"My uncle is religious."
Translation:Min morbror är religiös.
Okay, I understand it's a good way to keep the course effective to not get stuck on the uncommon words, since Duolingo courses can't include every single thing at once. But would you happen to know more about where this word is used? I am Finnish and I use this course to support the Swedish courses at my high school, and at least here we are advised to use whichever we like, onkel or far-/morbror. Is onkel more like a finlandssvenska word, not rikssvenska?
It’s not used much in Sweden at least, in the dictionary it says ”onkel - farbror/morbror (especially in description of foreign circumstances)”.
I asked a Finland-Swedish friend in Turku and he said that he has no relationship to the word either whatsoever and would never use it. I also asked a friend in Helsinki but I haven’t received an answer yet.
I searched in a database of Sweden-Swedish newspapers and got 521 instances of ”onkel” in relation to 6097 instances of ”morbror/farbror”. Most of the ”onkel” instances were from a fixed names in literature/film like ”Onkel Tom” or ”Onkel Fester”. So that’s a 1:12 ratio almost. Then I did the same thing in a database for Finland-Swedish newspapers and got 84 ”onkel”, again mostly names from movies and books, and 623 ”farbror/morbror” so that’s a ratio of 1:7.
It’s possible that it’s slightly more common in Finland, but it mostly seems to be used in (older) literature and movies as names of people like Onkel Tom, or when describing foreign circumstances as it said in the dictionary.
Thanks for letting me know about this; it is surprising to read the response or information you have unearthed. My surprise is that when talking to someone I don't know well enough to know the whole family relationships, it is easier to as if that is someone's uncle, rather than the litany of questioning whose relationship or side of the family he is. Perhaps it seems as such to me because I am not accustomed to that line of thinking and inquiry.
On the other hand, the bloodline names give the information automatically, leaving no reason to have to inquire. It's only a matter of custom. Thanks again for the directive to the result of your inquiry.