"Fina dagar fikar vi i trädgården."

Translation:On nice days we have a coffee in the garden.

December 26, 2014

99 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris-Butler

Why no 'på' on the beginning? This sounded to me more like, "Nice days we take fika in the garden"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

We could start with 'På', but it is optional, or rather for me it feels a bit awkward, a bit 'too much'. For me, it feels more elegant without the preposition here. And you are right, I would translate it to "Nice days we have coffee in the garden", if that's okay in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris-Butler

Tack, I understand. I guess there are many short cuts I will pick up in day to day life. In English we do miss out many words in daily speech, but I guess in this case we would say "On nice days..." without the 'On' sounds strange to me


[deactivated user]

    It would be better: "on nice days, we have coffee in the garden". The official translation is stilted and odd. Punctuation is important in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j0nte

    I put "on fine days we have fika in the garden" and it was marked wrong - injustice.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vithralas

    It's not injustice, it's a correction. As you can read in other comments, fika is an activity, not a drink. The "fika" activity involves more things than just coffee, like cookies or buns. it's like "the whole meal"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VivienNivesse

    Though "having fika" is an accepted translation for other sentences...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISwearImKarl

    My understanding would be having a break, but there's no direct word for it in English


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Belldannie

    Kinda feels like a shame then that the translation wants us to narrow it down to "have coffee." Feels like the spirit of it gets lost in translation. But I'm no pro, that's just my impression. :\


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danielc109394

    'On nice days we have a cup of tea in the garden' is marked correct but 'on nice days we have tea in the garden' is marked wrong, even though the latter can also mean the former!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

    So...."fika" can refer to coffee or tea??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Yes, fika is more like the general concept. It typically consists of a cup of coffee and an optional small snack, but there are no rules for what exactly it means.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/losik55

    I think that the shortest translation is coffee break.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuhaBackma

    Short, yes, but not to the point. "Kaffepaus" exists as a concept in the Swedish language and culture, and it implies grabbing your coffee (maybe shortly chatting with your colleagues), while "fika" definitely implies setting up the coffee and associated things to nibble on properly, sitting back and relaxing, and maybe also not in the workplace context, as you can have a "kaffepaus".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Fixed that inconsistency now. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KteCMHkt

    I prefer "take fika" in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bobi32

    I agree, and more generally, for those kind of words that don’t have any direct translation (att fika), less strict rules should be applied. It is just plain annoying to have a quite clear notion of what att fika means, yet get rejected because you happen to use an unintended loose english translation instead of the one-and-only intended, but yet loose, english translation…


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Adding that. I would like to point out though that there were already a dozen accepted translations into English, so it's not like it was ignored because it was disliked - it's just really hard to come up with all variations.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuncanHill0

    Why isn't fine days accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andruoduo

    Ethymologi : according to a nice book from the 'Ordriket' series I read as a kid ''fika'' comes from the secret children language which was popular even before the sjörövarspråket was used by and in the boks of Astrid Lingren : fikon-språket. You took a word like 'kaffe' and reversed its whats-the-name-again-parts and added the word 'fi-kon' split up at the start and end so that...let us take an easier example...the name 'Lasse' bekam fi-sse-la-kon and Bosse 'fissebokon' and 'kaffe' became 'fi-ffe-ka-kon'. That was then adapted and shortened to just 'fi-ka'. The language is cool and works, but the story...well, decide for yourself, but it is kinda cool yet.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    It's the same process, at least, but there's no evidence that fikonspråket is the origin of the word. :) There was a form kaffi which is why it turned into fi + ka rather than fe + ka.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andruoduo

    thx / which does not explain the swop, but fikonspråket would...explain the 'fi' from 'fikon' and the swop ;-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    No, I mean that the same kind of wordplay that gave us fikonspråket also existed outside of fikonspråket. So it's the same kind of toying around with the syllables that gave us fika - but not necessarily through fikonspråket specifically. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GlennaJo

    I wonder if children in every country come up with a way to twist their language. We have "Pig Latin" and I remember a friend of mine who went to a different school who taught me an easier but just as odd sounding twisted English. We would use it when we wanted to confuse others around us, or just annoy them. :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jea1974

    Question regarding a "Fika". does one "have" a fika or "take" a fika?

