"På Åland talar man svenska."

Translation:In the Åland Islands one speaks Swedish.

December 19, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Isn't one on an island rather than in in English?


We've been told by a lot of users that in is the best choice here because the Åland islands are "a policitcal entity or territory" as per this definition:

  • on when referring to the island as a geologic or geographic feature: the roads on Hokkaido; the seed vault on Svalbard
  • in when referring to a political entity or territory: the schools in Iceland; mobile phone service in Tasmania

Both are obviously accepted answers though.


Why the difference between Åland in Swedish and Åland islands in English? It seems rather nit-picking as the whole Östersjö is full of islands (Skärgården)


Because that's what they are in fact called in Swedish and English respectively. It's not nitpicking as much as using the common terms. As for skärgården, it's considered too close to the mainland and too small to count as islands in the Baltic Sea the way Åland, Gotland, Öland and Rügen do.


Hi Zmrzlina, This response is truely overdue, but I could not work out the problem with your response and let it drift a long while. The swedish form of the sentence says: Åland and not Åland islar or such. So in English just Åland should also be accepted.


The translation "They speak Swedish on Åland." is accepted at least.


I said "they speak Swedish in the Åland Islands" and it was marked wrong.


I thought they would speak Finnish because the åland islands are property of finland.


Well, about 5% of the population in Finland speaks Swedish as their first and native language.

Åland even has a special self-governing status within Finland, and the Islands are exclusively Swedish-speaking. The concept of being a citizen of the self governing Åland islands is called åländsk hembygdsrätt, and its purpose is to preserve the cultural and linguistic identity of the people of Åland.

By law, you may not qualify for åländsk hembygsrätt unless you can prove that you speak Swedish. And without it, you may not own a house or run business on Åland. They're quite fierce and proud about resisting being dominated by the Finnish majority.

In a few other parts of the Finnish mainland, mainly coastal areas in the west and southwest, Swedish is spoken as a first language by a significant minority of the population.


There are also several towns and municipalities in the west coast and some on the southern coast too where the Swedish speaking population is actually the majority. Especially in the archipelago sea where most of the areas are monolingual Swedish. It should also be remembered that Finland is a bilingual state where Swedish is an official language, and has the exact same legal status as Finnish, which also means that it is mandatory for everyone to study Swedish in school.


The most Swedish-speaking town in the world is Korsnäs in Finland.


You're welcome!

After the first world war, there was quite some nationalist sentiment in Sweden regarding Åland. Also, a local inofficial referendum provided overwhelming support for Åland becoming a part of Sweden. Sweden petitioned the League of Nations to settle the dispute of whether Åland should be Finnish or Swedish, and the League decided in favour of Finland, and Sweden then dropped the claim for good.

[deactivated user]

    If only all the conflicts of the world would be as peaceful as the Åland conflict, with respecting the local identity!


    If only... :)


    Denna information är väldigt bra. Jag älskar Duolingo! Jag älskar svenskas personalen


    And here's the reason why they decided in favour of Finland: http://satwcomic.com/make-a-good-impression


    Does anyone know what qualifies as proof for being able to speak Swedish? Is having a good grade from Swedish in studentexamen enough proof of that? Or do they have an exam of their own?


    No idea. I suppose there's googleable resources on that.


    Is it just me, or is she saying "Påland" instead of "På Åland?"


    That is not idiomatic English and should not be given as the translation. It should be "Swedish is spoken".


    The point is usually to have the most accurate translation possible as far as I am aware, with more idiomatic ones being preferred if possible. "Man" translates to "one" here, and this is the most literal way to say the sentence to help people learn how to use the word "man", as it is used way more in Swedish than the corresponding word in English. I would also argue it is just as idiomatic as saying "Swedish is spoken", but that is just my opinion. :)


    By that argument, if a sentence with this meaning appeared in an Italian course you would give the English translation as "In the Åland Islands Swedish speaks itself".


    No, you wouldn't, as that's not a proper sentence in English. I believe they use the most literal translation that still makes sense. There are always going to be some mistakes, of course, but I don't think this is one of them. Sorry if my comment was unclear.


    You should accept the normal native English phrase..." they talk Swedish." Much more natural than ...one speaks Swedish


    I would have never guessed it was ''På Åland''. Sounded like Poland to me


    My "They speak Swedish in the Åland Islands" was marked as incorrect. Why???


    I put "One would speak Swedish on the Aland islands" would that be right? Because i got it wrong


    I'm not an expert, but I think that "would" would be translated as "På Åland skulle man tala svenska". This is in normal present tense, so you have to use "speaks".


    I always understood that Åland was the term for that group of islands in which case the word islands is superfluous.


    As a native of a group of islands in the north of Scotland, I would agree. In fact, adding "islands" in the English translation absolutely grates on some of us. However, it does seem to have been picked up and used by the national tourist board (VisitScotland).


    Why cant i say: In the Åland Islands one does speak swedish?


    Where is that "one" comes from? Sounds weird. Sounds wrong too. Why can't it be "Islanders"??

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