Bestämma sig is a reflexive verb that requires a pronoun afterwards to further show who the subject is. Examples: Jag bestämmer mig (I decide), Du bestämmer dig (You decide), Han bestämmer sig (He decides), and Vi bestämmer oss (We decide). Some other reflexive verbs are känna sig (to feel) and förbereda sig (to prepare).
I thought this might be the case, but there is another sentence in this lesson that reads, Hon vill alltid bestämma (I think, I don't remember exactly). I do know that it did not have the reflexive pronoun.
In Vi försöker bestämma oss, I think it means more specifically "to make up our minds." In Hon vill alltid bestämma, I think it means that she wants to decide as opposed to making up her mind. To make that a bit more clear, I think that bestämma is reflexive when you are deciding something for yourself that will affect only your actions. I'm not 100% sure, though!
So like "The fate of the world is in your hands" kind of try to decide is bestämma, but the "should i take this job" kind of decide is bestämma sig?
I am enjoyng how much of swedish is like german - "bestämma sig" is pretty much "sich entscheiden". Maybe its because Hochdeutsch was the medieval lingua franca in the region?
Does the ending -stämma mean anything in particular? I have seen it appear in several recent vocabulary words.
That's very much not true. It has lots of uses!
- to arrange a meeting - kan vi stämma träff nästa vecka?
- to sue - företagen stämmer varandra
- to tune an instrument - stäm fiolen, spelman!
- to agree - det stämmer!
- to stop a liquid - stäm blodet fort!
- assembly meeting of e.g. a company board
Okay yeah, I didn't think of those but the only one of those i actually have heard is 3. 4. And 2 which is the one i said
There are actually more senses, but I skipped the ones that I wouldn't expect natives to have heard and use.
That would be Vi försöker bestämma själva – the sentence we have here, Vi försöker bestämma oss has a somewhat different meaning, more like make up our minds than decide for ourselves.
In portuguese people often say "se decida" or "decida-se" (which is the correct one, but some people say "se decida" anyways), which would literally mean "bestämmer sig".
Same in french "se decider".. so maybe it's same for every language except english ;p