Translation:The patient was carried in by two nurses.
I verify :)! Note that the vowel is long here and that with a short "ä" it means beer!
Can you give an example of what you mean by long? I always thought it was a as in cat (American English).
"Long" and "short" vowels in English refer to the SOUND, not to the duration of the sound.
Short version: if the vowel "says its name" it's long.
Kate, late, bait, and date all have a LONG A. Cat (kat), bat, sat, and chat have a SHORT A.
Short / long are unfortunate designations, but again, they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the sound is clipped off, emphasized, or drawn out -- even to the point where it might become "singing" the "short" and "long" vowel sounds continue to exist.
In Swedish though, the difference is precisely between long and short vowels [with a long vs short duration] so for our purposes it's a very useful and necessary distinction. The sound in bärs = 'is being carried' is [æː] and the sound in bärs = 'beer' is [æ]. Same sound, only long or short.
It's true that there's also a difference in vowel quality in the case of e.g. long /a/ vs short /a/ = [ɑː] vs [a] but the long /a/ is still long. The consonant sound is also longer after a short vowel and shorter after a long vowel. This is something that you don't really have in English so the distinction may take some time to get used to and it may even be hard to hear the difference at first. If you keep listening, you'll hear it more clearly.
With this in mind maybe it's clearer to give the phonetic sound of the swedish vowels rather than say short or long. In the English case its AY for the long A sound for instance.
I think in some American English accents and in RP, the "a" in "bad" is often longer than the "a" in "bat", but since the vowel length is not needed to tell words apart in English, it is going to be more difficult for an English speaker to hear the difference. In some northern British accents, the short "a" generally seems very short, so you could try to compare such an accent to your own. A long vowel is simply longer than a short vowel.
Very true. There are quite a few message threads in these forums where this phenomenon causes confusion, since different people have different experiences concerning vowel lengths in English.
Hm, it feels like "ä" in bärs = is carried is longer then a in cat and "ä" in bärs = beer is definitely shorter than a in cat.
I played the 2 (av bära) and (dryck) but my English ears could not hear a difference except that dryck seemed slightly faster. Is that the only difference?
Yes, with a shorter "ä" it is faster :) and apart from that the pronunciation is the same.
You are hearing a retroflex :).
Note that it normally happens also between words, e.g. in "Hon bär sin hund (she carries her dog).