A föremål is a more concrete thing. Sak is a bit more vague and colloquial, and can be abstract too.
Ting is archaic and never used on its own anymore.
this question may not fit the level i am, but i need to ask for some supports. I cannot understand when should i use O,Öand Å in svenska Spontaneously, and i need to see, read and memorize the words to be able to write them down when it comes to these letters. in short I memorize them and i do not learn them. is there any other way for me? best instance is here, I do not know (without lookng for once) should i write, Fåremöl, foremål, or ...
They are completely different sounds. Swedes view o and ö as distinct letters just as a and o are distinct letters in English. It’s very clear whether it should be föremål or fåremöl because they would be pronounced completely differently. Take the time and listen closely and after time you will get used to it. You can use the site www.forvo.com to double check pronunciation. You can also listen to all the vowel and consonant sounds on the Wikipedia page ”Swedish phonology”.
I find that if you listen to the sounds and make a bui effort to pronounce them - even if it is exaggerated - you will be more able to hear the difference and remember which to use. This helped me in Arabic with their emphatic consonents, for which there are no equivalents in Europe.
Is föremål a compound of före and mål? If so, how are the translations related?
It's most likely a compound word, but I was unable to find its origin. Most words on för- come from German though.
Only a hypothesis, though the scarce intel I found about this is :
mál (neut. from Old Norse) 1-language 2-speech 3-matter, affair
(Meaning 3 of some interest) Guessing only, but this might be a "matter-presently-showing" as in German "Gegenstand" (what stands and "faces" you) for an object ("ob-ject" --what's thrown by-- being fairly close to the construction of "Gegenstand" and maybe "föremål", as far as philology matters).
Once again, only a hypothesis, please don't take it as rock-solid knowledge !
The Runeberg etymology dictionary doesn’t seem to have it! But one of the words under före seems to be farbar, and looking at entries in the Svenskordbok app also including föremål itself I seemed to get led to the fifth sense of för - which might be translated roughly as “workable”?? Since mål can be “measure” or “affair”, I wonder if the sense for föremål is something approximately like “that which can be concretely operated on”?? I don’t know but I had fun looking.