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  5. "Min syster är brandman."

"Min syster är brandman."

Translation:My sister is a firefighter.

December 12, 2014

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

Brandman etymology: from Swedish brand + man. Brand is from Old Norse brandr and means, according to wiktionary, "accidental, uncontrollable fire." Therefore, my sister is an accidental, uncontrollable fireman. :D Languages are fun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bouquetm

It's funny: in Dutch we have retained this distinction between controllable and uncontrollable fire with the words 'vuur' en 'brand', like in 'vuursteen' 'brandalarm'. I think that's even not so weird because they're quite different things: the former is something useful and spectacular, while the latter is a feared and devastating monster which swallows everything on its path.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IQAndreas

Swedish had the same.

"En eld" is a controlled fire, like when you go camping or in a fireplace.

"En brand" is an out of control fire, like a forest fire, or a house on fire.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

I'd say that's still almost always true, actually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mad_Oxy

In Russian (and probably in all Slavic languages) we also have distinctive words for controllable an uncontrollable fire: "огонь" and "пожар". And we call a firefighter "пожарный".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/djusen

English "brand", as in branding iron, came from the same root. Both related to fire.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George418878

In English, brands or firebrands can also refer to the embers of a fire.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kcdijbfy-deleted

English bright has the same etymology as swediah brand. Dont be silly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

According to who?

"bright (adj.) Old English bryht, by metathesis from beorht "bright; splendid; clear-sounding; beautiful; divine," from Proto-Germanic *berhta- "bright" (cognates: Old Saxon berht, Old Norse bjartr, Old High German beraht, Gothic bairhts "bright")..." It goes on, but I think you get the point.

"brand: from Old Norse brandr, from Proto-Germanic *brandaz"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/t9jacks

Is it ever appropriate to say 'brandkvinna'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Not really. It's become a fixed expression for the profession, just like sjuksköterska has become the fixed title for nurses despite it being feminine.

There are however many more examples of -man forming the title of profession, and this is not unproblematic. Thus we now prefer talesperson (spokesperson) rather than talesman (spokesman), for example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

Do you mean talesman? Is that a word?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

talesman, taleskvinna, talesperson, and språkrör are all good words. Språkrör has become a bit tied up with the Green party though, because they call their party leaders that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Yes, that's what I did mean. Thanks for pointing it out. Edited it to make sense :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nraith

It accepted firewoman !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gall25_

Not anymore :/ , I tried it but Duo told me I was wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

We never stopped accepting it, actually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luke.floyd24

interesting....so that's where brand like the act of marking with fire probably comes from


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/velibor.ze

I am a bit confused, why isn't it like so Min syster är "en" brandman. Is there no room for "en" here even though in English we would say it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

The indefinite article is not used for occupations in Norwegian (or in a few other languages such as French, generally).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Serge.Fisher

Or Ukrainian.

Wait. We don't have any indefinite articles in Ukrainian at all. Why do you need them?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yecaap

Why is "fireman" wrong??????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It is not - we accept that, too. Although that said, I would prefer "firewoman" or better yet the gender-neutral "firefighter".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JYH6UtXB

Thank you, Duolingo! I wouldn't mind seeing all of the 'brandman' translations to English as 'firefighter,' unless the gender of the person is specified in the given sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kibranoz

Shouldn't it be a brandkvinna


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrBerrio

Wouldn't it have to be "Min syster är en brandman"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, Swedish doesn't use the article for people being things such as professions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChocoTank

Why doesn't it accept firefighter?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

That's in the suggested translation, see on top of this page. Maybe it was something else that the owl didn't like?

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