"Nationaldagen är en helgdag i många länder."
Translation:The National Day is a holiday in many countries.
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At the start of a course, it is sort of customary here on Duolingo to spam the first sentence you see with a bunch of "thank you"s and "congratulations" to the people who curated the course.
I'm sure other people have done this, but since this is the final sentence of this course for me because I got this one wrong at the start, I want add my nonsense to the pile:
As one of the original Duolingo beta users, I never actually managed to finish any course tree before. I would get to about level 10 or so and then just... stop. I know that my thing here only says Swedish and some Japanese because of a placement test or whatever here, but I had actually been learning languages for a long time since the '90s. Since I was a kid, I had been teaching myself most of the Western European languages via library books but the Central and Northern European languages were always something that just sort of "escaped" me.
When I saw that the Swedish course was nearing completion a few years ago, which was around the same time as the Irish course if I remember right, I decided to abandon and erase all of the data on my account so that I could just try to start over from scratch. I wanted to make the Swedish course be my only thing so that I could better focus and try to actually accomplish something for once on here.
I started off on this Swedish course when it first came out and I only did stuff on here maybe once or twice a month on average for a long time. When I realized that I was only one "Page Down" keyboard press away from the end, I decided to start keeping a "Swedish vocabulary" notebook because one of the most frustrating things for me was not remembering all of the words. The Adverbs and Adjectives were definitely the hardest part, for me, but also the most important because I feel like using a lot of adverbs is what makes you sound like an advanced speaker.
Now, since it looks like I have finally reached the end, I want to thank all of you guys who made this course (since you're most likely going to be the only people who will end up actually reading this). I can't help but wonder which # I am in line among the people who have finished here.
From here, I expect that I will be able to improve mostly by trying to read news articles in Swedish and maybe looking for an Anki deck or whatever.
The National Day of Sweden - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Sweden
The Independence Day of Finland - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(Finland)
This is an interesting discussion, and I'll throw in my two cents.
I think the English sentence is confusing to an American with or without the definite article, even if the Swedish sentence has not the same problem. I propose getting away from a word-for-word translation: "Many countries celebrate a national day." or "Many countries have a holiday on its respective national day."
Helgdag means public holiday or Sunday. We often call them "röda dagar", since they are marked red in the calendar. When we talk about "helg" we normally mean weekend, i.e. Saturday + Sunday.
Semester means vacation, which is at least five weeks (25 days) in Sweden. Most people take around four weeks off in a row during the summer and some "klämdagar" (single weekdays between red days) throughout the year.
Absolut! Except from the royal ladies who wear funny hats:
A late reply, but I recently asked on these forums for native input regarding this, and it resulted in us deciding to, indeed, accept both - here and in other sentences.
However, that's a lot of tedious manual labour so for now I'll stick to accepting it when I come across it in error reports, and make sure that they're both accepted from the get-go in the next tree version.
Go practice vocab physically on paper, read r/sweden (sweddit) (comment sections will be the hardest). Read articles, try tv programs with and without closed captioning. Maybe read children's stories or more advanced literature if your vocabulary is up to it. Just try to immerse yourself and really listen to radio programs and TV, or talk with a native speaker to become truly fluent, and possibly learn some cultural slang and differences (stuff like "i dag, i går, i morgon etc. being spelled without a space and what not.
Keep those strength bars up and maybe even start a diary or journal or something in swedish for practice in composition. Anythinf helps as long as you're practicing!
By having National Day capitalized it sounds/looks like a proper noun and not a generic holiday. Articles aren't usually used with proper nouns in English. So it sounds rather weird in English to add the definite article in this case, e.g., I have never heard anyone ever say The Christmas (or the Thanksgiving) is a national holiday in the USA. You would typically only do so to differentiate one specific Christmas, e.g., the Christmas before last.
I agree with the several people who have chimed in saying that to insist on the article "the" being included creates a sentence that just sounds awkward to a speaker of U.S. English, and so it just would never occur to us to translate the Swedish sentence into English with the article. There's no agreed upon concept of a "national day", and the only time the article is used is with a holiday whose name includes an ordinal number, as in, "What are you going to do for the Fourth of July?"
Just to be extra clear, I meant that "holiday" and helgdag are cognates. The word "holiday" used to mean "holy day", essentially - which meant the Sabbath and religious festimonies. Over time, it lost its original meaning and just came to mean "day I won't have to work". :)