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  5. "Den gamle trollkarlen letade…

"Den gamle trollkarlen letade efter en fru."

Translation:The old wizard was looking for a wife.

December 24, 2014



Karlen is another word meaning "man," yes? So a Swedish wizard is more literally a "troll man"?


Yes. trolla is also a verb that means 'do magic' or something like that.


Oooh... so then, continuing that thought, is a troll in Swedish a specific variety of magical creature, or is the word more intended to bring to mind a much larger category of magical creatures?


A troll is the specific, rather dumb creature, looking like in the image here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll, but I don't think they can always even trolla at all, that seems to vary in different regions. Sometimes they're more like just stupid giants. but trolla is the generic word for using magic, as witches and magicians do.


Is 'trolla' also used as 'to troll', in the internet-ish common usage?


Yes! It's used in all troll senses, like for instance Mata inte trollen 'Don't feed the trolls'.


They are only dumb when their brains get too warm. They can be pretty intelligent when proper cooled down.


Harry Potter is a trollkarl, you have hogwarts skola för trolldom och [something, häxkonsten?] so it doesn't necessarily have to do with trolls! And finally, with this skill trying to read harry potter in swedish comes in useful!


Yup, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is translated as Hogwarts skola för häxkonster och trolldom. And of course, the Ministry of Magic as Trolldomsministeriet :)


With such baby face, he is more of a "trollgosse" than a trollkarl...


why is the letter "e" written at last of the adjective "gamle" instead of the common final "a" that is always written at last of defined adjectives ?


Sometimes, -e is used to refer to masculine things. It's a remnant from medieval times when Swedish still had three grammatical genders (like German still has), and then -e was the masculine ending. Nowadays, -e used only rarely and when referring to actual biologically masculine humans.

It's still possible, accepted and recommended to use -a instead, as that is accepted for everybody.


It might depend on where you’re from as well. I’m used to the -e being very normal and I wouldn’t agree on ”used only rarely”. Not so long ago I remember the TV host presenting Dr. House as ”den cyniske doktorn”. However, as you say -a always works as well.

And you don’t have to go back to mediaeval times to find the masculine/feminine distinction. The central Swedish dialects lost it in around the 18th-century and other dialects much later.


Oh, alright. Tack!


I just wrote "Den gamla trollkarlen letade efter en fru" and it was marked incorrect. The comments above suggest it should be accepted.


That is accepted, but this should be the thread for the "type what you hear" exercise, in which case you do need to write exactly what the voice says.


sorry, I knew that but it seems that I have forgot!


trollkarlen söker fru


Dumbledore was gay, so this cant be him!


Wow, this is the first time I noticed fru and kvinna are different things... How strict is this distinction? Could I also use kvinna for wife in some situations?


Hustru also means wife.


kvinna just means "woman". It does not and cannot mean "wife", nor can it mean anybody younger than a woman.


Yes, sometimes you hear things like "Hon var hans kvinna" meaning 'she was his woman' or 'she was his wife' (both meanings are possible). "Fru" is always a married woman, while "kvinna" can be any woman (though usually used to specify that a girl has flowered, so you should't call a 6-year-old girl "kvinna").


Why is mage not a correct translation?


Seems fine; I'll add that. :)


Why is it gamle and not gamla? Isn't gamle used in Norwegian and Danish?


Read the explanations from Zmrzlina and Lundgren8 that are a little above your question.


Not Dumbledore.


Well, it only says he's looking for a wife - not that he's looking for someone to marry. So, technically... :p

  • 1798

Why does Duo insist the English translation for letade efter be past continuous tense?


We don't, but I can see you submitted an error report as well. You were marked wrong because you wrote "woman" instead of "wife".

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