"I wish for a dog" sounds very ungainly and archaic in English. Nobody really speaks like this. Not for about 90 years anyway. I would argue that it has fallen out of common parlance and "i want a dog" and "i would like a dog" convey the same meaning regardless of the literal Swedish translation.
What role exactly does "mig" play in this sentence? Is the overall sentence literally more like "I wish for me a dog"?
Yes, if one wishes for a noun, it is "önska sig": Jag önskar mig en hund
But, if you wish that something will happen och or that something had happened: Jag önskar att jag hade skrivit den här boken (I wish that I had written this book)
And you can also wish someone else something: Jag önskar dig en god jul (I wish you a merry Christmas)
You say noun = sig and follow that with önskar mig en hund (a dog is a noun) please advise
Yes, but no one would say "I wish for a dog." Maybe in poetic prose writing, but not in normal conversation. "I long for a dog" perhaps. But the most normal idiomatic equivalent to the Swedish sentence is, in fact, as kinj1973 proposes. It should be accepted. If any of you subscribe to the Antosch and Linn daily sentences, you can see they have the right idea: The translations demonstrate how a given sentence in the target language would actually be expressed in English. Then there is a word by word breakdown. It's important to understand the literal sense of a sentence in one language, but also to know what would express the equivalent thought in the other language..
What's wrong with "I want a dog"? The admittedly more literal "wish for" isn't an expression you would really use in this context. "The children bug me because they wish for a dog"? Really?
I think the point here is as a learning exercise for us. ie. We translate (fairly) literally in order to understand the grammar and vocab rather than for the most natural English meaning. We can mainly deduce from the stilted translation what the more natural meaning would be.
That's fine when translating to Swedish, but when you translate it to English, you're translating it to a form that an English-speaker would naturally say. Almost no one ever uses 'wish' like this in English anymore, except as a stilted, parodied form ("I wish you to pass the crumpets, mumsie"). "Wish" has taken on the connotation of something one fantasizes about ("I wish I'd win the lotto") or emotionally yearns for ("I wish I could find a better job"), or for something that someone would like seen done or changed ("I wish they'd take that sign down", "I wish I'd never done this!"), rather than a mundane intention to possess something, e.g. a pet. "I want" should be an acceptable translation.
"I wish you to pass the crumpets, mumsie" had me in stitches for a good 5 minutes
EvilAshe--good point well put. Take heed, everyone. If the Swedish sentence is an expression of a fantasy wish, we'd say "I wish I had . . . " [but]. If it's something you would tell the clerk in a pet store, then "I'd like a dog" or "I want a dog" would be appropriate.
The way they translate into English is better because you understand Swedish grammar and syntax better. If you refer to the German Bonus Skill on Idioms and Proverbs, they give "English equivalents" (like you suggest) instead of translations, which is not at all helpful in learning German. "The straw that broke the camel's back" might mean the same as "the drop that made the barrel overflow", but it is not helpful in learning German and how things should exactly be worded in German.
One is want, the other is wish. I imagine they're used in very similar ways, though they're not exactly the same.
I tried "I wish for myself a dog" just to see if it would be accepted. Nope!
Agree with Ambl below. Your translation is not correct modern use of English and as a languages lecturer I would have marked it as incorrect.
It isn't grammatically correct in English. The pronoun here is "myself", not "me".
that is also not accepted answer though... thought technicaly it is correct
The thing is "I wish for a dog", "I want a dog" and "I would like to have a dog" all express the same basic meaning. They could be used interchangeably in English, so they should all be acceptable translations.
It's true that these sentences can be used in the same situations, but that does not mean that they have the same meaning. Those are two different things. You could possibly think of them as situational meaning vs intrinsic meaning. Sometimes it is cold in here can in reality 'mean' please close the window, but that doesn't mean that that is what it means in itself.
The three different sentences in this case have different intrinsic meanings that are mirrored in their Swedish counterparts (in this case) so that it's easy to say more or less exactly the same thing in Swedish as in English. Accepting all answers here would not be helpful, instead it would make things blurry when they could be clear.
I do see what you say about different meanings. What is frustrating here is that there simply isn't a direct English correspondence - unlike German, where you have pretty much the same construction as in Swedish ("ich wünsche mir"). In natural-sounding English I think you would tend to use roundabout expressions, such as adding "for my birthday", "for Christmas". But that again wouldn't work for you when what you are really searching for is a teaching tool.
Yes, you do have a point. I'll actually recommend that we remove the word önskar completely from the 2.0 tree, it isn't used that much in Swedish either these days. Except for Christmas wishlists.