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  5. "Vi kan spela flöjt och fiol."

"Vi kan spela flöjt och fiol."

Translation:We can play the flute and the violin.

February 3, 2015

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kardemumma

I can't help but sing this (in my head) to the tune Vi äro musikanter. Maybe this song will help other people learn the words, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2ROqt1RLos


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bigswedeej

Me too. Äro is not a real word. Is the o added just to balance the syllables to the music?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

It's a form that was used historically, we used to have plural forms of the verbs so they would say jag/du/hon är but vi/ni/de äro back in the days. But it's gone totally out of use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pekarekr

Thank you very much for this information. I appreciate learning about the history of Swedish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinSmi568325

I enjoy how lyrics to old songs preserve earlier grammatical forms. Word history!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvelynMikaJensen

omg :D I had no idea this song is swedish. In the Czech republic people sing it in czech and consider it their own.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinSmi568325

Do they do the little dance with it, miming the instruments and polka around the ring on the refrain? So fun for children and me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WildSage

I see fiol and think viola. what's the word for viola?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

Brace yourself, it's 'viola' :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WildSage

LOL. I hope I can remember that :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

My dictionary gives 'altfiol'; is that not used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

Yes, and there's even a third word, altviolin. I believe viola is the most common one, but I could be wrong. There's nothing wrong with either of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beanybadger

Also, 'viol' is 'viol'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Hm, which "viol" are you thinking of? The musical instrument is called gamba or viola da gamba in Swedish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinSmi568325

alt-fiol, tror jag. fiol = fiddle or any bowed string instrument


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, a fiol is a violin, although it does feature as part of a compound in some other instruments. The family of instruments is called fiolfamilj, though. So you're half right but without clear context I would translate fiol into "violin" every single time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinSmi568325

Totally agree. Fiddle = violin in the my world


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Right, but a fiddle can be other instruments as well, and fiol cannot be "any bowed string instrument". That's the part I meant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinSmi568325

Tack. Nu förstår jag. Spelar du nånting?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, not for a long time now. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HoroTanuki

fiol is maybe etymologically linked to fiddle


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes! Well spotted. Etymologists think it's probably derived ultimately from Latin vitula, which means "string" if I remember correctly.

Swedish actually used to have the very direct cognate fidla for a fiddle as well. It then turned into the word fela, which you may come across in modern Swedish, if very rarely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pekarekr

My Swedish grandfather played the "fiddle" (actually a violin) for folk dancing in Lake Norden South Dakota. Thanks for this etymology!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Glad you liked it. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiwiDressager

I had wondered this too!! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/satwita

Wondering why it's not flöjten och fiolen, or perhaps flöjter och fioler. Is this part of a larger pattern?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, Swedish always uses the indefinite for playing instruments in general. If you use the definite, it sounds like you're talking about a specific flute or violin.

This doesn't quite extend into a general pattern for all of Swedish, though it does feature in some other constructions as well - e.g. "we can dance the tango" = vi kan dansa tango.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimNolt

That's the same in English. To say, "I play flute and violin" is not uncommon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Sure, but my point is that if you say "I play the flute and the violin" in English, people would assume in general and not two specific instruments. Swedish cannot do that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adalovegirls

Kan en säga "Vi kan flöjt och fiol."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, not really.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinSmi568325

Another case of criticising my English! I can play violin and in fact do. I do not have to say THE violin.
I submit that "We can play flute and violin" is a correct answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, and it has been accepted for over three years. Your English is not being criticised.

But I'm guessing you had a word tiles exercise and the system decided only to accept the solution it had in mind. If that is the case, we unfortunately cannot control this as course contributors.

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