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  5. "Vilket gott fika!"

"Vilket gott fika!"

Translation:What a tasty fika!

February 4, 2015

108 Comments


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

Coffee (or tea or lemonade) preferable with some cinnamon buns or cookies.


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

So my grandma and I (our family came from Sweden around 1880) had "fika" when we had coffee and Dansk cookies! That's awesome!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Came from Sweden to where?


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

They immigrated from Halmstad to Pennsylvania and then ultimately the Central Valley of California.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryBeth378619

My mom's Dad's family came to Pennsylvania from Sweden about that time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JavadMousa3

Dear Bill several times in DUO..fika..was translated to coffee so what is wrong with. What a delicious coffee


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

Then why is What good tea! marked incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

If you were going to translate 'fika' as 'tea', then, in order to refer to the meal (rather than the beverage), you would have to say in English 'What a good tea', not 'What good tea'.

On the other hand, a fika is rather different from a British tea.


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

So a fika is a kind of Swedish high tea, I suppose.

It's confusing that Duo shows tea and coffee as translations, but then doesn't accept them as answers. That issue certainly isn't unique to this question, of course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Well, I'm American, not English or Swedish. But as fas as I know, a fika is quite different from a high tea with regard to (1) time of day (2) food & drink consumed (3) level of formality. Perhaps someone familar with both can comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hicca1

Is it ? I think its very much like a tea break- except the tea and biscuits are replace with coffee and cake


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/losik55

Coffee (or tea or lemonade) preferable with some cinnamon buns or cookies.

Presence of family members or friends or collegues is strongly recommended.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

You can read more here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brjaga
  • 2667

Unfortunately, Duolingo's Android app doesn't let you follow links unless the link's text matches the URL. So here it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fika_(coffee_break)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

I agree that 'fika' is not an English word. However, since there is no exact cultural counterpart of a 'fika' in English-speaking countries, IMO the best way to handle 'fika' when speaking English is to leave it untranslated. In other words, Duolingo gets it right here. But wait a minute -- why are we spending so much time discussing what the English should be? We are here to learn Swedish!


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

I agree but it is interesting to know if a Swedish word made it to English (I was surprised to learn that smorgasbord has made it through, but evidently fika not yet).


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

Utmärkt. Tack så mycket. That broadens my cultural knowledge.


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

The fact that somebody put the entry to Wikipedia does not make it an English word (everyone can put something on Wikipedia). Also the entry in Wikipedia rather explains what it this word means in Swedish not how it is used in English. I would like to hear the comment from native English speakers about it. I could not find any dictionary that would use it and never heard it in an English speaking country.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

Where does the Wikipedia article claim that it is an English word? The article merely explains a Swedish concept in English, that doesn’t mean that it has been adopted and is being used in English-speaking countries.


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

The word is or was known and used in America, where many Swedes emigrated in the 19th century and some set up restaurants serving smorgasbord, certainly in the Midwest. They were much enjoyed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wilhelm415731

I grew up in Minnesota years ago, and I knew many Swedes and people of Swedish descent. No one ever used the word fika as far as I remember.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TiraBr0

IMHO

English is my "mother tongue" and I live in Canada and speak English every day. I have never heard the word "fika". I think, from what is explained here by the Swedish speakers, that the nearest concept we have in English is the idea of "tea" which can mean to drink tea or to drink tea (or other non-alcoholic beverages) and eat yummy things in middaggen. But in England to "have tea" or to "take tea" can also mean to drink tea and eat a light meal. Additionally, a "high tea" in English seems to mean a meal taken with tea. But none of this is really an explanation of how "fika" is used in English and I'm pretty sure it has not been adopted into English at all since I have never before come across this word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hicca1

Yes- only know it through swedes - although there are chains of cafes opening called fika opening recently


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aj4Y2c

Interesting that this article talks about fila without an indefinite article but the translation "What tasty fika!" was not accepted.


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

I want to translate it as "coffee break", sinve that's what my family calls it - midafternoon coffee (or other beverage), with a bit of sweet roll or cookies.


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

"Fika" isn't an English word, so how can it be an answer in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

We can use Fika because languages constantly borrow words for things which they cannot effectively describe. Language and cultural signifiers go hand in hand. The problem is not that an English sentence uses Fika. It is that Fika has no cultural significance for most English people. If they are familiar with the concept of Fika, an English listener would find the word the most succinct way of expressing the concept. Unfortunately, most English listeners would not know what was being discussed. So it is down to the audience. I suppose students of Swedish would want to find out more about Fika, so this audience may be comfortable with it. This is not to do with "non-English" words, but cultural insight.


