Nobody I know uses the word "cohabitant," which in English doesn't connote a romantic relationship anyway. I don't think we have a specific term, except for maybe "live-in boyfriend."
I also wanted to let people know that "sambo" is something you don't (in English) want to call anyone with dark skin; in America it's racially insensitive and, according to Wikipedia, in the UK it is considered offensive. There was a children's book called "Little Black Sambo" which popularized it (the main character was actually from India -- one can tell because he's dealing with tigers).
"Sambo" is much more than a 'boyfriend/girlfriend', since in Sweden it is very often the partner you have children with (without being married). And furthermore, in Swedish I really think that the connection between the name 'Sambo' is the fun part that made the concept stick in the Swedish Language. Bo = live, Sam = short for 'tillsammans" = together, move it around, and you get the name 'Sambo'. Which - yes - in Swedish too, a hundred years ago, was used racially, but now has lost that bias completely, thanks to it now meaning 'partner'.
I agree that "live in boyfriend/girlfriend/partner" is the best translation. The only difference being that it has no legal status (in the US at least)
How does it get a legal status in Sweden? Do you have to do some formal stuff or is it sufficient to live together? (My spouse and I recently moved to Sweden and in Germany it is alo like in the US not a legal state - thus I am wondering now)
You don't apply for it, you're considered to be sambo automatically. If you split up, both of you may have a right to your apartment if you had one, even if only one of you is on the contract. (if you enter legal procedures over it, it will be give to the person who is considered to need it the most) And the things that have been bought for your common living are by law required to be split between you, even if only one of you paid for them.
Being a sambo can also influence your right to some social benefits. If you're sambo with a person who earns over a certain sum, you're not entitled to welfare (you can still get unemployment benefits, because they're unrelated to your income). So you have a certain obligation to support your sambo. People who live with friends may have to prove this to the authorities in some cases (e.g. if one of them needs welfare and the other one earns too much).
This sounds very similar to a de facto relationship here in New Zealand (and I'm sure other commonwealth countries)
We have a law regulating some of the issues concerning unmarried couples living together, "sambo-lagen". But still, it does not help you if your partner dies, You will not inherit someone you are not married to, if you don't have a "will" that says so. And, unfortunately, not many unmarried couples know this. so if the couple does not have children the dead persons parents will inherent instead, and if there are children, the children inherit, but will have to be represented by a trustee in money dealings, not the living parent, etc
As was the case with Stieg Larsson's sambo. I read she was fighting to get part of the royalties from the Millenium saga.
We have common law marriage in the US. After cohabitating for a certain amount of time (I believe this varies by jurisdiction, though) you can begin to reap the legal benefits, at least so far as taxation goes. I'm unsure if this pertains to medical care, visitation in prison, end of life care, etc. but you get the tax breaks. Some insurance companies even allow benefits to extend to common law situations. This was one of the early ways same sex couples "married" before we (as a country) got our ❤❤❤❤ together. I don't believe, however, there is any legal recourse after a split, as it appears there is in Sweden. Additionally, "Sambo" is WAY sweeter than "common law spouse," and I immagine it wouldn't carry the same sort of semi-taboo connitation that common law marriage does States side.
Yes it is a slur but not because of the little black sambo book (which, as rightly pointed out, is about a Sourh Asian child). That was just an unfortunate name choice. "Sambo" was a common slave name already by the late 1700s (slave names were names Africans were forced to adopt by their masters). And after slavery was abolished it became a common racial epithet or "nickname" forced on black people to remind them of their low status. An interesting account of the history of the term is at http://www.thefullwiki.org/Sambo_(ethnic_slur)
Oh my, this book was definitely a favorite when I was a child, mostly because I found that zebra crepes was amazingly good looking. It's kind of sad though for the tigers involved but well, as a child it didn't seem to bother me... Thanx for that nice memory though !
I recall that there were also Sambo's restaurants that went out of business sometime during my childhood. I don't think my family ever ate at one, but I vaguely remember some hullabaloo about the theme and decor being considered "prejudiced against black people." I thought it was a family restaurant themed after an old children's book.
I didn't know "sambo" had ever been a racial slur. That's an ugly piece of news.
I did a little web search and I see the author and illustrator was a Scottish woman and the book was published in 1899. The book has been published many, many times since then with illustrations by lots of different people. I don't think any racism was intended by the author. Sambo was a brave and likeable little boy with ordinary, nice parents. I see that some of the later illustrations were kinda gross, more like caricatures, and the little family looked African, not Indian.
The book I remember had nice illustrations. It was probably published in 1960 or so, though there were evidently quite a few versions before that with lovely illustrations. I certainly never picked up anything racist from the book. It wasn't a favorite or anything, but I do remember an odd little story about tigers turning into butter, and a cute little boy hero who wore bright new clothes.
