"The children play for fifteen minutes."
Translation:Barnen leker i en kvart.
Because Swedish doesn't use för in that way. When speaking about time and its duration, you have to use i, or possibly under.
But what if you want to say that the children will play in fifteen minutes?
I know that I am going to make many mistakes. So far for me choosing which to use (i, på, till, för, etc.) has been like taking a stab in the dark each time. Will people be able to understand me even if I make these mistakes?
Also, do Swedes go through the same experience when learning English? Just as the Swedish words don't always translate neatly into English, the reverse must be true as well. How do so many Swedes learn to be so good at English?
Well. Firstly, Swedish children begin learning English somewhere at age 8-9. That is quite early to begin learning a second language, but it's also a good thing to learn languages at a young age.
Secondly, we're bombarded with anglophone culture, mainly american, all the time. In Sweden, movies and TV are not dubbed the way they are on the continent, and perhaps this too helps to get a feel for the English language.
But to answer your question, the answer is yes. Swedes in the same stage of learning English make prepositions mistakes too. Prepositions are quite a hard part of any indo-european language.
Nah that's not early at all. In Hong Kong, parents teach their kids the alphabet literally as soon as they can ;)
My sister works with people from Japan and they have the same problems with prepositions when learning English! It is not just you. Prepositions are just difficult.
Why not "Barnen leker på en kvart"? Correct me if i am wrong, but I roughly remember a previous exercise which translated "I read a book in 15 minutes" as "Jag läser en bok på en kvart" (maybe not exactly, but it was different than "i en kvart"). Is it due to the sentence being general, unlike this one which is specific about a certain group of children in a certain situation?
Why not "Barnen spelar i en kvart"? I thought spelar and leker both meant "play"
That is also accepted, but spelar means they're playing games with rules, or playing instruments, whereas leker is used about the free play generally associated with children.
There was another version of this exercise in the same session and the correct answer was "The children are playing fifteen minutes" for the translation of "Barnen leker i en kvart".