In English an exercise can be both physical and mental. Is this the same here? Or does this just just refer to an exercise in a class setting?
I'm just another learner, so maybe a native speaker will come along with better guidance here, but I'm pretty sure that in most cases Swedes would say träningen for the (physical) exercise and övningen for the (mental) exercise. They also have another word, motion, which I think is used for the more general concept of physical exercise, e.g. motion är bra (exercise is good).
Spot on! There's a little overlap, of course, but that's pretty much it.
Like devalantariel already said, that is a very good explanation!
I might add though that individual elements of physical exercise (träning) might be called övningar. An example would be the technical exercises we did back when I played football.
Thanks for the clarifications on övningen, träningen, och motion.
Years ago, someone in Uppsala told me I should say "Jag vill öva min svenska" to tell a local "I'd like to practise my Swedish", since cashiers, baristas, etc would switch to English on hearing me speak. Is that a correct use of öva?
You can, but it's not the same as övningen är inte svår. En övning is an exercise or a drill. The Swedish sentence above refers strictly to one session of something (or one specific exercise). If you want to speak about what it's like to do such exercises in general, you would have to say e.g. Det är inte svårt att öva.
Good translations for The training is not hard would be Utbildningen är inte svår or Träningen är inte svår. In these cases, the meaning is much more general, it won't be restricted to the one time as it is with övningen.
Could "övning" also be translated as "assignment"? Or would that have to be a different word in Swedish?
I would generally consider "exercise" a much better translation, but since "assignment" is occasionally used in that manner as well, I have added that now. :)
In the previous sentence, 'Han behover mer övning', I thought 'övning' was a verb. Something like 'He needs to exercise more' or 'He needs more exercising'.
But here, I see 'en övning' is 'an exercise' and 'öva' is the verb 'to exercise, to practise'. So, how would it be 'He needs to exercise more?' (Google translator says 'Han behöver utöva mer') :/
In some of these "övning" can be translated as "training" and in others only "exercise" is acceptable. Why is that? What would you say for "the training is not that difficult"
OK, but I still don't get how 'han behÖver mer Övning' is 'he needs more practice' in that case.
Sorry - I didn't realise the above didn't answer that. You can use övning either as a countable noun, in which case it means an exercise, or as (essentially) a mass noun, in which case it refers to practising in general.
OK, I think I get it, the fact that it's with the article changes the meaning s a bit. One last Q: what's a training session or a practise session?
Oh, haha. That's a good question. I'd probably go with träning(en) for physical practice and e.g. övningssessionen for the mental equivalent.
A period of time intended to train you in some way - it could be working out, or learning some business skill, or any number of other things. Very broad term, really.