It turns out the restaurant was originally named after the two owners, with Sambo's being a combination of their names/nicknames, Sam (Sam Battistone) and Bo (Newell Bohnett). They borrowed the book's characters to promote the restaurant chain.
I can see why people got offended by the name of the restaurant, but at the same time, it seems like an over-reaction when the story itself was not at all derogatory towards Indian or dark-skinned people. Perhaps people were reacting to the racism of those who adopted "sambo" as a racial slur, or some of the derogatory illustrations of the story.
I guess Sam and Bo picked the wrong children's book to promote their restaurants. After the chain went out of business, the one original restaurant remained and is still in operation in California. There's also one restaurant in Oregon with a similar name, "Lil' Sambo's," that is also themed after the children's book but is not affiliated with the "Sambo's" chain of restaurants.
It's really dumb that people took the name of the hero of a children's story and made it a racial slur (not even aimed at the same people). I'm glad that that racist insult has dropped out of our collective vocabulary, and I'm glad I didn't know about it (until now). My parents did a pretty good job of shielding me from that kind of garbage. Racism is so stupid, on top of being evil.
The wife of the deceased owner of the jack-in-the-box chain, gambled her inheritance away.
Yeah, I didn't know neither that "sambo" was a slur. I had the book with nice and not racist illustrations but I remember that when my nephew asked me to read it to him, I was really uncomfortable with the title so I read "Sambo and the tigers"... It's like when you read the smurfs, as an adult you see all the awful sexism in it that you didn't see when you were a child...
Olweg, I think your title change was good! Lol!
The Smurfs were sexist?! I actually never watched them. My kids were not the right age at the right time to get into the Smurfs. All I know is that they were blue, lol.
Oh yeah. One woman for all the men, she's dumb, always crying and screaming, can't do anything herself, except cooking or combing her hair, she's basically useless :/ Reading it to my nephews and nieces is a nightmare.. lol
Wow! I'm glad my kids missed that. I had no idea! Lol, that is terrible.
'cohabitant' in English has NO romantic implication. The correct word would be 'partner'
But 'partner' doesn't imply living together. I don't think there's an easy direct translation here.
Yeah, partner can be a business partner, or a pal, not necessarily anything romantic.
'Cohabitant' may seem like a somewhat cold and unemotional word, but it does indeed have romantic implications: "1. a member of a couple who live together and have a sexual relationship without being married."
Can "sambo" mean roommate or housemate in a platonic sense? Or does it connote only a romantic relationship?
It will most commonly refer to a couple in a romantic relationship who also lives together.
Yes, I also know some people who use it about people they just live together with, and not even as a joke. But it can be confusing.
It is noteworthy, that 'sambo' - in Danish - almost exclusively to refer to one's roommate. In general, I have observed a lot of Swedish words, that are common in Danish - or at least in the capital area.
I tried roommate, but it didn't work. I wonder if they would have taken significant other ...
No, roommate is too platonic, and S.O. doesn't necesarily carry the element of living together.
I amerikanska serier, när man är i gymnasiet, man säger "roommates" för att tala om människor som delar ett rum. De är bara studenter och oftare två flickor eller två pojkar. Jag förstår inte vad är romantikst i detta. :/
The Swedish word "sambo" means a non-married couple who is also living together. Roommates are just friends who live together.
Tack! Men jag skev "roommate" och det var rätt... konstigt. En sak är säker: jag förstår vad "sambo" betyder nu. :-)
Sand_from_Mars is correct about the word "roommates."
I'm surprised to hear that high school students live anywhere other than with their parents, though. The characters must have been college students.
Wow i'm glad I read the comments, because it hadn't occurred to me that there was some love involved in this.. I was thinking here about people sharing a rent for financial reasons.
Yeah, this is a prime candidate for an "hardest word to translate and teach quickly and accurately in this course" award. :)
I feel for you having to explain it. FWIW I got the concept pretty quickly from the hover overs.
I think 'cohabiting/live-in partner' might get there in the UK. Not particularly natural expressions but ones that might translate quickly.
Why isnt "my coinhabitant is not home" not accepted? Ypu really don't need to put "at" in there
There is a distinction - compare "Honey, I'm home!" with "Honey, I'm at home!"
But that said, it's obviously colloquially very common to use just "is not home", like you mention. I'd be fine with what the contributors decide either way. :)
You are right about the difference between "Honey, I'm home!" and "Honey, I'm at home."
Aside from that exception, "home" and "at home" are interchangeable. Where I live, it sounds a little stilted to say, "not at home."
I used live in for sambo as it is the closest term I've heard used in the US, but it was rejected. Can it be added?
Sure - we actually accepted "live-in girlfriend" and "live-in boyfriend" already, so it was probably left out by accident.