    For example,

    Vilket är korrekt svenska, "jag kommer att gå att ha en fika" eller "jag kommer att gå att ta en fika"? (Eller skulle jag saga "jag fikar"?)

    Tack så mycket


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

    The verb is to "ta en fika" or just "fika".

    Both your sentences need a little correction, it's "jag kommer (att) gå och ta en fika".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jea1974

    Tack så mycket för det.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    When I am just about to take a break, I say to my collegues: "Nu går jag och fikar!"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jea1974

    Jag antar den korrekta frasen på svenska är "går and ta en fika" och på engelska är "go and take a fika".

    Tack igen.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    "går och tar" (go and take), both verbs have to be in present tense, not infinitive. But it is actually 'more' (?) idiomatically Swedish not to use take, since 'fika' can be a verb in itself - so we say går och fikar, as you can see 'fikar' is here conjugated in present tense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jea1974

    Nu forstår jag "ficka" bättre. Tack så mycket för förklara det till mig


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danielc109394

    What's wrong with 'On fine days we have coffee in the garden.'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Nothing, that is accepted.

    We currently accept 113 different translations. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KDT558999

    Then please also accept mine :)

    "on beautiful days we have coffee in the yard" Unless there is something wrong with using the word 'yard'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    I'm no longer a course contributor, so it's not up to me at the moment. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

    Where I live in the U.S., it sounds odd to say, "We have coffee in the yard." It is more idiomatic to say, "We have coffee in the back yard," or "outside," or "on the patio" (which would normally be in the back of the house), or "on the deck," or "on the lawn" (which could mean in chairs or on a blanket).

    I don't know what your native language is, so I'm just adding my two cents.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    I am not certain how lush and green a 'yard' is? The feeling of a Swedish 'trädgård' ... they often have apple trees, flowers, hedges, berries ...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    It's unusual but possible to use "yard" in the sense of trädgård.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

    You are exaggerating, right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Nope. I mean, it's possible I miscalculated, but if I'm wrong I'm only off by a few translations.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

    Dang! Or, as my Swedish cousin used to say when we were teenagers, "Oo - wow - wuh!" (She made "wow" a 3-syllable word. And lucky for me she won't see this so I can't get in trouble for teasing her!)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/French3lla

    Det är så rolig:')


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarekArtist

    In Slovak, fikať is a rude slang word for love making. Although I have never used it, it remains the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear fickar. Fickar vi i trädgården makes it even funnier.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leonig01

    "On nice days we drink fika in the garden"? Why not accept this?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/swedishrascal

    Fika is an activity, not a drink. English doesn't have an equivalent; the reason it is translated as "having a coffee" is because that is the closest translation, but fika also involves biscuits, buns, maybe also juice, and so on. "To fika" (the verb) means to have coffee etc, and "the fika" (as a noun) refers to the whole set up, a bit like the work breakfast or something. In fact, I would say that an English equivalent is tea break, or elevenses, or afternoon tea.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olaf78

    Older (white) Australians would probably use 'tea' in the same way, though with a modifier 'morning' or 'afternoon'. Otherwise 'tea' can mean the evening meal to some people. English is very confusing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

    Translating "fika" to American English is impossible, lol. We don't take tea, or have "elevensies," so we don't have a word for it. But we do know what they mean. And thanks to LOTR we also know about "second breakfast" and "lunch" and "luncheon" being two different things, lol! Silly Hobbitses.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    That's okay. We'll educate you fika heathens eventually. :p


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenOrangeMannen

    I think the closest American equivalents would be coffee breaks and coffee dates.

    American coffee breaks tend to be less relaxed than fika. It's more a time to gather your thoughts than relax per se.

    Coffee dates feel closer to fika to me, but we don't really do them at home ever. These can also be platonic/professional meetings, but I wouldn't call them dates in those cases.

