why is this not just "waves of the sea"? Would it not be "vågorna" if it was "the waves"?
I'm not sure about this one. I think I'd translate waves of the sea back into havsvågor or vågor på havet. This is an interesting question, I'll try to think some more about it. As Lundgren8 says, it could never be havets vågorna, definites can't be possessed by genitive nouns.
I didn't know about the two definites rule. That's helpful in itself! Thank you!
Isn’t this example just the fact that in English (like in Swedish) a possessive expressed with an s-genitive never takes a further determiner, while the corresponding of phrasing always does? E.g.:
my brother’s children —> the children of my brother
the sea’s waves —> the waves of the sea
I guess it could be both. You cannot have a definite article after a word already in the definite. This type of sentences are usually translated into English with two definite article. I think if we’d want to make it indefinite we’d phrase it in a different way.
We wouldn't generally say 'the sea's waves' anyway. 'S genitive usually implies that the thing doing the possessing is animate which the sea isn't.
That awkward moment, when you study flamenco in the school called Las Olas del Mar (The Waves of the Sea in Spanish).