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  5. "Du är ful!"

"Du är ful!"

Translation:You are ugly!

December 31, 2014



Story time! I was sitting on a night bus once, traveling from Göteborg to Borås. As it was pretty crowded a Swedish couple, having been out partying, shared a single seat next to me and struck up a conversation in English. After a while I proudly claimed: "Oh by the way, I know a few words and phrases in Swedish". "Really? Say something!", said the boy. I wanted to remark on the slight drunkenness of my conversational partner and went "Du är ful!" (meaning to say "Du är füll!" ("You are drunk!")). "Wow. That's a rude thing to say, you know that?", said the girl jumping to the defense of her boyfriend. Still not noticing my mistake I argued: "But it's true! I mean, just look at him!!" .... Anyway, we managed to clear up the misunderstanding and had a big laugh at it. Swedes are cool. :)


So it's not true that Swedes don't talk to random people like here in America?


They were drunk. :P It's the same here in Ireland. Its unlikely someone will strike up a conversation randomly. But go out drinking and you'll make lots of new friends.


Related, how do you say "I'm full" in the sense of "I've eaten a lot"?


Jag är mätt.


gothenberg? did you see the pewdiepie stairs?


I was beautiful in the last sentence


Owls are fickle creatures.


"You are ugly" "You are correct"


I still do not understand when a Swede says Full and when Ful. am i the only one who has trouble with this?!


The difference is vowel length. Full has a short vowel, while ful has a long one.


Du är ful och jag älskar inte dig! Swedish can be very mean!!


Am I the only one who hears "du VAR ful" when listening at normal speed?


I came here trying to find someone who did heard that V before är!


Sounds okay to me... If you're hearing it on your end, though, maybe it's a bug?


Sounds very close to you are full.


Yep. But the vowel in full is short, and the one in ful is long.


Is the ful/full mix-up something that happens ever, or do they sound drastically different to a native?


It's totally clear to us natives.


Yeah, I remember learning the two similar words for ugly and drunk. I haven't had much opportunity to use my Swedish skills for quite some time, so I could definitely use a reminder about the difference in pronunciation of these two Swedish words.


Yes I think if I ever had to speak Swedish and use the proper word for drunk, I would just say a different phrase. Du drack för mycket. And follow up in English with You seem drunk. Because even quite inebriated Swedish young people most likely would understand me in English. I don't want to risk insulting a drunk person. Even when we mess up, people appreciate that we try to speak their language while in their country. And being polite, they won't correct us either. I spent an entire trip saying "devil" for Gävle, the name of a beautiful town. I came home and my father corrected me but he could have said the town's name a thousand times and I would not have heard the subtle difference between correct and calling the place "devil". In his generation, unlike here in the USA, the word devil in Swedish is a major swear word. And of course, the difference between the town's name and "that" word are a totally clear difference to natives speakers.


I'm guessing you said djävla for Gävle, since that's a major swear word. It means "damned", though, rather than "devil." The word for devil is djävul, and it is not a swear word.

The initial d in those words is silent, but it's not just the vowels. Swedish is a pitch-accent language, and the pitch is different between Gävle (start high, move down) and djävla (start low, move up).


I like your idea of saying "Du drack for mycket." When I was practicing my Swedish skills, visiting Sweden for the first time, I did use the Swedish word for drunk, when my Swedish friend was hiccuping. I think I pronoounced it correctly 'cause everyone laughed.

Oh, but about the world "gavle" there is a song titled "en gavle pa karlek" by GES. So is the translation "A devil of love"?


Is the long and short vowels. Short sounding like our word "fund or fun" and long vowel being "fool" the longer "oo"? That's how I hear it but what cruel fate caused two words that both insult to sound so much alike. Maybe let's not call anyone ugly ever.


Agreed, it's not nice to use the word ugly when referring to a person because the world 'ugly' is an UGLY word. Ha!

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