This reminds me of a question. Does Sweden consider North America and South America two separate continents or is it just one big America? As a Brazilian it was mindblowing to learn that it's separated in other countries. Not only that, but our meaning for North America is a subcontinent that includes only the US, Canada and Mexico; pretty sure our South America has the same countries; and Central America is everything between those two.
Zmrzlina is the geographer on the team so he could probably explain the correct usage in more detail, but lay people like myself normally speak of the continents as Nordamerika and Sydamerika, and if anyone says just Amerika, they usually mean the USA.
Edit [I know this was so off the topic...] I just have seen that is a common criterion... And still let me wondering why currently some people still don't take that differences (e.g. it can be shown in some readings and maps) or rather avoid them and hence the American continent is sometimes treated as a single unit (maybe for practical reasons or due to the fact that it is altogether separated by two oceans...) and some other times it is not... Though I am not a specialist either I am also interested on the topic and share the same feeling with double_jumper, so it would be interesting to know what does Zmrzlina know about it... Anyway it is also interesting and good to know the Swedish point of view... plus the two words for both terms... so Thank you! =)
Edit [I didn't know what was the swedish point of view, but in general I have seen that...] technically America is taken a single continent and that those different clusters are not intended to separate the continent in three different sub-continents, but they may refer mainly to the origin of the masses. Setting aside the mechanism, the countries included in that division are thought to have the same origin (e.g. they share a main tectonic plate), not to mention the geopolitical and/or historical relashionships through them, which could be the main reason of that "separation"... seen between Asia and Europe for example.
Well, I think "ship" refers to a larger vessel, generally used for carrying cargo or huge amounts of people, whereas "boat" can be both a small vessel or just a way to refer to vessels in general. Also, I think "the ship" would be "fartyget" (ett fartyg/fartyget/fartyg/fartygen) in Swedish. Please, native speakers, correct me if there's anything wrong.
WE'RE ALL LIVING IN AMERIKA But in this case, it's not swedish, but german
And that's why I wrote ship but it is a wrong answer. Maybe they wanted to make the sentence extra strange?
Yes, and that is correct. Both de and dem are pronounced as if they were spelled dom in Standard Swedish.
But it still considers it a mistake if I write "dom" :(
Sorry for the "noobness", sometimes I just get a bit frustrated when my hearing doesn't match the spelling.
Dom is an accepted answer in the incubator, so it shouldn't tell you you're wrong (only give you "another correct answer"). Not that I really recommend writing dom, it doesn't look so good and if you already know English, telling the difference between de/dem shouldn't be as hard to you as it is to many Swedes.
Much later PS: We've since discovered that there's a bug that makes the machinery unable to accept spelling variation in the dictation exercises. So unfortunately you can't type dom in those.
On that note, do people sometimes write "dom" in an informal sense? Like how people write "morron" or "gomorron", in place of morgon/god morgon?
Yes, some people do. Since so many native speakers struggle with the distinction between de and dem, it is regularly suggested that we should all switch to dom instead, but so far it just hasn't gotten that popular. Most people still write de/dem (with many errors) even in casual writing. But dom is totally OK.
In some other sentence there was 'tar cykel' and the possible translations were 'take the bike' & 'go by bike'. Here I translated the sentence into 'go by boat' and it turned out to be wrong. It should have been 'take the boat'. My question is then: why cannot it be go by boat in this case?
No, the other sentence must have had tar cykeln. You can't use the indefinite (without an article) there either. tar cykeln, tar båten, tar bilen
On the other hand you can åka bil/båt/cykel 'go by car/boat/bike' so in this construction it's indefinite with no article.
go by is like åka and take is like ta, the latter includes the starting point of the journey in a way that the former doesn't.