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

We have "coffee break" in English. It's like Duolingo saying that "siesta" is the English word for "nap". It's culturally different, but similar concepts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monsieur-Xavier

but "coffee break" doesn't really bring across the meaning of it. might be "kaffepause", but not fika. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

Precisely. For someone aware of Spanish culture I might say siesta. For someone else, nap, afternoon nap, nap at the hottest part of the day etc. It's all down down to audience.


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

I've used Babbel and it translates it to coffee break which for the same reason as you I think should be an option. Hopefully it's accepted for typed responses. But for the purpose of this translation it's helpful to think of it as a noun rather than a verb. Hope that helps make it easier to remember in the future.


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

I'm referring to the cards. "Fika" was presented as an English word on the cards.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

Which, as a borrowed word, it is.


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

Is "fika" both an -en and an -ett word? "Vi tar en fika tillsammans" and here it's "gott fika".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Some Swedes treat is as an en word, others as an ett word. See for example http://spraakbanken.gu.se/ws/saldo-ws/lid/html/fika..nn.1 See also https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fika


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

I give you an useful tip. NEVER say something like this out loud in Italy. It may cause some trouble.


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

I was about to say the same thing, but for Germany! Considering that many Swedish and German words are similar to each other, but "fika" is a very Swedish word sounding very similar to a completely unrelated German one, saying out loud "vill du fika?" will make many heads turn, and not in a good way!


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

'nyfiken' must sound especially interesting for a german ear)


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

What does it mean there? (in hungarian fika means snot/mucus :D)


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

It indicates the female sexual organ


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

Figa is more commonly used, I believe, especially in Northern Italy. So you can fika all you like there :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rod464368

First thing that came to my mind


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

I think the nearest translation could be 'coffee break'. Which usually includes a beverage(which doesn't have to be coffee) and a biscuit(cookie) or cake.


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

In itself it doesn't imply a break though. In fact Vill du ta en fika med mig? is a common way of inviting someone out to a date. We say fikarast for 'coffee break'.


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

If 'tea' and 'coffee' are not accepted as translations, they shouldn't be given as options!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c-yani

Fika is not word in english...so annoying! There is an equivalent in spanish which is merienda ..bah


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

It is, right there in the sentence. It's being borrowed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c-yani

Fika is not an english word, there needs to be an equivalent for it.


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

It is an English word now, since it's currently being borrowed (as in the sentence above). Whoever sticks around for another, say, 10-20 years might find out if it even becomes a mainstream English word. :)


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

I didn't see it before in this lesson, but the translation of "Vi tar en fika tillsammans" was "We have coffee together" instead of "We have fika together". I'll flag it if it pops up again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diego.jacobo

It is not really the exact thing. A merienda would be a meal you would eat between lunch and dinner (if you were eating something between breakfast and lunch it would be almuerzo), usually at 5-6, very popular amongst children; grown-ups would only eat merienda as an excuse to hang out with a friend or family. Kids usually would get a "bocadillo" (basically a sandwich), grown-ups would ask for a tapa or a croissant or something like that.

Fika, as I have understood, is a more general concept, more like a coffee break. It is used in offices as an excuse for people to interact with each other, which is important in Swedish culture as many keep too much to themselves. You will always have coffee or tea, and something in the middle to grab (usually kannelbullar or sometimes cake, maybe something sweet).


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

It sounds like a merienda could also be ett mellanmål in Swedish. ett mellanmål is any smaller meal eaten between the larger meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). fika is usually coffee and something sweet, but mellanmål can be anything.


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

It sounds like mellanmål is a snack.


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

Yes, it's probably the closest translation. Although for the verb 'snack' we often say småäta.


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

As there is no translation for FIKA that is a wasted question


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

Fika is such an important and common part of the swedish culture that it definitely has to be in this course. Sadly there isn’t really a direct English translation, and substituting ‘coffee’ , ‘tea and biscuits’ or ‘afternoon tea’ doesn’t convey the real meaning of the word. So what we need to do is all start using the word ‘fika’ in English and invite people for fika and enjoy fika and adopt this wonderful piece of Swedish culture so that ‘fika’ makes it into mainstream English :)


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

In my Swedish lessons I was taught that fika means "to go out for a coffee" or "to have coffee with friends". If someone there knows both Finnish and Swedish, the Finnish term was said to be "kahvitella".

