"Min syster är brandman."

Translation:My sister is a firefighter.

December 12, 2014

30 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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/Good-ol-days

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/SimonU1234

In Slovene it is 'ogenj' and 'požar' :) while croates have 'vatra' instead of 'ogenj'. Firefighter is 'gasilec' in Slovene, while in croate 'vatrogasac'. 'Gasiti' ('pogasiti' in finite form) means to 'extinguish fire' but also 'thirst' for example, but it is not general translation for 'extinguish'.

'Požarni' is here one who does the fire watch or fire guard (not necessary the firefighter), for example, when works with open fire, electric installation, gas, ... i.e. the works, when there is a high risk of fire, are done. It was an expression in Yugoslav Army for one who guarded the amunition and arms, although the prime reason was to guard it from theft.

For example in slovak (most similar of all slavic languages to slovene and croate) 'light the fire' is 'zapáliť oheň'. Say it, one slovene and one croate word. :) Slovene: 'prižgati ogenj', croate: 'zapaliti vatru'!


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/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/Gall28_

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/kibranoz

Shouldn't it be a brandkvinna


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/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/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.

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