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  5. "Det här är min sambo."

"Det här är min sambo."

Translation:This is my cohabitant.

January 14, 2015

104 Comments


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

In English we would use the word partner.


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

Except of course that a partner may live elsewhere.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinj1973

And 'cohabitant' has zero romantic connotation. So what ya gonna do? You'd never use that word. If you want an exact translation that encompasses all meaning, it would be 'This is my partner who lives with me.'


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

"Cohabitant" is actually the term used for government applications in the US for a person you live with and have a relationship of that nature with. You wouldn't use it for a roommate or friend or relative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steverandall7

Informally we speak of one's "significant other"


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

You do not necessarily have to live with your SO, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steverandall7

True. We might also call them our "live in"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ansku470271

I'm not sure immigration legalese is really the best default word choice to convey the actual meaning here. It might not be common for someone to introduce their partner as their domestic partner, but they are even less likely to introduce such person as their cohabitant. I went through several lessons thinking sambo meant 'roommate' and someone had just picked up a really awkward translation for it. I'd even go Chez Geek route and use "Live-In S.O." long before 'cohabitant' ever became an option. Government applications and everyday language don't meet all that often.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaBa07

You could also live with someone who you are not in a romantic relationship with


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

That would be a roommate or housemate, not a romantic partner.


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

Or live-in partner


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

Does this word combine tillsammans (together) and bo (to reside)?


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

That was genius of you!


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

Do you use "sambo" only for someone you are in love with? Or can it also be used for someone with whom you only live together, for example in a students dormitory?


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

Sambo is someone you are in a relationship who lives with you. If you were to use it for someone who is just your roommate it would have some probably unwanted implications.


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

Thanks for the clarification.


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

On a sidenote, I've heard the word kombo be used for platonic flatmates. Probably formed from "kombinerad" somehow. :) Not very common though.


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

I've always thought it was from kompis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris-Butler

So when Lou Bega sang about Mambo number 5, he was in fact singing about the fact that he and his 4 siblings all still live with their mum!


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

I don't know for sure, but I do know mambo is someone who lives with their mom – not that I've ever heard anyone use that word seriously. :D


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

Now that you say it, that makes so much more sense... Just didn't think of it.


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

Whereabouts in the world is it politically correct to say "Sambo"? It would be dreadfully racist to say that in Britain!


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

It's a very common Swedish word which refers to a romantic partner with whom you live. I would assume the question was about the Swedish word, not the English one - especially since that's the word taught in this sentence.


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

I live in Britain and never even heard the word sambo?


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

It all depends how you pronounce it. No problem om du uttalar ordet på svenska


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

Living in Sweden, Sambo is rarely actually translated into English. It is just left as a distinct term. Is that acceptable here?


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

Yes, sambo is accepted.


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

I've just tried 'this is my sambo', but it marked it as wrong. For the record, I've never heard anyone speaking English in Sweden and saying 'my cohabitant'. Everyone simply uses 'my sambo'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanHill16

I expect you know, but for any learners out there who have English as a second language, be aware that sambo exists in English as a racial slur. I think it's archaic and rare enough that most people won't immediately think of it, but I'd avoid it unless the context is heavily Swedish. As people have said above, "partner" is the word we'd most likely use (though "partner" has lots of non-Sambo meanings, which is why it's not the preferred translation here).


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

I have never heard that before


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanHill16

I'm not surprised: I can't imagine anyone younger than, say, Prince Philip saying it. There was an allegation ( I should stress, one with basically no evidence whatsoever) that Sarah Palin had used the word, so at least for some people it will trip the "bad word" sensor in the brain. http://www.snopes.com/politics/palin/sambo.asp


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vero8367

http://materalbum.free.fr/sambo%20album/couv.jpg My first thought when I saw the word ,character of children books a long time ago , cute but probably not "politically correct" today ...


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

Note, though, that it's not pronounced the same as in English, so if you are speaking it won't sound like a slur, even in English. You probably wouldn't have occasion to write it, and would find a way to avoid it there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinj1973

You just wouldn't use 'cohabitant' in English. No-one would use that, ever. 'This is my other half' or 'this is my partner' would be a more accurate English translation. But NEVER cohabitant.


