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  5. "En tvål tack!"

"En tvål tack!"

Translation:A bar of soap, please!

December 16, 2014

37 Comments


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

Why can't it be translated, 'soap, please'? I know there's an 'en' there, but does anyone in English ever say 'a soap'?


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

The suggested translation, which you can see on top of this page, is A bar of soap, please!
We also currently accept 'a soap' for the sake of people whose native language is not English.
However, soap, please would be tvål, tack! in Swedish.


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

Thanks for leaving 'a soap' there, my native language is not English and i didn't even notice the counting issue.

I came here wondering if anyone had any comments on what sort of context would make one ask for soap. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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

Ha! Maybe if you got in the shower and realized there was no more soap. Or if you were showering in prison and dropped your soap.


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

Understanding that, the only problem is that soap is an uncountable noun"a soap" or "two soaps" sounds weird. That is unless "tvål" is better translated into bar of soap


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dim-ond-dysgwr

In the context of this brief sentence, yes: it would be weird (indeed, wrong) to say "a soap". But the phrase "a soap" is not always wrong in itself. For instance, one could say "I want a soap that won't dry out my skin".


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

Agree with this comment. You would never say "a soap" in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James-Edwa

I think its more like saying "one soap, please", which would make more sense.


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

"A bar" or "one bar" of soap would be better but an inaccurate translation


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

How is that an inaccurate translation? "A bar of soap" is listed as the translation at the top. It is also mentioned by the moderator below. The foreign language must be translated into natural English, not a word-for-word translation.


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

Sure you would. Especially for the kinds that don't come in bars.

I'm going to buy people fancy soaps for Christmas this year
Don't drop the soap!

Both ways of referring to soap as an actual object instead of a substance. I mean beer generally comes in glasses but you don't go around saying 'a glass of beer please'. I mean you can but sometimes it feels pretty redundant and strange. So yeah, you can go to a shop that sells bars of soap and buy 'a soap' without having to point out they sell them in bars, y'know?


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

Sorry, but I disagree. HarriOxo asserts that a native speaker of English would not say "a soap." Your examples are "fancy soaps" and "the soap." Those are things we might actually say, but they don't support the argument that we would commonly say "a soap," which we wouldn't.

The only situation I can think of is if somebody were choosing "a soap." For example: "I'm looking for a soap that won't dry my face." In the context of this particular lesson and sentence, which is what we're discussing, one would never say, "Hand me a soap" or "A soap, please."


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

They're both examples of 'soap' being used as an object, instead of a mass noun, so of course you can use the indefinite article with an object, and you don't need to say 'a bar of substance' to refer to countable soap objects

If you go into your shop that sells fancy soaps, you could say "a soap please" and the assistant could say "hand me a soap" to someone who's stocking the shelves behind them. There's nothing remotely strange about this at all, but agreeing that we might say 'soaps' or 'the soap' but somehow not 'a soap' is a pretty weird stance. Especially when you wouldn't say the same applies to other objects-from-mass-nouns, like 'a beer' - there's no grammatical rule being applied here, so it sounds like you're just generalising about usage?

Really the only reason I wanted to clarify this is that yet again there's someone in the comments proclaiming that "no native speaker would ever say this!" I'm a native speaker, it's completely normal to refer to bars of soap (or tubs of shaving soap, etc.) as just 'a soap' - maybe you've never heard it, but that's just your personal experience of a language spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world


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

As a native English speaker, I would definitely say "some soap please" or "hand me some soap," but never "a soap."


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

I don't know where you are from, but this native speaker (English) has certainly neither heard nor said "a soap" in over seventy years of using and teaching the language.


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

How is "tack" both Thank you and Please?


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

The same way you might say "a beer, thanks" to a waiter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rediet12

Doesn't Tack means thank? Where does the sorry word came from? ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

There is no 'sorry' word. What do you mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rediet12

I meant to say please. My mistake!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

'Tack' often means 'thanks', but Swedish also often uses it in contexts where English would use 'please'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rediet12

Got it! Tack så mycket!


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

My mnemonic for this word is to imagine a bar of soap shaped like a number 2.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shimashima2

Jag vill ha ansiktstvål? Or Jag vill ansiktstvål?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4oYBIxtO

Jag vill ha


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

I heard the tack as pack, wondering if it meant a pack/set of soap bars!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lng52-._

Could you also say, "En tvålsticka, tack"?


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

I think I know a way of saying that in Russian.
"En tvål tack" would be "(Одно) Мыло , пожалуйста"
"Tvål, tack" would be " (Дайте) Мыла , пожалуйста"

Just in case any Russians are here and are just as confused.


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

I think "Some soap, please" is the most natural translation. Although "a bar of soap, please" is also correct, it is odd. I would only say "a bar of soap, please" if I knew there was also something like liquid soap available.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4oYBIxtO

”Some soap, please” would be ”Lite tvål, tack”


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

Why would someone wants to ask for a bar of soap in a shop? I'm no native English speaker, I'm half German and Portuguese. I just ask where something is, when I go to a Chinese shop in Portugal. Tack så mycket in advance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Why do you think the sentence here is being used in a shop?

Suppose you are at a summer camp. As a courtesy to the campers, the camp staff keeps toilet articles, such as soap, toothpase, and combs, behind a counter, and between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm, a camp supervisor stands behind the counter ans hands out supplies.

"Do you want toothpaste?" he asks you. "No," you say. "A bar of soap please".

Or suppose you are in a drug and cosmetic shop. The bigger articles are out on the main floor. But to prevent shoplifting, the smaller articles are kept behind a counter. So, not seeing soap on the main floor, you go up to the counter and say ... .


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

I think "A soap bar, please." Should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michaelava593043

A bar of soap ??? Very complicated to understand the translations . Not easy to understand some words pronounced in Swedish.

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