Why do we say "mycket" in this case? Activities are countable, right? Should it not be "många"?
You are right! But "mycket" is sometimes used, at least in spoken language, for some countable nouns as well. I think this normally holds for abstract nouns or if you have too many to count of something. You can for example hear people say "det växer mycket träd i skogen" instead of "det växer många träd i skogen".
Maybe you should report this and the mods can decide whether it should be changed?
We have discussed it and said that rather change the English sentence in that case. We thought mycket träd and många träd are not the same thing. The first one is more like ’much [of] trees’, ’big amount of trees’ or ’a lot of trees’ (collectively) whereas the other is ’many trees’ more focusing on each single one. If you say that the country has mycket berg it’s a mountaineous country. If you say it has många berg then it has many mountains.
Tack! That is a really useful perspective on mycket och många - I had sorta taken this usage for granted but on examining the English usage of much I realise that I perhaps should've thought more deeply about it! This is an excellent explanation.
I disagree that there is any difference between "many trees" and "a lot of trees" in English. They mean exactly the same thing, and neither one focuses on each single tree. This is evidently a distinction that exists in Swedish but not in English.
I agree that the phrase "mountainous country" implies that the majority of the landscape of the country is mountainous.
If you say the country "has many mountains," then it could be full of mountains. It could also be a country that has only 10% mountainous terrain, but because it is a very large country, that 10% contains a lot of mountains. We don't make this distinction in English by use of "a lot of mountains" or "many mountains." Those phrases mean exactly the same thing.
Thank you for explaining the slightly different meanings in Swedish!
Kan det också betyda "children need activities a lot"? Det är det som jag förväntar mig att översätta denna mening.
Nej, då skulle vi säga barn behöver aktiviteter väldigt mycket. Betydelsen ändras om man flyttar mycket.
Jaha, det förstår jag, tack. Så har vi samma problem på svenska som på engelska: en del av människor skiljer inte noga mellan "mycket" och "många"?
Folk är ju slarviga med det mesta, men jag har faktiskt aldrig tänkt på att just detta skulle vara något speciellt problem. Tror aldrig jag hört någon säga mycket år istället för många år till exempel.
Would it be incorrect to translate this as:
Children need a lot of activity.
Yes, that means they need to move around a lot but aktiviteter is in the plural, meaning they need lots of things to do.