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

But the translation need to include the element of living together.


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

we still use partner when two people are living together. i never hear cohabitant unless someone is jokingly refering to cockroaches or other household pests.


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

Perhaps "de facto" works best? That has the implication as a long term relationship much like a marriage (where you typically but not 100% always live together) without the actual marriage part.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinj1973

then 'partner that I live with' is more accurate.


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

'Live-in partner' is used in English. Though you'd never introduce your great love that way. Frankly, 'sambo' doesn't sound very romantic ('my live-together'), but I suppose the Swedes have developed loving and caring connotations with the word!


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

Yeah, "live-in partner" is the term I'm familiar with too, I propose it be accepted.


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

@Oinophilos: It is accepted, though. Has been for over three years. kenmerk's and Gaston's comments are slightly older than that.


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

Cohabitant is the UK English term for any residents living at the same address. The Scottish colloquial term for sambo is "bidie-in".


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

Not where I come from it isn't, partner would be the term used if cohabiting, flatmate or housemate where you aren't in a relationship.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimLeonard0

I think domestic partner sounds like a natural translation. Does anyone know if that is accepted?


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

It is the more formal term used in the U.S. for the Swedish Sambo. It works the for same sex or different sex relationships. There is no easy translation into English as the language is well behind changing attitudes about couples living together and we are also well behind Sweden in the legal recognition of such relationships.


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

It is. It's not something I've ever heard, though. I don't think there's a good answer. This term can also apply to people in a heterosexual relationship, right? All the English terms being thrown around here imply same-sex ... or at least they do to me.


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

And it gets further complicated by different English-speaking countries having widely different terms for it...

There's no really good word that means "my significant other, with whom I live" - but it's an important word to know in Swedish. I imagine it's one of the most challenging words for the course creators. Way harder to get right than the classics, such as lagom, or fika.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tiinas1

Common law spouse was accepted. That is was Finns use when writing a cv in english.


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

At least in the US, common law spouse has a distinct legal meaning. A common law marriage is a marriage that exists even though no formal marriage ceremony was ever conducted. The rules for these vary widely between states. Dissolving a common law marriage requires a divorce. I wouldn't use the term common law spouse loosely. It means much more than Swedish sambo.


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

I wonder whether whether Swedish immigrants brought det här with them to America and are indirectly responsible for the redneck English equivalent of this here, as in This here is my live-in partner.


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

Excellent question. You're actually not the first one to ask, so I looked this very thing up well over a year ago, only to find that the phrase has been prevalent even in British English on and off for centuries now. It also exists in many European languages that are not Scandinavian. So while it's not impossible - it does seem unlikely.


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

What about defacto? Has the live with conotation


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

Unfortunately de-facto also has the connotation that comes with pretty much only ever seeing it in news items, that are usually about domestic violence. For that reason you pretty much never hear someone introduce themselves with something like, "Hi, I'm Peter, and this is my de-facto, Susan." Whereas sambo is used very readily in such situations; it has a much more positive connotation.


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

Disagree re the negative connotations here. De facto is in common use in my regional English (NZ-Britain etc). We would tend to use it more formally - like when filling in forms etc but you would often describe someone else's live in partner as their "de facto". I think it makes a good translation here. Or at least the best translation it seems we may be able to get!


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

Face it, there is no useful equivalent in English. This is the man/woman I live with. Once back in the early 70s, I went on a vacation with my girlfriend (now my wife) to stay in a house in Maine lent us by a friend. The day I arrived I met and conversed with a neighbor while my girlfriend was running an errand. Later the two of us met her again and my girlfriend started to introduce me. The neighbor said, "Oh, I've already met your . . . . " The sentence ended there. She couldn't find a word.


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

In 1970, the US Census Bureau coined the abbreviation POSSLQ, which morphed into the wonderful but short-lived word posslq, pronounced pahs'-ill-cue. The abbreviation meant "person of opposite sex sharing living quarters." I remember reading a poem that started "Oh, there's nothing that I wouldn't do/If you would be my posslq." I don't think that there's a precise English equivalent of Swedish sambo, but I am sure that that useful Swedish word will never make its way into English. The English word sambo, as has been pointed out elsewhere in this thread, is a crude racial slur.


