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"De första gångerna"

Translation:The first times

December 29, 2014

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xolove24xo

In what context would you use this sentence in english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

”I was afraid the first [few] times, but now it’s alright.”


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

In English, you would never leave out the 'few' in that sentence in normal speech. It would either be "the first time" or 'the first (few/couple of) times" or "at first".

'The first times' conjures images of 'the beginning times' as in a mythological story.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

That’s why it’s in brackets. You don’t use it in Swedish, but you do in English.


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

Your reply (below, which I can't reply directly to) explains it for me a lot better. Thank you for taking the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

You’re very welcome, thanks for your understanding and patience.


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

Then can you explain how it is a valid English translation of the phrase if it is not a correctly constructed English sentence?

It seems that to translate it to English you would have to include through implication the 'few' as part of the translation in order for it to make grammatical sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

It’s a difficult balance between idiomaticity and literalness. In order for Duolingo to work, the translations have to be somewhat literal, since the concept is that you’re given the bricks and have to figure out the blueprint. If there are a lot of bricks that are implied it doesn’t work as well, since you’d have to know the language in order to know which words to add or leave out.

This balancing between trying to keep English translations as literal as possible from Swedish, in order for the brick concept to work, and still try to have the English translation as idiomatic as possible for English speakers is difficult, and it doesn’t always turn out perfectly.

Since we’re not here to teach the English language however, there are often many alternatives that are correct as translations from Swedish to English, so in this case you’re marked as correct both if you leave out or include the word ’few’ in this example.


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

Objection, Australian english here and we always leave out 'few' in statements like this. I was afraid the first times, I was bad at driving the first times, it was difficult the first times. Just depends where you are from and whether you are reading or writing. :)


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

This surprises me. Learned something new. Thank you (not that you'll see this).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua118516

Isnt it suppose to be "den" instead of "de" in this sentance? How does "they first times" make sense?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua118516

Or is the plur pronoun reffering to gångarna?


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

Yes, that's correct.

Swedish has three words for "the": den for singular en-words, det for singular ett-words, and de for plurals.

Now, de additionally happens to be third-person plural pronoun - but that's a different word, just happens to share spelling and pronunciation. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trilby16

That's a rare usage!


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

It works in the context of "Everything is new to someone, everybody has to start somewhere. The first times are the most exciting times."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.D.Eckstrom

Can "the first times" be used without adding "few"? It doesn't sound right to my ear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ragnar82

Is "dom" really the correct pronunciation here, or is that the computer getting confused? I thought "de" was "dom" when it meant "they" but not when it was plural "den."


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

dom is always the correct pronunciation for de and dem both, actually.

(Well, a correct pronunciation, and the most common one by far. But it's not wrong to say de/dem like they're written.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zic11379

It should be THE FIRST TIME


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

No, that would be (den) första gången in Swedish.


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

in which case does de means the, and when does it mean they?

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