"Jag vill ha en snäll häst."

Translation:I want a kind horse.

December 23, 2014

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Any other German speakers think snall meant fast?


Yes, Swedish has false friends not only with English but with German too. In fact, snäll was often used in the same sense as schnell up until the 18th century.

The original meaning of this word in Old Swedish was able, capable, good, and from there on it branched out. Today it only means kind though, except as gramphos says, the other sense survived in the word snälltåg.


It seems a bit of a trap question ... I can picture a fast horse, I'm not sure what a kind horse does though. Makes me breakfast in the morning? Remembers everyone's birthdays?

Incidentally, 'snell' is defined as 'smart, quick, able, bold' in old English. It's an extinct word now though...


If you've never been around horses, there are definitely some that are "kind/friendly" and some that are total jerks.


I speak a bit of german, but I actually confuse this with the Dutch 'snel' (native language)

The pronounciation is very alike so you're not the only one struggling with 'snäll'


Probably not. There is actually a Swedish word "snälltåg" meaning "express train" (or Schnellzug).


'Sneltrein' in Dutch


Thanks for sharing this. You're right we wrote this sentence because of a Swedish meme. The thing about this meme is that it uses some really horrible spelling, like small children will spell when they first start to write, so learners: be warned. But for instance snel hest gå på fest äta kaka dricka lesk is something you can see (I guess the peak of the meme was several years ago. Here's a link to a site about it: http://www.bartoll.com/snelhest/).


It peaked in 2005-6 according to Know your meme: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/snel-hest but the north still remembers it :D


Haha I got this sentence for the first time today and was wondering if it was a reference to that meme. Klappa snel hest!


Is this an idiom?


No, but it refers to a meme, scroll up to Heidijan:s first post on this page.


Could snäll also mean sweet (as in "she's such a sweet girl")? Tack för svarar!


I'd say so, yes. It doesn't quite translate directly, so using words like snäll is a reasonable workaround.


doesn't "ha" translates as "have"? when do we translate "Jag vill ha" as "I want to have",,, and how do we know if its just "I want..."? tack.


English can use "I want" both for "I want" and as a short for "I want to have". Swedish can't, so whenever you can say "I want to have" instead of just "I want" in English, you need jag vill ha in Swedish.

In practice, this means you vill verbs and vill ha nouns.


Unfortunately, it is widely recognized that horses are terrible, terrible people. Here's the evidence for the skeptical ones.


I want a thoughtful horse, one who will remember my birthday and Valentine's day.

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