    I think we tend to think of coffee as a personal, rather than shared, experience in the US. Same with other hot beverages, I think. By default, a good way to get a little time to yourself, but certainly something we're happy to share at times.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GlennaJo

    As a child in the late 1950s I remember my mother having neighboring moms coming over or her going over for coffee and coffee cake or some other baked goods. That was before most mothers had jobs or careers. It was often the only time they had a chance to talk with another adult during the day. I know we were not allowed to come into the kitchen unless we were in serious danger. If we did interrupt their "koffeeklatch" we would be in serious danger. :-D


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wowa269009

    "We drink coffee" was not accepted either as translation.

    A sentence like this can have so many translations that I think it should be erased from the test, unless someone is willing to put all the possible translations. Otherwise it's a waist of time.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andruoduo

    btw 'fikaställe' just means a place where you can 'gå och fika' but not just coffe. But even if you get a coffee at an espresso bar I never heard anyone using fika for going there, so yes it is not coffee to anymore it is the whole concept or 'coffee and tea and cake culture'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClarkJensen21

    Does it have to be coffee associated with fika? Could it be tea?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Tea absolutely works as well. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuhaBackma

    To confuse things further (my most sincere apologies) I saw when driving across Sweden a poster on a service station advertising "Kaffe och fika", meaning coffee with a small (and unfortunately rather tasteless) bun. So, yet another way of using the word as a noun, but here we are discussing the usage as a verb.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RolfHemmin

    Swedish "fika" means: to eat!!! Why wasn't accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lillefe

    It should be refreshments maybe, not coffee?!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

    Refreshments implies a large group of people, a crowd, or a formal occasion. It can be used to talk about a few people on your patio, but it would not be the first choice of word for that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexeyAZ.

    why not "drink" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    fika is the general concept of having some coffee or tea and e.g. some snacks or biscuits, sitting and talking, etc. As such, "have a coffee" is allowed since English doesn't have a direct equivalent - but "drink coffee" is too specific and not quite what the Swedish word means.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Q_C

    Is "On good days, we have tea in the garden" unacceptable?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NataliaMor932485

    You rejected. On fine days we have coffee in the garden. Not fair


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MattBush2

    The a in "we have a coffee" should be entirely optional, as fika doesn't strictly mean a single cup of coffee. Unfortunately, the suggested answer without it is rejected.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yama842603

    Gör man en fika eller har man en fika eller tar man en fika eller fikar man? Vilken av den där är riktigt?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel
    • göra fika would mean preparing it, which is fine use
    • ha fika isn't really common, and I would recommend against using it
    • ta (en) fika is very idiomatic
    • just fika is also very idiomatic

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    Vi fikar - it is used as a verb. Vi ska (gå och ) fika. Hänger du med? - We are taking a coffee break, Are you coming? (having a coffee, and all the other stuff)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahferroin7

    I was rather pleasantly surprised to find that not translating 'fika' is accepted.

    Sometimes the best way to translate something really is to just borrow the word as is.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    You'd been surprised at the amount of people who think accepting "fika" in English is a perfectly acceptable reason to hurl insults around, actually.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahferroin7

    Probably not as much as you think given how many people I've seen complaining about English borrowing words like 'otaku' or 'volksgeist'. For a language that doesn't have a formally standardized dialect, we sure have a lot of zealous language purists...

    I must admit some degree of enjoyment of irritating such people by randomly code-switching for single words every few sentences, especially when I can do it with words that require a ridiculous degree of explanation to translate into English properly.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Yes, I know precisely what you mean. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SanktJimmy

    "On nice days we have a cup of coffee together" isn't accepted but "On nice days we have a coffee together" is. In English "have a coffee" sounds really unnatural. Coffee is almost always a mass noun unless it's bottled. "Have coffee" and "have a cup of coffee" make more sense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    We do accept all of that, you just forgot the "in the garden" part. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tisali7

    Oh the fika, reading it brings up good memories and makes me miss Sweden once again :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mamajelli

    What's wrong with "we have coffee on nice days in the garden"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    That rewrites the sentence structure quite a bit, and I'd also argue it changes the meaning a bit since you know have "nice days in the garden".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yvilovesswedish

    For all the german interested people

    In Germany we have a coffee-and-cake-break too: "Vesper". But I guess it's an east german thing. I never heard it in West germany. We say "Wir machen Vesper (we make) or" wir vespern", the same way like "vi fikar".

