There are countless watercourses of very varying size in Sweden, and consequently there are a handful of words to refer to them. In a very rough fashion of small-to-large there are bäck, å, ström and älv/flod, but where one stops and the next applies may vary regionally.
It can be said quite safely, though, that en bäck is about the size of a ditch. You could probably jump over a bäck.
En å is quite hard to narrow down in explanation. It's a small river, definitely bigger than en bäck but not bigger than en älv (which isn't a very good explanation to non-natives, I know).
En ström is relatively infrequent and I won't go into depth on it here.
En älv is largely synonymous with en flod and it's what we'd call a river, but it's use is found mostly in the Northern 2/3 of Sweden. No Swedish river is called en flod in its Swedish name.
En flod can be used for rivers abroad, especially large ones.
Perhaps that is more than what you asked for but... I guess you'll just have to count yourself lucky to have asked a geographer. :p
Great explanation of a tricky topic. Bäck sounds much like the now archaic English word, beck, which meant pretty much the same thing. Terms for different size natural features often are hard to define precisely and so often overlap. Think groups of trees; a clump, a stand, a woods, a forest, etc. Thanks as always for your patient and helpful explanations and clarifications.
Google translate doesn't help at all with Matt92HUN's sentence.
wikitionary says that "e" is a colloquial spelling of "är". Also it says that "ä" is an abbreviation of "äldre", but I don't see how that fits grammatically.
My Swedish husband says that "D'ä" might be "Det är" and that "e" might be "en" which seems to fit better than "är".
So our best, incomplete. and probably entirely wrong, guess is: "It is a river, river in åa is an island."
I did find the source of the sentence: https://sv.wikisource.org/wiki/Dumt_f%C3%B4lk
Note that Matt actually linked to the source you found as well.
Gustaf Fröding, its author, is one of the most well-known Swedish poets. This specific piece is from a poem in a collection of very dialectal Swedish, specifically värmländska. It was even printed with a brief dictionary at the back, for the sake of other Swedes trying to read the darn thing.
- D'ä = det är = there is
- e å = en å = a river
- å = och = and
- i åa = i ån = in the river
- ä e ö = är en ö = (there) is an island
Ah, I didn't realize there was a link. I didn't notice that it was blue.
Thanks for the explanation. My husband actually guessed that åa was "the river". Maybe å=och would have been the key for us to figure it out. We might even have guessed that if we hadn't been primed to think of å=river. :-D
The voice is not quite perfect on this sentence, as of April 14th, 2018, so I've taken the liberty of re-recording it.
I think this sentence is probably hard to hear normally, so with the voice meshing the vowels, the difficulty level goes even higher. :) I have made two recordings in a single file: the first is a little clearer, with the och fully pronounced, and the second which follows immediately is closer to how most natives would say it.
Please find a correct recording on http://duolingo.vydea.io/71a89a335b044dcf9959aa7b72061aed.mp3
For more info on re-recordings, please check the info thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23723515
Thanks for listening. Ha en bra dag! :)
"river" covers both of those - I'd even wager that it's a much more common translation of å than "stream". The later is generally better as e.g. ström or bäck. But Swedish names for stretches of water overlap, and so do English names, and they do not overlap with each other, so... there's not as much downright wrong in general as there might have been in other subjects.
I'm talking about Swedish, not English. The point is that you cannot translate en å (Swedish) into "an å" (English) because it would have said ett å (Swedish) if it was about the letter å.
Please don't post just to be difficult. I'm happy to provide free help but I'm honestly not very happy to do so if I know the person asking is just deliberately trying to be annoying.