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

I remember my father using this word when I was a child (in the 80s)!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e
  • 1117

The word is so offensive, that a restaurant chain founded by Sam Battistone Sr. and Newell Bohnett in 1957. The backlash to the name which started in the late '70s helped push the firm into bankruptcy. By 1983, Sambo's Restaurant was no more.
(edited)


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

I would like to make it clear that my previous comment wasn't a complaint, but an observation. Correct translations have to work both ways and 'cohabitant', although technically accurate, just isn't used commonly used in English, whereas 'sambo' in Swedish is. I think 'partner' is the best translation even if it leaves out the cohabiting element ('bo' in Swedish). It is generally assumed in English that you live with your partner.


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

Fair enough, sorry for misinterpreting your intention. :)


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

Why is the correct answer "Det här är in sambo" if it is en sambo. Wouldn't it be "Den här är min sambo" in this case?


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

I think - and correct me if I'm mistaken - that you would use "den här" only if the said sambo had already been mentionned earlier in the conversation. However, if you are about to introduce the person, you have to use "det här". Am I right ? :)


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

Yes, maybe you could say Den här är min sambo if you have, say, three people in front of you and you point right at one them. It would mean more like 'This one is my cohabitant' and to my ears at least it would sound both dehumanizing and rude. Don't recommend it, unless your cohab is a potted plant.


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

Okay, so if I understood it right, it has more to do with "defined or non-defined" form than with the fact that it's an en or an ett word?


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

You're right that it has nothing to do with the gender of the word indicated. I'm not sure what you mean by defined vs non-defined, but it doesn't matter whether the object is definite or indefinite, previously known or not: both Det här är boken and Det här är en bok are perfectly fine. It's just that this construction, saying that 'what I am talking about is X', the subject is always neuter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sim-hae

And "det här är min sambo" would be used t.ex. when introducing your sambo to someone?


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

so sambo is like.. spouse / SO / Lover / Sibling? I cant really understand the meaning of living partner? like girlfriend / boyfriend who live together? or need to be tied by law like marriage?


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

It's a romantic partner with whom you live, but to whom you are not married.


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

so, Its not necessarily pojkvän or flickvän? could that be like the person someone cheated with or something? XD what about gay? or mostly like boy and girl relationship?


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

No no, it's for a regular relationship. Gender is irrelevant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elysia779

Yeah there really is no direct translation because there isn't a full cultural equivalent. It's useful to remember that laws and practices around marriage and cohabitation aren't necessarily the same across cultures - for instance a much larger proportion of the swedish population than, for example, the american pop, will live "in sambos" with their partner instead of pursuing marriage. There are different legal protections (regarding assets and children in the events of separation or death etc.) in sweden for people who are sambos with each other than people who live with their romantic partners in the u.s. too.


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

so is this term offensive in to your average Swede?


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

No, of course not. It's just a word for "significant other with whom you live" - hardly a uniquely Swedish concept, we just happen to have a standard term for it in a way that English doesn't really across regions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilGentil1

How about “my partner and roommate”. Covers all bases.


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

I think quite a lot of people would think that's two people, unfortunately.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilGentil1

That would be true if one sees double.


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

I think "this is my sambo" should be accepted as well. This is one of the terms that convey so much more than the english translation. When my friends and I speak English we more often than not just use "sambo" as is. The same thing goes for "fika" for example.


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

Wow that sounds so romantic in English...


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

Never used in English, as previous commentators have pointed out. It's very formal and not used colloquially at all. I agree with kinj1973 below.


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

I don't disagree, but it's virtually impossible to find a suitable term that works for all native speakers. I think you could easily make a similar complaint no matter the default term chosen. The course accepts a ridiculous number of alternate solutions as well.


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

To echo the comments, partner is the word we would use in English. I would never use the word cohabitant in a million years!
If you live with someone and are in a relationship, they are your partner. If you share a place with someone you aren't in a relationship with, they are your flatmate or housemate.


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

Yes, but if you are in a relationship with someone and you don't live together, they're still your partner. So that doesn't capture the meaning either.


