"Vi betalar inte."

Translation:We are not paying.

December 18, 2014

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Reminds me of the German "bezahlen".


Well spotted! That's where we borrowed it from. :) Practically all Swedish verbs that start with be- are German loanwords.


Very interesting. I study linguistics and I'm very much interested in etymological issues and borrowing words from one language to another.


Me too. I like to see the relations between languages and how they influence each other.

Of all the languages that have influenced Swedish, German has had the heaviest influence by far. The influence had its roots in the medieval times, when the Baltic Sea economy, on which Sweden was extremely dependant, was dominated by the Hanseatic league in northern Germany.


Even my native language (Russian) has a very strong influence from German. those Germans leave their impact everywhere, I guess.. :)


Wait, didn't German derive from Old German, which is in turn derived from proto-Germanic, which is from Denmark/The Southern Swedish Coast? So in a way, doesn't the language that has the heaviest influence on Swedish derive from a language that originated in Sweden?


Interesting conversation thread.


That might be so. From what I know it is hypothesised that the Germanic peoples sort-of originate from southern Scandinavia and the north German coast. However, I wouldn't want to argue from geography that either Swedish or German is more original though, they're both as living and as much greatgrandchildren of Proto-Germanic as the other. It's a bit ahistorical to call southern Scandinavia Denmark or Sweden, as those geopolitical entities were yet to wait another 1500 years until entering the scene. (Somewhat simplified, but you get the picture.)


Oh wow! German learning Swedish here, thanks for sharing this! Always thought it was just from the common roots. I totally love Swedish and I can also see the influences the other way round, especially on some of the dialects.


(And the Dutch "betalen" ;-) )


That was probably influenced by German as well ;-)


Regarding the fact that Dutch derived from the West Germanic branch of Germanic languages, and that many Northern Germans with a fond knowledge of Lower German are indeed able to converse with few to none linguistic barriers, I would say that the relation is particularly close. :-) In fact, I heard some Northerners of ours say that the only real difference between Lower German and Dutch is the more “guttural” pronunciation in Dutch. :D (What I meant were the regular pharyngeal (?) sounds as produced in “Hoe gaat het?” (How are you?).


I like to make the same comparison, but to be honest, they're not exactly that mutually intelligible. :)


The Swedish word for the number six is sex. It was censored for quite a while. And the word for "end" is slut. You can imagine...


Of course not, all of these languages mentioned still reasonably stand their ground as arguing in being separate languages and not just dialects of a superordinate language. It's more like a relation as between Spanish and Italian. :-)

(Also, I don't know why it replaced one of the Dutch words with black hearts; I suppose that from an anglophone point of view, it was marked as a swear word, the one that is synonymous with a farming tool to furrow the field.)


A typical case of overreaction based on an algorithm seeking specific words in a riposte without understanding the context, which especially on such a multi-lingual platform consequently leads towards ridiculous deletions. I see... I also am not going to check whether the Dutch word for leasing or renting was going to be “censored” too, but the potential is certainly there, if one also was fluent in German.


Also of the Dutch "betalen"


Oh someone above me literally said that sorry


And lower german, spoken in the north, is betolen...


And thus hospitality was turned into hostility :).


Should we question whether such phrases indirectly promote petty criminality or at least misbehaviour through normalisation? ;-) (I'm joking, apparently...)


does betalar have any relation to talar?


I was curious about this, and it turns out they do. They, along with the English words tale and talk, stem from Proto-Indo-European talo (a calculation, a number, reckoning) and tala (speech, or number).


If it connects to calculation and numbers, I'd assume talar/betalar is a distant relative of 'tally' too.


That had been my thought a week ago, too, but it is not so. Tally comes from Old French taille, which meant to notch a stick to keep track of a debt (modern French taille and tailler have evolved different meanings as you may know). Old French taille in turn was from Latin talea, meaning a long or slender wood or metal rod, a cutting for planting, or a twig, etc. Latin talea in turn came from Proto-Indo-European teh₂l meaning to grow or to sprout.

PS: Wiktionary makes me seem smart.


Och vi är på fängelse


Isn't that stealing?


That's one of several ways you could not pay for something.


How do i remember that betalar means pay


Hit yourself in the face and yell "betalar" everytime you pay for something


10/10 this worked for me


Hahaha, that's great xtina.


To me, "betalar" sounds like "better", as in "You better pay." Hope this helps.


Because it sounds a little like butler. "My butler will pay you on the way out" or "I must pay my butler" ;)


If you know the word tally, it comes from the same origin as the tal in betalar.


Maybe it's just me, but I listened to her several times and could not hear the "b" in "betalar" as anything but a "d." Was really confusing.


I hear it very clearly, so it's probably correct, but I'm not ruling out that we're getting different audio.


Interesting. I tried on "slow" several times and it was just mud. I suppose I must learn that the Swedish "b" sound is very soft. As the Spanish v/b situation perhaps?


No, it's honestly kind of the opposite of Spanish. :) But I can't listen to the slow audio at the moment, so it's possible that one's worse.


My situation too! I listened so carefully to this and others. Maybe it's just the day but.. nope, I though I heard vi vi talar :-( So close!


HA! Just got the question again. The "correct speed" clearly vocalizes the "b" but the "slow speed" does sound exactly like "vi vitalar." I'm flagging and hope they rerecord.


I heard a “v” for the “b”


" we do not pay" sounds wrong? I wrote " we did not pay" is also wrong?


It's a correct translation, although "we are not paying" would be more natural in many situations: "we are not paying (for that)" (present progressive) vs "we do not pay (for mistakes)" (simple present). Swedish does not have the present progressive tense and uses simple present for both.

"we did not pay" is the simple past, which is incorrect.


Would dagdrivare be the best word for the English word deadbeats?


I might go with e.g. slöfock. Your suggestion is correct but very outdated.


but if i say: Can I pay? is, Kan jag betala? What is the difference between betala and betalar?


betala is the infinitive, and betalar is the present.

It's like how you say "He pays" but "Can he pay?" in English.


Betala is like a past debt and betalar is talking about a present tense transaction?


For betalar, yes.

But betala is the infinitive, not the past tense.


I think I get it. Betala as an infinitive would be the base word. It is like talking about the subject without presently doing the action.


Yes, exactly! In sentences like "I want to pay", "He can't pay", etc., you use the infinitive form. That's why you don't say "He can't pays", for instance.


Just out of curiosity how would you say "we don't pay YET" And "we don't pay much? " I know mycket is much, but where does it go in the order of words in these sentences?

  • Vi betalar inte än.
  • Vi betalar inte mycket.

So it's pretty straightforward in this case. :)

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