"Förrförra året"

Translation:The year before last

December 7, 2014

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Can this be extended on and on? Like "Förrförrförrförra året" = "the year before the year before the year before last"? I know it's a silly question, but I'm just curious.


Yes, it is possible, not common, but possible. In this case it is a bit unpracticle, counting backwards this way, keeping track of which year is meant. But we have the standard. You could say for instance: "På mormors mormors tid" (during the life of my grandmother's grandmother's). Another very common thing is at Christmas, where we call Christmas Eve = 'Dopparedagen', and counts how many days there are left, e.g.: "Idag är dag dan före dan före dan före dan före dan före dopparedagen" (this we could say on 19th of December).


"two years ago" sounds less weird in English, imho


But that would mean för två år sedan in Swedish.


jaja, if you translate directly. I'm guessing the main challenge with the learning language websites is that they want to teach you something specific, and point out something. While when you actually translate stuff, you don't translate word after word, you translate meaning after meaning. so yeah... I was only friendly suggesting that the other variant should be also included, since it shows that the person actually understands the meaning of the sentence, whilst "the year before last" sounds a bit confusing and calque. But that's just me.


The thing is that there is still a differens, words are never exactly synonymous. Two years ago (för två år sedan) might concern what I did at Christmas two years ago - while The year before last (förrförra året) is more about the whole year 2012, so to become really good translators we have to feel even slight differences like this.


of course. but that is why context is important.


Absolutely, context is very important. :-)


so "för två år sedan" means "2 years ago", how does that translate? Does sedan mean "since"?


sedan = ago, looking back in time. But it can be 'since'. I have not met you since 2010 = jag har inte träffat dig sedan 2010.


"Jaja" thats spanish?

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No, that's Swedish meaning sort of that you reluctantly understand and see the point of someone's argument. Or it could mean that you give up an argument because you're annoyed and fed up. Or it could probably mean hundreds of other things depending on the context.




To me, "the year before last" and "two years ago" both sound normal. But I don't think they're completely synonymous. "The year before last" refers to the year, and "two years ago" refers to a time.


what does the english sentence even mean?


Well, say this in 2014 and you'll mean 2012.


The year that came before last year!


So would "Det är torsdag i dag. Tisdag är förrförra dagen." be correct?


That sounds unnatural. We have a much better way of saying it: I förrgår var det tisdag.
i förrgår means 'the day before yesterday'.


"The year before the last one" got marked wrong. Never heard anyone saying "the year before last"


For me, "the year before last" is extremely common. For me, "the year before the last one" sounds odd. But in Google, I see about 500,000 hits for "the year before the last one", so maybe this is a regional thing. (But still, there are over a million hits for "the year before last".)


You're probably right. Not a native English speaker, and work mostly with immigrants, so I guess, I got this one wrong. Still, feels like "the year before the last one" should be at least grammatically correct, but maybe not the most common expression.


Sure, I've added that. We accepted a few similar versions already anyway.


Thanks. Same for the week actually. There is a similar question - Förrförra veckan


Shouldn't The penultimate year be accepted as well? I'm not a native English speaker but the word penultimate means literally occurring immediately before the last one : next to the last. Folks, please, clarify.


I've been taught that penultimate means 'last but one in a series of something'.
That would be näst sista in Swedish.


I think the only way you could use penultimate for years, would be if you knew that say 2020 would be the last ever year because the sun was going to blow up, then the penultimate year would be 2019 is 2020 was the last year. Or if there was an annual competition but they were going to stop running the competition in 2020, then 2019 would be the penultimate year of the competition because 2020 will ultimately be the last year of the competition. 'Last' in this context means the 'ultimate' year, hence penultimate being the one before the ultimate.

However in the phrase 'the year before last' you can't substitute penultimate because last has a different meaning here, 'last' in this context really means 'the year before this current year' with no suggestion that it is the last ever (ultimate) year, so the year before it cannot be the penultimate.


Ultimate means "the final one" and penultimate means "the one before the final one".


That could technically be correct. However, common usage/understanding of the word tends to be more like - the second best / the second most. So, for example, if you ranked all your best life experiences, the penultimate one would be the second best one.


The year before the last??


It doesn't need "the". It sounds strange with it.


Could we also say "förraförra säsongen" to mean 'the season before last,' or is that awkward?


förrförra årstiden, but yeah, it sounds really odd.


Tack! I'm trying to describe 1) the season of the year, before last (it's Fall now, so that would be Spring) and 2) the football "season," before last (it's 2020, so that'd be 2018). I'm taking from you example that you mean the former, season of the year, no?

  1. That's definitely årstid rather than säsong.
  2. That would be säsong indeed. :)


Using "the season before last" to refer to spring when it's fall now sounds really odd in English too. It sounds ok for "football season" or "growing season".


The meaning of "förrförra säsongen", would be used talking about a TV-series of some kind, reoccuring several years, e.g. talking about what happened back then, that is the meaning I get in my head, as a Swede.


Yeah, either that or in domain-specific language like gardening.


Yes! I love this! So much better than 'the year before last'.

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