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"De yngsta och de äldsta"

Translation:The youngest and the oldest

January 3, 2015

33 Comments


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

Good question. I'm wondering too. My initial guess would be it has to do with belonging to a larger group of people or things (as in 'the youngest' among them), but I'm not totally sure. Any help? :)


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

I believe "de" indicates that each of these is plural. So, an unspecified number of the youngest and an unspecified number of the eldest. I'm not a native speaker, though, so I could be wrong.


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

Den/det/de are all accepted answers due to the ambiguity, though.


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

Why 'äldsta' when 'old' is 'gammal', and why 'yngsta' when 'young' is 'ungdom' ?

How do you say 'older' and 'younger'? Äldare and Yngdare?


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

They're irregular. Older and younger are äldre and yngre.


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

There are no comparitive and superlative forms of gammal, then? Nor, for that matter, a simple adjective äld..


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

Right, it's gammal, äldre, äldst, and 'äld' on its own doesn't exist. age is ålder though, so the root of the word exists.


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

I think both "ald" and "gammal" (or similar) did exist in predecessing language(s), and meant essentially the same. Over time, gammal won the positive, but äldre and äldst prevailed in comparative and superlative.

In German, it's "alt, älter, (am) ältesten", and "gammal" has only survived through the verb "gammeln", which means (for food) "to go bad".

Comparable to "good, better, best" - "bra, bättre, bäst".


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

åldrig is a word that remains, but it's mostly used in special combinations and has a special ring to it.


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

@CMShifflett, that reminds me of the time I was reading the Pentamerone on a flight and the child next to me asked me to read for them once it became apparent that I was reading fairy tales. It was a late 19th century edition, and I had to do a remarkable amount of censoring such as change "❤❤❤❤❤" to "dog" and subtly skip two pages of, shall we say, mammarial appreciation.

The mother of the child got to sleep through the flight and was very grateful. I was equally happy that she slept through any censorship mishaps to which I may have subjected her child. :)


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

The fairy tales I read as a child were in English, but it was a special Older English where a child was never the "oldest" but the "eldest" and didn't just "wear nice clothes" but were "clad in fine [raiment]."

We still have youngsters and elders but "eld" (and "raiment") and "clad" (as the past participle of "to clothe") have largely vanished since the 1800's. These lessons are like a time-tunnel to the past. Thank you Arnauti and all of you who make this possible!


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

We have similar in English: "good", "better", "best". In standard English there is no "gooder" or "goodest", nor is there a "bet" for "good". Or perhaps it should be "bat" or "boot", as detailed here: http://www.word-detective.com/2010/10/good-better-best/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/asceel.hab

Is the 'd' in äldsta silent or slightly pronounced?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
Mod
  • 11

It's silent


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lawa4

The answer should be "the youngest and the ELDEST."


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

No, but I assume that's also accepted.


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

Shouldn't it be "yngste" and "äldste" according to what the grammar section for this skill says about determined superlatives?


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

de yngsta och de äldsta is plural but in the masculine singular you could say den yngste och den äldste. The English sentence is ambiguous, you don't know if it's about one (ok, two) or more people, but in Swedish you have to choose between singular and plural. (the masculine form is optional even for masculine beings).


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

ung and gammal are both very irregular adjectives, so they don't follow normal patterns.


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

Ok, so yngste and äldste don't exist in any context? And if they were regular it should be yngaste and äldaste I guess?


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

Actually, Swedish has only one remnant of our old gender system in place - namely, that you can optionally use an -e ending for masculines in the definite singular. So you could say yngste or äldste about a boy, for instance.

Since the base forms are ung and gammal, it would be probably have been ungaste and gamlaste. The latter is a classic example of what toddlers will frequently come up with until they learn the irregular form.


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

wouldn't ju and desot work here too?

(Is it desot?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ha.chun

No, ju...desto is for the comparatives, e.g. ju äldre desto bättre = the older, the better. Here, you are just talking about two superlatives, i.e. (both) the oldest and the youngest


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

Det är precis som på tyska (je ... desto) :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Risto110913

How the word 'de' can be pronounced 'dom'. It is not the right Swedish language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2907

Oh... and how precisely do you know?


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

Risto is a common Finnish name, so I'm guessing that Risto is Finnish, in which case his comment makes sense - de is actually pronounced de in Finland Swedish, and dom in Sweden Swedish. I would not be surprised to find that most Swedish speakers in both countries do not know this.


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

Is 'de' an article? I thought is was a pronoun, equivalent to 'they'. I would appreciate your clarifying this point. Thanks.


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

Yes, it's the plural form of den/det.

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