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

det här = this. Swedish defaults to the neuter det.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/person222222

I don't quite understand the problem with "spouse" in this sentence. To me it implies that the two are living together


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

But "spouse" implies marriage, doesn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter292948

"sambo" is not correct English. "partner, who is not my business partner but my lover and who resides at the same address as me and who is taxed accordingly" is a better English translation than a racial slur


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

I'm not very fond of accepting it either, but we do generally accept the Swedish word if many native speakers lack a corresponding English term. People understand that it's the Swedish word being accepted, not the slur.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter292948

What?

People don't learn English with Duolingo?

'People understand that it's the Swedish word..'

You're saying that users already know this:

"I'm learning English but I know that 'sambo' is a Swedish word which is a racial slur in English but has no precise equivalent in English and that I can use it when speaking English with Swedish speakers"

Duolingo doesn't teach? Everybody already knows everything?

The problem is that there is an English word and it does not mean the same thing.

It's not saying en. "smorgasbord" = sv. "smörgåsbord" it's saying en. "bad" = sv. "bad".

Given that it is a racial slur I think it is a particularly bad false friend to teach.

Whatever.

Mod me down again.


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

The downvote wasn't from me. I'll give it an upvote to compensate. I do not downvote people for disagreeing with me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter292948

Thanks ;) someone else modded my second comment down. So I'm wrong. However I don't get it, it's like teaching German speaking students of English that "handy" is a good English word for 'mobile phone' because people that speak both English and German will know exactly what you mean.


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

Yeah, I get your point. And I'm absolutely not saying you're conclusively wrong - we evaluate these things over and over and over again ad nauseam, then we change our minds now and then, and I expect we'll have a thorough discussion on it for the next tree version as well. Clearly, there are pros and cons to either approach here.

We only allow the Swedish word in English translations for things that are important culturally to teach, but which lack a direct equivalent in English. This includes words like fika and a few other nouns - verbs don't work well in this manner.

Ideally, I would love to be able to enter a pop-up description that appeared optionally whenever certain words come up in the course. For instance, the first time you encounter sambo, you're shown a small info box on its meaning and cultural relevance, as well as why it is difficult to translate well while maintaining brevity. Then, whenever you come across sambo again, you're shown a small icon - maybe an exclamation point in a circle, or something - which lets you toggle the explanation again.

However, that's entirely hypothetical and I don't think such a feature is coming any year soon. So for now, we have to weigh the benefits and drawbacks for each of these sentences.

As you know, I'm currently leaning towards presuming that people will know that "sambo" is neither the English term for the Swedish word, nor an appropriate thing to say in English at all. But having lots of people trying to improve their English through using this course is a problem, as is the comments section not being available for all platforms as well.

To be honest, the more I think about it, the more I'm starting to question my judgement here. I won't change the translations at this time, but I'll bring it up with the team again to have another discussion about it.

Either way, thanks for your input. I do appreciate it whether I agree with it or not. :)


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

We've decided after some internal discussion to remove "sambo" from the list of English translations after all. :)


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

It's not a slur if you are speaking and pronounce it right: sahm-boo. But awkard to write, true.


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

I gather from newspapers and a few personal communications in the US, that "partner," as GWYNNETHHAUXWELL proposed, without any other context is being used and understood to mean "cohabitant," which no one ever says. It doesn't have to get more complicated than that. However, in a sentence like this in a Duo context, there is no good solution. Human resources language in companies uses "domestic partner," which covers the subject, but again, one probably wouldn't introduce someone that way.


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

I agree with you. We try to accept as many reasonably feasible solutions as possible to at least try to cover what people may try to enter. Here's a list:

cohab/cohabitor/cohabiter/cohabitee/partner/significant other/live in boyfriend/roommate/domestic partner/housemate/flatmate/partner/flat mate/common law partner/life partner/live-in partner/live in girlfriend/live in partner/defacto/de facto/cohabitant spouse/cohabiting partner


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

What about 'a partner in life'? Wouldn't it a simple quite adequate translation without being artificial? What English speaking people would say about this translation?


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

I would say it's a literal translation of the German "Lebensgefährtin", but we wouldn't say it. The normal English would simply be "partner", which is used to cover a wide range of relationships.


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

I agree. We actually have livspartner in Swedish, by the way, which I'd say is neither common nor rare. It corresponds well to Lebensgefährte/in.

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