"Vi säger att helgdagar är röda dagar."

Translation:We say that holidays are red days.

December 10, 2014

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it is pretty interesting how i find a lot of cultural similarities between Russia and Sweden... We call them red days too (it started before the soviet union ;P)


Do you know if that was also because of printed almanacs or just because of the positive connotations of 'red', like in красный угол and expressions like that?


i think it is because of the positive connotation of the word, it actually meant "beautiful" in old russian..


i just googled it and there is also a theory about the holidays being printed red in calendars :)


So basically we can't really know whether it's just the old meaning of красный or the color in the almanac, then. :) There's a handy Swedish expression for that: Därom tvista de lärde (об этом спорят ученые or 'on that point the learned disagree (doctors disagree)')


yeah, but thanks for the handy expression!


In serbian you also have "crveno slovo" lit. "Röd bokstav" meaning religious holiday and its because of the red print of the date. So i assume the russian origin is the same but красный всмысле прекрасный probably had addition influence i guess


Perhaps the red ink was used on the calendars BECAUSE they were called red days.


cf. красный / красивый


Very interesting all this! I just supposed they used a red font to mark holidays on calendars, and learned about the Russian similarity!


In Hungary we call them piros betűs napok sometimes. It means something like red letter days. It's because the holidays and the weekends are red in our calendars.


In English, we refer to red letter holy days in the Anglican and Roman Catholic religious calendar as well. Since the major feasts were written in red even in medieval books of hours, I imagine some sort of term has existed like this in all Central and Western European languages.


I've never heard of red days in English ... But maybe because I'm an atheist!


Right, it refers to their presence on the religious calendar. I doubt anyone but someone connected pretty closely with the C of E or RC would use those now. If you look in the novels of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or even probably Evelyn Waugh, though, they are everyday parlance.


Yeah, the phrase has floated about the aether, but not something I paid attention to. Thank you for the clarification! Have a lingot!


In the Netherlands the "red days" do not exist in the meaning of holidays. At least I don't know of this meaning ;-) A bit sad not to be part of all Central and Western European languages.


But they do exist: menstruation days ;-)


They don't exist in German neither. So obviously we also are not a part of all Central and Western European languages ;-)


Very interesting! In Indonesia we call them "red dates (tanggal merah)" since the holidays are "dates" printed in red in calendars. So a conversation (especially among students) usually goes as "how many red dates are there this month?"


What does this mean?


Public holidays are red in printed calendars, so in Sweden we call those days red days.


På engelska har vi "red letter days", av precis samma anledning. Jag svarade med detta men det blev inte accepterat. Det förefaller vara en ganska nära motsvarighet... vad tycker ni?


Red letter days is definitely the set-phrase in English.


I've never heard that one, is it used in the U.K. or Australia?


I am a native speaker of North American English (Canada, so there is historically a strong British influence), and to me, a red letter day is a day where something unexpectedly lucky happens. The opposite is a black letter day, in which something unexpectedly bad happens. There is no specific connection to holidays...at least, not in the way I'm used to it.


Thanks for your imput, Mr. Magic. And I've never heard it in America either;so it surprised me to see that Alf is from northern California, like me. According to wikipedia, it's used in Scandinavia and some Latin American countries, as well as the U.K.


I always assumed it was a U.S. thing, since no-one really uses that expression here in Australia. We just say public holiday.


Never really heard or used it in the UK ...


I have also heard red letter day as a special day of some sort, as nowawillow indicates, but I have never heard black letter day. Traditionally, all non-feast days were in black, so that would be surprising to me, but on modern Anglican religious calendars, regular non-holidays are mostly in green, while black is reserved for days of mourning, such as All Souls and Good Friday. Maybe, then, it is a result of Anglican influence lasting longer in Canada. As I say, it is now limited to traditionalist Anglicans and Roman Catholics, as far as I know.


I've never heard that before, in the US.


Agreed! I distinctly remember reading a story in elementary school (Eastern US) way too many decades ago to admit, about "Red Letter Days" and what they meant. And holidays (say Washington's birthday, not just Christmas) were regularly printed in red on calendars. Not seen as much nowadays -- pure black and white is cheaper!


If I recall here in America so called red letter days were mostly federal or state recognized holidays. But I can recall seeing Good Friday in red, it is not officially recognized as a holiday here.


It's been added now, but maybe wrongly: it seems that red letter days are much more special: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_letter_day – in Sweden, every Sunday is a red day too.


red letter days have yet another connotation here, in Hungary - women use it sometimes for the period days and they are definitely not celebration-worthy days then. :-)


Can you please add (preferably as the default translation) bank holiday to all these similar sentences. It is after all the English translation of helgdagar, tack :)




Bank Holiday still isn't accepted? I understand that an alternative American English is used throughout this course, but this is the first instance where the actual English isn't accepted. I have reported it through the usual means a number of times now, cheers


I agree - closest translation of the intention behind 'röd dag' in the UK is Bank Holiday (except for the fact that Sundays are not really official Bank Holidays, whereas they are red days in Sweden). We use 'bank holiday' for a day that is normally a working day, but has been designated a public holiday by the government/state/powers that be. Bizzarely, it's by no means guaranteed that a bank will close on a bank holiday.


Oh God, I'm confused now ... Does this phrase mean Bank Holiday or weekend or what?


Just to add semantic accuracy, in English you should say "public holiday" or "bank holiday". A two week holiday in Spain would not be red on the calendar!


My mormor, whose mother was completely Swedish, used to have hand-stitched calendars up in her house, and as a young child it didn't occur to me that it was (a very small part of) Swedish culture being preserved in our family. I wonder if my grandmother is even aware of her decision to use red for holidays!


The english translation used in this question is misleading and confusing for native english speakers. In the UK, the word holiday has a much broader meaning. If you take two weeks off work to go and lie on a beach in the Mediterranean, that would be a holiday (e.g. I won't be here next week as I am going on holiday). What Swedes call red days would be bank holidays in British English. These are days which are officially non-working days for the general public, and in Sweden they are marked on calendars in red ink.


:( In Germany we don't have as many funny interpretations of holidays and stuff as you all have :D


What does this mean? Is it on a calander or something? Sorry if i sound stupid, but in wales or england we don't really say this


Public holidays are "röda dagar" in Swedish cause traditionally they are printed red in the calendar.


Red letter days at least was a common term in the US because those days were printed on red on calendars. It is no longer commonly done now though.


After reading all instead just many of the comments to clarify that I grew up in Minnesota with mainly Swedish grandparents and that I was still pretty young when I occasionally still heard about red letter days. It wasn't a big thing but everyone I knew understood what it meant. That is probably no longer true among younger people.


Now for wrath, Now for ruin, And a red dawn.


What about "We say that the holidays are red days?"


What is the difference between RED DAYS and THE RED DAYS


You have to have seen the calendar (Swedish or liturgical).


I am from the United States and have never heard of holidays as red days! And I have lived in 6 different states - east coast, west coast and midwest. Interesting though about the Russian / Swedish connection!


Helgdagar are not holidays. Heledag are weekend days

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