"The cook is on vacation."
Translation:Kocken har semester.
The semester at a university is called en termin in Swedish. The year is split into the vårtermin and hösttermin (spring term and autumn term) respectively.
The word semester will mean being on vacation from work, and thus it's used for the most part to refer to working people's vacation weeks. Students and pupils don't have semester, they have ledighet or they are lediga.
Semester can, however, sometimes mean going away on a trip somewhere, with less regard to whether or not the participants are employees somewhere. Then it's called åka på semester till Thailand, for example.
Hey, I would like to report a problem (or I do not know something). When I had for the first time "The cooks is on vacation" I answered "Kocken har semestern" and "Kocken är på semestern" and it showed me, that only second option is correct. For the second time it was the opposit - I marked only the second option and Duolingo showed that also the first was right. Can it be a problem with the programme?
If you answered har semestern or är på semestern, it’s wrong because it should be in the indefinite: semester. However, har semester and är på semester mean the same thing. So if you encounter a mistake in the course like that, you can report it using the report button → ”my answer should be accepted”.
I think the same did happen to me but I'm not sure. I can't always remember all the words shown to me before but I think I would have remembered this one as it's the exact opposite than the meaning of the word semester in Germany for university students. For us semester is the time of the year when lessons and other courses are and when it's not semester we have vacations (at least in theory).
As my Swedish textbook explains it, all alveolar consonants ("n", "t", "d", "s", I guess "z" but it's not used in native Swedish words) become retroflex after "r" in Swedish, and the "r" is dropped. Of those, only retroflex "s" really sounds different from normal "s", to an English speaker, and it sounds (again, to an English speaker) like "sh". This happens both within and between words. So, "står" /står/ but "förstår" /föshtår/ and "semester" /semester/ but "har semester" /ha shemester/. A similar process occurs in casual speech in many dialects of English where, "n" becomes "ŋ" (the "ng" sound) before "c"/"k" or "g", for instance, "incapable" /iŋkeipəbl/ and "in golf" /iŋ gaŀf/.