"A duck"

Translation:En anka

December 10, 2014



What's the difference between "anka" and "and"?

April 2, 2015


At their core, en anka is a domesticated duck while en and is a "wild" duck.

Anka might sometimes be used in a more wide sense - rubber/plastic ducks are called gummiankor or plastankor for example. And the inhabitants of Duckburg are ankor, despite not being domesticated so much as civilized.

April 2, 2015


Tack för det här! You made me google ankor and now I know that Kalle Anka bor i Ankeborg :) But now I have a new question: why is it Ankeborg and not Ankaborg?

April 2, 2015


That's an interesting question. Although I did some toponymy research for a university essay a year ago, I'm afraid I'm not an expert per se on the suject. But as a native, I can say that Ankeborg is much more how a Swedish city name would behave linguistically. Nonetheless I'll give you my five eurocents:

My theory is that this has to do with a feature that's a bit beyond being taught on the farly fundamental (but thorough!) level that is the case on Duolingo. This feature has to do with how words behave when they form compounds. Generally, when a compound is formed out of three words and the second ens in a consonant, a little S will appear between the second and third word. There are lots of exceptions and tricky things about this rule, and words that will take the -S even in compounds of two words. Furthermore, in some words this little letter can change the meaning. Landsvägen is the country road, but landvägen is the overland route as opposed to a sea route.

Then we have the vowels in vowel-final words. Many words, predominantly those that were of use already in medieval Swedish or before, will change or remove or add a vowel in a compound. Thus we have kyrka, hälsa, gata, kung, anka (church, health, street, king, duck) but kyrkogård, hälsosam, gatukök, kungadöme ankbröst (graveyard, healthy, street food stand, kingdom and duck breast). To make this even worse, gata will in some compounds form gatu- and in some others just gat- (gatsten "sett paving")

Historically, these forms are genitive forms of the nouns. Medieval Swedish (and old Norse) required the first word in a compound to be in the genitive. These forms have been 'frozen' in time when Swedish developed and the case system was lost, in that they remain in the way we use words to form these compounds. However, they carry no grammatical meaning, being just the idiomatic ways of speaking Swedish.

Perhaps this text could use a little better disposition, but hopefully you'll get the hang of it.

April 2, 2015


Wow, thank you so much, this is really interesting! Now I wish there was a Duo course in old Norse/Medieval Swedish :) Until then I'll keep in mind that 'det finns fler tips än regler' regarding this subject.

April 2, 2015


Commenting to remind myself to give you Lingots later

August 21, 2015


Du ar en smorgås!

May 6, 2018



May 6, 2018


Probably missed this before, but why not ett?

January 7, 2015


There's not really any solid reasons behind why a word is an n-word or t-word. It's pretty arbitrary. For example: The word for the fruit orange, "apelsin", can be either an n-word and an t-word, mainly depending on where in Sweden you are.

January 9, 2015


en or ett depends on the grammatical gender. Read the text of the Basics skill.

March 16, 2015


And for some reason all I can think about is Paul Anka...:) that's one way of remembering a new word...

August 9, 2017


"Why a duck?" - Groucho Marx.

Varför en anka?

December 13, 2018


If this helps,"Ett"means "An" and "En" means "A".I figured that out because,"Ett"only comes before a word that as translated, starts with a vowel.

May 23, 2016


This is wrong. In English, a and an is used for sound reasons as you describe, but in Swedish, all nouns have a gender, so that all neuter words use the article ett and all common gender nouns use the article en. Read more about it in the course notes: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sv/Basics-1

July 11, 2016


Ett coming before words that translate into English starting with a vowel is just a coincidence.

An ant : en myra
An orange : en apelsin (at least in Duo)
An apple : ett äpple

I'm pretty sure the Swedes didn't look to English when they made their gender system!

February 12, 2019
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