The suggested translation is Efficiency is important, which is what the Swedish sentence means. If with 'for' you mean a sentence like 'It is important for efficiency', that sentence has a quite different meaning and would be Det är viktigt för effektiviteten or something like that in Swedish.
I wrote a longer explanation of this sentence on its reverse forum here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6742313
Just FYI for others, MennoGraaf's definitions are incorrect.
efficiency means doing things quickly, without wasting time, resources, or effort
effectivity means doing things that accomplish the desired result
Usually, one has to make a choice between being effective or being efficient. You can make something crappy really fast (efficient), or you can make something nice if you take lots of time (effective). To be both efficient and effective is usually the most challenging and most desired way.
I disagree that doing something quickly but badly would be efficient - I certainly wouldn't use the word that way (as a native British English speaker). Any effort that doesn't achieve the desired result is by definition inefficient - the time, effort, and resources were wasted after all.
Same here in most cases, but it's important to remember that the differentiation actually does matter in a number of cases in science and engineering where it's important to evaluate something both on how correct the result is (the effectiveness of the approach) and how well it utilizes available resources to achieve that result (the efficiency of the approach).
If swedes make so many mistakes with this word, you don’t know what the intention was and a literal translation is best. Therefor effectivity. You need to give them the advantage of the doubt. I have some swedish friends who know the difference immediately, just as i know many non-swedish who also mix them up, like you do here...
In my world the most likely translation of the word "effektivitet" is effectivity, not efficiency. Just for the record, Efficiency is doing things well, effectivityis doing the right things. Rest assured, not just Swedes mix these up... And with mixing them up, I mean that people translate "effektivitet" with efficiency...
I find this quite confusing, because it looks like it's saying that [something] is important [in relation to] efficiency.
Are there any handy ways to remember that it means 'efficiency is important'? I couldn't see any clues in the words or the structure that it would mean that.
It seems to be a pattern in Swedish, where we would say, "Efficiency is important," they say, "It is important with efficiency."
The pattern is:
It is _ with ___.
The first blank is a value judgement (important).
The second blank is the thing that is being judged or described (efficiency).
Another example of this pattern is:
It is good with food.
"good" is the value judgement "food" is the thing being judged/described (Actually, I think the phrase used is "Det var gott med mat," not "Det är....")
Maybe an alternate translation will help you remember:
"It is" is a way to start a lot of sentences in Swedish, even if the rest of the sentence doesn't match.
Then "med" can function like "to have."
Det är gott med mat = It is good with food = It is good to have food
Det är viktigt med effektivite = It is good with efficiency = It is good to have efficiency
Idk if this helps. Hopefully a native Swedish speaker will comment if I have made any mistakes here.
Is this construction basically to avoid beginning a general statement with a particular noun, e.g. "Effektivitet är viktigt" or "Ost på knäckebrödet är gott"? I know there are other examples in the course.
It seems that Swedish consistently prefers to use "Det är ...", using the impersonal subject to introduce general statements, or to think of it another way, placing the most vague/general words first and the most specific/particular words at the end. Maybe that can help non-native speakers identify this sort of sentence structure more easily.
It is good with food means something completely different in English, though; you would use it when describing something as being a nice accompaniment to food, e.g. beer is good with food. How would one translate that sentiment into Swedish? I would have written something like det är bra med mat, but based on this question that would mean food is important... I'm so confused :D
The meanings are admittedly pretty close. It's largely because while det är x med y is a Swedish construction that English usually doesn't really have, det är x att vara y is a construction that both languages have.
So "it is important to be efficient" would be much better translated as det är viktigt att vara effektiv in Swedish.
effective = successfully accomplished efficient = accomplished without wasted time (or resources or effort)
Something can be one and not the other, or both.
I am translating "effektivitet" to "efficiency" as the more common meaning, even though the Swedish word could also mean "effectiveness."
Does this make sense, mods?
That's how idiomatics works. English would absolutely never use "it's important with efficiency" when "efficiency is important" was meant. But Swedish does that all of the time. Teaching that one very common construction in one language corresponds to a different very common construction in another language is a really important step in the learning process, and we'd do you a huge disfavour if we didn't do that here.