what does this mean, "she chose a peculiar way."? "She chose a different way" makes sense to me, but "she chose a peculiar way" sounds like a nonsense sentence to me.
I second this impression. To my ear, "annorlunda" sounds absolutely neutral, without any emotions attached, just plain "different". Whereas "peculiar" is something out of normality, something that raises eyebrows, like in the Simon & Garfunkel's song "A Most Peculiar Man".
I'm having a hard time figuring out what this word means, especially since this is the only sentence with it that I've come across, but maybe it means something like "alternative"?
Svenska Akademiens ordbok explains that the word ANNORLUNDA is built of two parts: ANNOR, which is an archaic form of ANNAN, and LUND, which means SÄTT. Here are the links: http://g3.spraakdata.gu.se/saob/show.phtml?filenr=1/13/210.html http://g3.spraakdata.gu.se/saob/show.phtml?filenr=1/13/173.html#ANNOR-LUNDA
Technically, the meaning "alternative" could match ANNORLUNDA, but there already is a word for it in Swedish, it's ALTERNATIV. The word ANNORLUNDA is very very old. To my ear, it's a very basal, uncomplicated, simple word that all country side folk had been using for centuries. It just does not mix up with fancy modern words like "alternative".
I just found out that the synonyms website http://www.synonymer.se/?query=annorlunda hints that UDDA is a synonym to ANNORLUNDA. UDDA is actually "peculiar", so, after all, the disputed translation can be accurate.
The problem might lie in the translation of väg as 'way' – have a look at my recent comments just to make sure. – I think I might have preferred this to say "path" in English.
Can this be both geographical and metaphorical e.g. a different path home / a different path in life?
Yes, I'd most likely take it to mean path in life, but the geographical sense is somewhat possible too. However as I said below, it cannot mean way as in 'way of doing something', because that would be ett sätt.
can "väg" used as a "way of doing something"? For example, is this a correct sentence:
Hon har en olika väg att äta fisk (She has a different way of eating fish)
Haha, well if one is not talking about the direction you eat the fish that is. ;)
Me too, it still seems to be rejected, unless I did something else wrong (!!) :)
The word "peculiar" originally meant "of one's self" so "peculiar to one's self" would have made perfect sense and in this way the sentence is more understandable as in "she chose her own way" as opposed to a clear way already marked out (I suppose this could be figuratively "through life" but also makes sense in a literal form). It's only fairly recently that peculiar has taken on the meaning of odd or strange. C.f. the etymology of "weird" which now has similar connotations but originally meant "fate"
Is annorlunda kind of like "different from the norm in a peculiar way"? I'm having a hard time understanding what this word means
Here's a nice post that explains it. Just scroll down a bit. http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/theswedishteacher/tag/annorlunda/
To my ear, udda means in some way, just like you said "different from the norm" (I suppose english 'odd' and swedish 'udda' may have something in common). Annorlunda is literaly "different"; used to distinguish, tell apart, to contrast.
I said that she chose an alternate way. How is that different than having chosen a different way?
"different" is only a good translation in its informal use, in which it is used to mean more like "unconventional, abnormal, or unfamiliar". The real definition of different is simply "not the same". I think "peculiar" is a much less ambiguous translation and seems to be the correct match unless *annorlunda" gets abused in the way "different" does making its definition ambiguous. :)
Annorlunda usually means different, peculiar is something slightly deviating. Of course you can use annorlunda with thst meaning too, but it's not the best way to express the nuance between weird and different.