Have I been taught wrong? Or is the word "fika" just not translated, because there is no separate noun for it in English, which means it could only be translated as a small sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

The word "fika" in Swedish can be a noun, or the infinitive form of the verb. In the duo exercise here, the noun is being used. The definitions you mention are for the verb, not the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnJohnson19

I am English and have never heard fika used here. In England tea can mean the beverage, a light meal around "teatime" (roughly 16.00hrs) or a "high tea" can be quite a big meal, sandwiches, cakes, etc. (Only rarely consumed). As a fika seems to be tea or coffee with a bun it isn't quite the same as an English tea, so `i like the idea of the word fika gaining ground here. I do hear the word smorgasbord used from time to time so it may happen. Fingers crossed!


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

'what tasty fika!' should have been accepted!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

I'm not so sure. This is a question about English rather than Swedish.

In English you might say "What tasty bread". But you would usually say "What a tasty breakfast" rather than "What tasty breakfast" In other words, you would use the indefinite article; you would NOT treat "breakfast" as a mass noun here.

It seems to me that, used in an English sentence, "fika" has a status similar to "breakfast" as just described. "Fika" is NOT a mass noun in the English sentence here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monsieur-Xavier

Why would "what a good coffee time" not be accepted?


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

Why is this being introduced in a strengthening exercise and not a lesson?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AHS-9

Perhaps it was added to a lesson after you took it?


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

not yet, but, but it is duos habit to give some new words. In finnish fika (vika: f=v) means that something has broken. i sweden it mean that someone is having coffee break, as in finland having coffee. The rest is here as it is in sweden. But the coffee is the thing as english tea time. But branding is everything! And good to know what somebody is meaning when calling for vika! :)


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

Can we use Vad en gott fika?


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

What would be the definite and plural forms of fika?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Some Swedes treat it as an en word, but duo treats it as an ett word. As an ett word ending in an unstressed vowel, my guess is that it follows the same pattern as e.g. 'hjärta'. So: sing def 'fikat', indef pl 'fikan', def pl 'fikana''. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen69472

My translation "what a good coffeetime" should be accepted and added, doesn't it?

As "fika" means a special Swedish culture of coffee-drinking (see below and: https://hejsweden.com/fika-das-gemutliche-kaffeetrinken-der-schweden/ and http://blog.schwedenstube.de/fika/ etc.) my translation "coffeetime" for me seems to be correct ..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fred761084

fika is taking a coffee or tea with a cake, taking a break end chasing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rasla143

Fika is just swedish special culture which doesn't have any similar word in most big languages which is so sad


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

It is just kafi = fika so you can say it like that in your language version. Enflish version is coffee = feecof. Or use that finnish version. It's originali invented in Finland for purpose, that you can invite people in a group for koffee (kahvi) and only intended people get that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol353382

Is "fika" c or nt (en or ett). You seem to be using it both ways.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Some Swedes treat is as an en word, others as an ett word. See for example http://spraakbanken.gu.se/ws/saldo-ws/lid/html/fika..nn.1 See also https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fika


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

I tried "coffee hour", but it wasn't accepted. How would "coffee hour" be said -- "Kaffetimme"?


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

When I worked in Sweden for awhile 50 years ago I didn't hear the word 'fika' but it was always 'kaffedags' ('time for coffee') at work. People brought their thermoses and shared it round.


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

"Fika" can not be translated just as "coffee" or "tea". In Sweden is a special time for drink and eat something in the middle of afternoon, almost the same like in England, but instead tea they drink coffee.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evelyn41310

Oh, so in the translation they goofed, an fika means it was tasty coffee?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

No, Evelyn, not at all. At the top of this page, DL gives us
Vilket gott fika = What a tasty fika

Here the DL solution leaves the word "fika" untranslated, which is reasonable, since there is no exact equivalent in English/American culture.

The word "fika" does NOT mean the beverage "coffee". Rather it means something like "coffee break" -- a time/occasion when coffee is drunk.

As for "gott", you will recall from other lessons that currently the usual Swedish word for "good" is "bra". In current Swedish, "gott" is usually used to mean that something tastes good, not that it is "good" in general.

So "tasty" is a good translation here of "gott".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patrick889093

When is vilket which and whenist it what? Then when does it becomes what a ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

Really inconsistent hints. Fika is sometimes coffee, sometimes not. What tasty coffee is not allowed. Neither is What tasty Fika. I know Fika is an event, but why allow coffee sometimes anf not at others?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Since a "fika" is an event, in English you would say "what a tasty fika" or "what a wonderful event" or "what a wonderful coffee -- not "what wonderful event" or "what wonderful fika" or "what wonderful coffee". That last could only be talking about the beverage, which is a mass noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

But elsewhere in the lesson Fika is translated as coffee. I am just confused by the inconsistency.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Guy, have you tried "What a tasty coffee" -- that is, using the indefinite article "a"? IMO, that is what you must do if you want to translate "fika" as "coffee" in the Swedish sentence that DL gives us here. In other words, perhaps your sentence was rejected because you wrote just "coffee" instead of "a coffee".

