swedish is by far the funniest course of all.

    You guys do have a great sense of humor :D

    jag <3 er


    Best way to learn! When I am old and senile, and I don't remember my own name, I bet I'll remember "Mina gyllene skor"! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-RRXHG00GY


    Dear sir, (though I have a strong feeling, you may be a girl..) You deserve a lingot for the Eurovision reference.


    Yup, I'm a girl. Thanks for the lingot!


    What did the link refer to? The video was deleted as the channel owner disappeared. :-(


    It's a reference to Sweden's 1984 Eurovision Song Contest winner: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diggi-Loo_Diggi-Ley

    Links to the performance on Youtube tend to stop working after a while, but just search for the title and I'm sure you'll find something. :)


    I came across this one a few lessons back and it was an absolute cultural gem! Still cherishing it to this day. XD


    Ah, thanks a lot! It only showed a black screen with a notice of the channel's removal, not even the title anymore, hence my question. :-(

    I think I will give it a listen tomorrow.


    My favorite is en ren ren


    The finnish course is even funnier!


    Alla män måste dö. Alla män måste tjäna.


    Valar morghulis. Valar dohaeris.


    You know nothing, Jon Snow.


    Du vet ingenting, Jon Snow!


    När man kämpar om troner vinner man eller dör, det finns inget mellanting.


    Game Of Thrones. lol


    ... winter is coming.


    Men Hur sager man "Brace yourselves" pa svenska?


    Enligt GoogleTranslate och Wiktionary är det: "Förbered dig/er" (To prepare) eller "håll i dig/er." (to remain/keep)


    Well, I just find there is Westeros in Sweden. Actually, it is Västerås, but it sounds almost the same =). P.S. As for Martin's fan named Olena, I prefer thinking them sound the same, gigi


    There is also a Wester Ross in Scotland, in the highlands, which were settled by Norsemen.


    I bet its named after the same place


    It is not, I'm afraid. :) Wikipedia:

    The name Ross allegedly derives from a Gaelic word meaning "headland", perhaps a reference to the Black Isle. Another possible origin is the West Norse word for Orkney – Hrossey – meaning horse island; the area once belonged to the Norwegian (West Norse) earldom of Orkney.


    I couldn't resist adding an exclamation mark to my answer.


    First thing I thought of! So what would "Game of Thrones" be in Swedish? :)

    • 71

    It would probably be something like "Tronspelet" (tron = throne, spel = game)

    We don't really use the "... of ..." construction in Swedish, but we love compound words!


    Yeah, again, I'm not very far up (down?) the tree, but I'm starting to notice the large amount of compound words used. (Very much like German, in that respect). :)

    • 71

    Duolingo (or rather the Incubator) was not really created for languages with many compound words, so we have not really been able to show exactly how common they actually are, but we are doing our best.


    This is way off topic, but what does "spelar ett spel" mean? I hear it a lot in Rosetta Stone.

    • 71

    It means "plays a game"


    which is essentially "the throne game"


    The first book is called Kampen om Järntronen in Swedish. :)


    I saw En värld av is och eld when I was there, but I am not familiar with the series titles, so I can't say what it refers to


    That means "A Song of Ice and Fire", referring to the name of the entire suite of books.


    Reply to TwoWholeWorms: Maybe the TV series is called 'world', but mainly it is advertised under it's English name, Game of Thrones. But the books have also the subtitle: "Sagan om is och eld". Probably because 'song' isn't really epic in Swedish, but "Sagan" is, if you look back to early medieval times (Viking Sagas), Sagas were sort of family histories. Even if today, a saga is also a children's tale.


    Ah, so they went with world instead of song in the Swedish translation. Interesting. Does En sång av is och eld sound weird in Swedish, or does the usage of song in the sense of an epic tale just not carry over very well?


    @TwoWholeWorms en sång av is och eld is wrong, it would have to be en sång om is och eld since av doesn't mean "about" in Swedish. ('av' would mean like 'made of')

    I think you're right in your guess about the usage of sång – it is used like that in Swedish too (for parts of epic tales, like "the 9th song of the Odyssey"), but out of context it just doesn't carry. But it could have been called that, I think they just thought värld sounded better.

    Obviously we just call Game of Thrones Game of Thrones in Swedish since everyone who is old enough to watch the show will probably also understand that expression :)


    Ah, I didn't know the series title :) I only marked the book because it reminded me of a song lyric - 'från en ofödds paradis till en värld av snö och is'


    The English suite name is A Song of Ice and Fire.


    It's not referring to the entire saga, it's the name of a new encyclopedia-like book about the world where the story happens


    I just read it with Ned Stark's accent in Swedish.


    Yorkshire Swedish! Now that I'd like to hear!


    Den långa vintern?


    Jag hoppas inte, men man aldrig vet...


    "Vintern kommer" -John Snow


    Johan Snö then)


    The King in The North!


    Kungen i norr!


    And the dead come with it.


    "...och de döda kommer med det."


    Vintern kommer till Västerås! :D


    Haha I screamed way too loud. Jon Snow would be proud lol


    I feel like I must share this. When this first came up on my tree, first time ever I swear, the Game of Thrones theme started playing! The coincidence was so epic it took me some time to realise it was the TV. x) I wasn't even watching GoT it just followed what I was actually watching and I didn't even know it was on TV tonight. I have to admit, my brain got pretty confused haha


    Excuse me, could you help me with ethimologies of swedish names of seasons? If it is not a great disturb, of course! I am italian, and I studied ancient greek and latin, and some ethimologies could help me remember! Thank you so much! Tack!


    Winter / Vintern is very old, with unknown etymology before its proto- Germanic roots when it already had the same meaning as today's words. Possible relations to white and/or water.


    In the beginning, this was funny. Now this post has become a nightmare. We receive 2 notifications per week, with a witty comment (like mine)


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    Then, how to say: "The Winter is coming"?


    The same way - it's just not idiomatic in English.


    Shouldn't it be 'the winter'?


    "Vintern" is the definite form of "vinter", so you are correct in that sense. However, English often doesn't use "The" before a proper noun, so it is correct to translate it away. We don't say "The Sweden is coming!" However with a lowercase noun, which is not proper, we do use it: "The country is coming!". Winter is usually a proper noun in English. It is capitalized like it is an entity we named. However, optionally, you could use it as lowercase and say "The winter is coming".


    Why is it 'vintern' no 'vinter'?


    Just idiomatic differences, really - there's no better explanation, I'm afraid.


    Mitt gulligt sommar barn...


    Mitt gulliga sommarbarn, but the phrase doesn't transfer well at all.

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