"Filmen skulle precis börja när allt blev svart."

Translation:The movie was just about to start when everything became black.

January 28, 2015

This discussion is locked.


The word "svart" is not pronounced correctly. The "a" is short, just like in the words "katt" or "alltid".


One of few words were the old TTS was correct and the new one is not.
Should be pronounced like this: http://sv.forvo.com/search-sv/svart/


Get Astrid to say "svart svart" and compare it to "svart är svart" and "svart, svart". Interesting.


svart svart - short long
svart, svart - long long
svart är svart - short short yeah!

svartare - short a (correct!) but weird intonation
svartast - perfect!


How do we know what the adverb "précis" goes with? (I keep putting it in different places in my translations, and it´s always wrong.)


As a native Swede I can hear what sounds good (of course), but when I start thinking about the placement of a sentence adverb I realize that it is complicated.

In the sentence above, we have a helping verb "skulle" and a main verb "börja". Then, the adverb normally takes the position between the verbs:

Vi skulle precis börja
Han ska inte börja
Hon har ju börjat
De vill antagligen börja


Thank you. That is very helpful.


Would the Swedish sentence differ for "The movie would start precisely when everything became black?"


Yes, that would be Filmen skulle börja precis när allt blev svart.


Is this how a Swedish person would say this phrase?

To me it sounds like ""Filmen skulle precis, börja när allt blev svart". That pause after precis sounds weird.


It is weird. Normally, you pause after börja :).


"Precis" seems not to mean "precise" here--"just about" rather than "exactly." Is this a false cognate? Or what am I missing?


It's because it's skulle precis börja being translated, not simply precis. I suppose you could write "was precisely to begin" but I would argue that's less natural to say in English.


So precis is modifying börja. That helps, but the contrast between the precision denoted by the word precis and the indefiniteness of the film being about to start (maybe in 2 minutes, maybe in 3) is a little jarring. I thought that everything went black because they put out the lights to watch the film. Apparently even the projectionist was surprised by the darkness. And I agree, your replacement suggestion does not sound natural. (Am I overthinking this?)


I'm not sure you understand it correctly. precis has a temporal meaning that is much like 'just' in English. In this meaning, there isn't really a very strong feeling of 'preciseness' in it.
You can say things like Jag har precis ätit 'I just ate'
or Vi ska precis gå 'We're just about to leave'
– but just like you don't really feel the meaning "only" in the English "just" here, you don't really think that much of "preciseness" for the Swedish sentences. You could also have said ungefär nu – 'approximately now'.

The situation in the sentence is like this: the movie is supposed to start, but it never actually starts, because the lights go out instead. There was probably a power outage. As you say, even the projectionist is surprised.


I'm sure that I didn't understand it correctly, and your answer helps a lot. Thank you for it.

[deactivated user]

    So 'precis' is not 'precisely' then, but 'just'. Then, how does 'bara' differ from 'precis'. Duo did not accept: 'the film was going to start precisely when everything became black' as translation for this sentence. Could you please explain how to differentiate 'bara' from 'precis'?


    In my mind, "was just about to begin" means a matter of seconds, not minutes. Perhaps the native speakers can clarify the precision of precis.


    Does this work? Filmen var bara om att börja när allt blev svart

    Also am I right in thinking that: Filmen håller på att börja... means The film is just about to start...? If so, is there a tempus of håller which can be used to fit here?


    No, we don't have that construction (var bara om att).
    I'd prefer to translate Filmen håller på att börja. as 'The movie is (just) starting' – the Swedish sentence means that the process of starting has already begun.


    How about this translation, indifferent to any hidden process - "Just innan filmen skulle börja blev allt svart."


    That's like 'Right before the film was about to start …' so there's a change in perspective.


    I intended one (the audience in the theater might not notice if the film was being threaded - that's why I wanted to make mine independent of the process). But I make it "Right before the film would begin." Your translation is a before-before construction, which I agree is quite different from the original sentence (which is what I'm trying to get close to). There are a lot of possible scenarios here, timewise, and maybe very different constructions for each?


    Yes, maybe that's a better translation. It's a change in perspective either way just because you say 'X happened before Y' instead of 'Y was happening/started to happen/whatever when X happened' so it still strays too far from the original sentence to be an accepted translation. Other than that, I'm sure there can be a ton of different situations and constructions here with different connotations.


    how about "the film was just about to begin when all went black"


    I was tempted to type 'when everything went black" which is more idiomatic English, but did a more literal translation. Would "went' have been accepted?


    late answer for this... but for anyone else who may be interested, I put " when everything went dark" and it was accepted.


    the film was just about to start when all went black, the correct answer said I needed to put it all went black , why is the word it required?


    Warning non-swedish learners. That is NOT the correct way to prenonce "svart"! If any existing Swedish words(none) would sound like that it would be spelled svaaart. Same goes with "svans" (tail). It would hypothetically be spelled svaaans.


    She says svart with a long 'a', but svart is pronounced with a short 'a'.


    More idiomatic English would be "everything went black"


    The film was just about to start when all became black - I can't see what is wrong with this. Is it because I use film for movie? I would always say film so I am surprised that it is not accepted.


    "Allt" means "everything". Translating it as "all" in this example sounds weird.


    To me in English if something is 'just about' to do something, it


    I find this translation a bit confusing. I think of precis as meaning exactly/precisely, but in english the phrase "just about" very often means roughly. Is this another way precis is used and you can tell from context?


    Sure if you're saying "He weighs just about 80 kilos" or something. But in this construction "I am just about to," "you were just about to", it doesn't mean roughly or approximately. It means that you going to be starting to do something at that precise moment.


    The answer "the movie was going to start exactly when everything became black" was not accepted.


    Could this also be understood as "The film should exactly start, when it gets dark."? Like in a cinema, where the film starts, when the lights are turned off?


    "Filmen borde/ska börja precis när det blir mörkt".


    Why is "precis", which means "exactly", translated as "about"?


    It's not. It's translated to "just" here.

    The about isn't present in the Swedish sentence. "Skulle precis..." is how you say "was just about to".

    Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.