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  5. "De äter lax, potatis och sås…

"De äter lax, potatis och sås."

Translation:They are eating salmon, potatoes and sauce.

January 23, 2015



Why does potatis have to be plural here?

(Why doesn't "They eat salmon, potato and sauce." work ?"


Here, all three food nouns are being used in a very general sense as an amount of each respective food. When used like that, they're used in their singular form in Swedish. English however, does not work the same way.


I think it can work the same way. (At least in Minnesota, with lots of Swedish heritage)

In English, if I'm eating a potato dish (with multiple potatoes), I would still say we're eating potato:

-What is for dinner?
-We're having salmon and potato.


I (English speaker from England) also found 'potato' the natural translation here. Note that 'potato' would mean it could be, say, mashed potatoes; 'potatoes' requires that the potatoes still be discrete objects.


I as an Australian would also use the singular potato here. Potatoes could be used, but there is no hard and fast rule. Both answers should be accepted.


Speaking from the UK, either plural or singular sounds natural to me. To say "potatoes" makes me think very specifically of boiled potatoes, which I don't think English-speaking people eat that often. The singular on the other hand covers many more forms when I don't know the context, like mashed potato, or baked potato, or something fancier like Potato Dauphinoise.


Btw boiled potatoes is what you should think of here in a Swedish speaking context, that is most likely what is being referred to here. (Not necessarily, but that's the thing that should come to mind first).


I'm from Canada and I would definitely, as does everyone I know, say ,"we are having potatoes tonight" Even if they've been mashed. "Pass the potatoes".


I don't think I've ever heard anyone use potato singularly like that (Wisconsin/Minnesota native here). Maybe it varies from family to family? In any case it's probably too informal to use as an acceptable answer for this.


In English grammatical rules are more lax and vary from dialect to dialect, singular should be accepted here.


Is "lox" a valid translation of "lax", or do you use a different word for "lox"?


I think the closest counterpart to lox might be gravlax. Anyway it isn't a good idea to replace a general word such as lax, which covers salmon in general, with a very specific word such as lox, when translating here. If you find a restaurant in Sweden that actually serves lox, I'm sure they will call it lox here too.


All right, thanks. I sort of figured that it was too specific, anyway.


Something I've been meaning to ask: would it acceptable to put a comma between 'potatis' and 'och'? In English it depends on who you ask (it's common to add the comma in American English, but not in British English, for example).


The serial or Oxford comma isn't used in edited or formal text in Swedish, so it's discouraged. For colloquial or private writing, it's hardly a big deal, and you can do as you please.


This makes me sad. You will pry my Oxford comma from my cold, dead hands.


OMG I so agree! But in formal business writing the comma has been removed. I still believe this is proper punctuation but only because I'm over 60 and I believe we were taught proper grammar and punctuation. But the world wins on this one. Even Word spell check will underline the comma at times. Also annoying is the lack of two spaces in typing between sentences but I accepted that a LONG time ago and now only hit the space bar one time, as I'm doing here. Progress? I guess we are lucky if people use whole words instead of lol and NBD, etc.


use whole words instead of lol and NBD, etc.

Glass houses? :)


I'm quite a bit under 60 and my thumb still automatically twitches twice on the spacebar after a full stop when I'm typing sometimes. I think it's more readable with two, but more aesthetic with one so...win-win, I suppose! As for my overuse of commas, let's just gloss over that!


Why is 'gravy' not an accepted translation of 'sås'?


I think in most English-speaking regions a "sauce" is a very general term for something liquid (or semi-liquid) to accompany other food, but "gravy" means a particular kind of sauce.

In the UK gravy was originally made by thickening the juices left from cooking meat, but often it comes from powder now. It would absolutely not be served with fish. I think "gravy" might cover a wider range of sauces in parts of the US, but would still be more specific than "sauce".


Could sauce be translated as gravy? That would sound more normal with such a heavy meal than sauce, at least for me.


De and dom is the same thing


Google translate (which could be wrong) says de is they or the, and dom is judgment.- not the same thing. Related to doma (judge as in Judge Judy), bedoma (judge the verb) etc.


I know I'm two years late here, but dom is actually a very common colloquial spelling for both de and dem, as that's how they're both normally pronounced. Hence, we accept that as well.

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