I hope you do understand that "fika" does NOT mean "coffee" in the sense of the liquid beverage, but only in the sense of an event, such as "We held a coffee in his honor".


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

Perhaps it would be easier to think of it as "coffee time", similar to how the British have "tea", as in, "Won't you come to tea?"


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

is "such a tasty fika" so different from "what a tasty fika" ?


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

is fika an ett word or an en word? Vilket gott fika and Vi tar en fika tillsammans


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

I didn't do it because I didn't want a wrong answer but I used Babbel before Duolingo (not for long, only did Newcomer 1 & 2) but would "What a good/tasty coffee break?" be acceptable on Duolingo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

Fika is NOT an English word, notwithstanding all the discussion. But another point. From all that has been said here, I'm wondering if "tasty" is the best translation for "gott". I gather that a fika is an EVENT - that of getting together with a friend or two for a sociable chat over a coffee and a bun. In which case the fika could be perfectly good even if the actual coffee wasn't particularly remarkable. So - given that we're using fika as if it were an English word, which it's not - I would translate it just as "What a good fika!" or more colloquially "What a nice fika!"


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

Gott/god does not take the meaning of the English “good” or “nice” in this context, it specifically refers to the tastiness of the food, whereas your sentence seems to be a more general comment on the event of fika.

Fika is the term used by English speakers in Sweden which is presumably why it has been left as an acceptable translations here. There is no clean translation to English and it is universally called fika in Sweden by Swedish and English speakers alike.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

This is the problem. We are trying to translate a cultural phenomenon that simply doesn't work in English. I get exactly (I think) what the Swedish is saying (the coffee etc. served at fika was tasty) but we can't say that clearly in English because fika is something we don't do. I'd like to suggest that "what a delicious afternoon tea" is a good reflection of the concept, but fika and the traditional English afternoon tea are not actually the same thing, so we get the idea without the meaning. The worst part of translation is understanding a phrase without any hope of being able to express it in the other language. I think this sentence is a step too far in a basic Swedish course.


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

Not just the coffee, the whole fika... typically coffee and a light snack, usually baked goods of some description. Fika can be translated as the general act of having fika or more specifically as the food consumed during the act. It can also be used as a verb - ie you can “fika”.

Certainly there are various English translations that I believe are accepted - afternoon tea/morning tea are likely in there (although they aren’t quite true translations either.)

I think if you stop worrying too much about it and just read up on what fika is then you’ll get more out of the course. With time and reading around the concept it will become more familiar to you :)

ETA that fika is a really important and central cultural phenomenon in Swedish, so is an essential part of this course, culture and language being closely intertwined. No language is easy to learn, there’s always things that don’t translate well or that have nuances that aren’t immediately apparent in your native tongue, but that just means you need to be patient and open minded when learning any new language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guy457759

I think you are right. I am fluent in three languages (English, French, German) so I get this quite a lot. When operating within one language understanding is no problem. When translating you become acutely aware of having to make compromises.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

When two different cultures share an activity or thing that is the same, or virtually the same, in both cultures, we can translate directly.

So, for example, where we say "breakfast" in English we can say "frukost" in Swedish. An English breakfast and a Swedish breakfast may not be exactly the same as to foods eaten or time of day, but they are close enough to each other that we can translate directly.

But when an activity or thing in one culture does not have a direct counterpart in the other culture, it is usually best to leave the foreign word untranslated. In such cases, the foreign word can be written in quote marks or italics to make it clear that the word refers to something for which there is no direct translation in the language into which we are translating. So, for example, "We had a great fika yesterday with my sister's friends."

(In the sentence above, to write "fika" without italics might incorrectly imply that "fika" is an accepted word in English.)

In the DL exercise here, leaving "fika" untranslated strikes me as a much better idea than calling it an "afternoon tea"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rusty401767

Does that mean cup of coffee?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James704885

It can be up to 3 different drinks? Explain! Explaaaain!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolyn114766

What great fika was marked incorrect...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KDT558999

I hate everything about fika and how i'm supposed to translate it with an intensity that borders on the insane


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Let's talk about your feelings over a cup of coffee.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathalie270964

Must be quite a new word as it is not in all the dictionnaries I use. Anyway, could it be translated as "Tea time" or "Coffee time" which would be the equivalent of "merienda" or "goûter"?

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