    After the second world war, Vesper was only a piece of butter-roasted bread with sugar or salt and my parents still practice that :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    I would use mellanmål for Vesper. Literally "inbetween-meal". :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yvilovesswedish

    Oooohhh I know what you did, but that is too easy :) Vesper is not only an inbetween-meal, which you can have everywhere and at any time. It is a break with a little bit of preparation, a well-laid table at home and time for friends/family. Thanks for your reply :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Exactly. And fika isn't normally that - but a mellanmål can occasionally be. :)

    Neither term translates that well into Vesper, to be honest, but I'd say mellanmål is at least generally a little better.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yvilovesswedish

    Ah, now I understand. Thanks again for your always helpful comments :) I’ll remember that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aj4Y2c

    This is not what I understand as fika. I have never had fika in Sweden without something to eat! "Have a coffee " is much to casual a translation IMHO!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    Well I am a Swede, and really Swedes drink coffee several times a day, and eating all the delicious bread and cakes everytime we 'fikar', would not be realistic. Of course we offer cakes when having guests, or meeting relatives on week-ends etc, but people 'fikar' everyday at work as well. Or at home after work, before dinner. Bread every time would make us fat.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure I would be morbidly obese by now if I had something to eat with every fika... :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aj4Y2c

    Yes but that's the point. Drinking coffee during the day is not the same as the ritual of fika is it? And wasn't there a Duolingo exercise that said something like serve seven sorts of cookie with fika?! Which horrified my daughter who lives in Göteborg!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    fika isn't really a ritual. It's more of a loosely defined concept. If you go out for fika, or if you offer it to someone, then I'd expect something to eat with it. friswing's example of having a cup of coffee at work is a great example of when the term applies without eating.

    Sju sorters kakor is the name of a classic Swedish recipe collection. It's from an antiquated etiquette rule stating that a good host should offer seven different kinds of cookies. I really don't get what's so horrifying about that. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aj4Y2c

    Well my daughter is not really "Bake Off" material and thought she had made a social faux pas in her entertaining!

    Sju sorters kakor is now available in English with the subtitle Swedish Cakes and Cookies. Published by ICA no less.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

    Oh, no no, not to worry! There was no faux pas unless she's a time traveller.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahferroin7

    ‘fika’ is notoriously hard to translate, to the point that I actually see it used with some regularity as an example of something that is difficult to translate.

    AIUI, fika is just as much, if not more, about the social aspects as it is about anything else, coffee just happens to be the common choice of drink. Given this, ‘have a coffee’ is not a particularly bad translation in that for many people it can have a similar connotation, but there’s no good English translation that universally conveys that meaning.

    Of course, as far as difficulty translating goes, ‘fika’ still has nothing on stuff like פירגון (the functional opposite of schadenfreude, from Hebrew), θυμός (usually translated as ‘spiritedness’, though that loses a lot of the meaning), or 珍道具 (usually translated as ‘unusual tool’ or ‘weird tool’, though both also lose much of the meaning).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James704885

    Why fikar and not ta en kaffe?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    Because Swedes never say 'ta en kaffe'. We may say: 'Jag ska dricka en kopp kaffe', but since 'fika' is such a short and handy verb, which actually, also can be a noun for the coffee itself, we use it - all the time. Even though in the beginning it was a 'slang'-word.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deyne13

    Fika, to me, is a coffee break, not a cup of coffee. Many times when I have been in Sweden where we have had tea, or juice, or whatever with a bun or cookie for Fika, but no coffee.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    The thing is that 'fika' can be either a noun or a verb. the noun 'fika' = coffee. The verb 'fika' is the break where you can drink and snack a range of different things.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deyne13

    Nice days, fine days, good days. These are equivalent terms where I was raised. Also, fika is not a cup of coffee, but a coffee break, where many of us take tea or juice instead of coffee.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emilyy2405

    when do we use 'fika' and when 'fikar'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

    'Fikar' is the verb in present tens. 'Fika' is also the verb, but in its infinitive form, used e.g. when we are planning to drink coffee: 'vi ska fika', but 'fika' is also the noun for the drink and snack you're having. Since 'Fika' ends in an '-a' it automatically became easy to think of it as a verb, and started to being used as a verb.

    Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.