"Systemet fungerar inte."

Translation:The system does not work.

January 31, 2015

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"The liquor store does not work" should be an alternate translation :p


For those who don't get this, allow me to elaborate!

In Sweden, there is a state monopoly on alcoholic beverages stronger than 3,5% (unless bought in a restaurant or bar for immediate consumption). These are sold by the stores of the state-run company Systembolaget, often referred to as simply "Systemet" or "bolaget". Its purpose is not to prohibit consumption of alcohol, but to encourage responsible drinking. Although the monopoly is sometimes critized, Systembolaget is known foor keeping quality high, and they enjoy general support among Swedes.

Further reading is available on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systembolaget


Not to start an inflamed discussion, but I can't help but provide a counterpoint: having lived in various other parts of Europe with less conservative alcohol laws for some time, I'm convinced Systemet is a major reason why we Swedes absolutely suck at drinking responsibly, as it encourages more forced and 'tactical' buying/drinking. While a lot of people do support Systembolaget, sometimes with hilarious arguments about its "great" and "varied" stock, an increasing amount of Swedes do think it's just a ❤❤❤❤❤❤ remnant from the days of the motbok.

Some historical perspective: the temperance movement was extremely strong in Sweden during the 19th century and first half of the 20th. It had a great deal of influence over politics. In 1922 there was a referendum on whether or not to ban the sale of alcohol completely; 49% were for. Some people are still quite dogmatic about this stuff. (And don't mention cannabis - that's practically a religious issue here.)

(French friend: "What, a separate place where you go JUST to buy alcohol? But that removes the natural connection to food!" "Yes, yes it does..." (In Sweden, wine with your lunch makes you an alcoholic; getting outrageously, dangerously ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ on Friday and Saturday is perfectly acceptable.))

To not make this totally off-topic, here are some Swedish ways of saying ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤/very-very-drunk: drängfull, dyngrak, aspackad.


Just curious here... :)

As I musician in The Netherlands regularly playing bars, I often have to deal with drunk hecklers while playing and while loading in and out. Now, if they want to get drunk, that's their choice, but trying to get something done in a crowd of drunks can be a total pain.

Is this any better in Sweden? What do the streets of downtown Stockholm/Göteborg/Malmö look like on a Saturday night at 2AM?


One word to answer your last question: mayhem.


I'd use another word: "empty".


Huh. Only 17 683 voting the other way and you could have enjoyed the fun of prohibition like us...


Yeah, I was mostly joking. I've only been to Sweden three times, and been inside a Systemet maybe twice, but they seemed very clean and well laid-out. No complaints.


I got that, but I thought it an excellent time to elaborate on a Swedish peculiarity. :D


Pretty much the same in Finland. Our systemet is called Alko. It's supposed to make the people drink less but due to the high prices (taxes) people go to Estonia instead to buy their liquor.


I know I'm not the only Swede who thinks the name Alko is pure genious. =)


Not so peculiar. In some states we have places called the ABC stores (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) or just State Stores in others. Wine and beer under a certain abv may be purchased at grocery stores, but only if they carry a proper liquor license... sigh...the silliness of it all.


Do you mean US states? I'm British and I assumed that the US had adopted liberal alcohol laws like Britain's since the end of prohibition.


In New Hampshire (not where I live, but where I shop regularly), the state store carries liquor and wine, while supermarkets carry wine and beer.

  • If you want beer and a chaser, you have to go to two stores.
  • Each state store seems to have a different wine buyer, so the selection varies from one store to the next, even in major markets.


Can "gar" be used instead of "fungerar" in this case?


No, that's for e.g. machinery and the like, and also for the set phrase det går inte.


For one second, I thought you were talking about my work, hahaha

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