1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Island ligger i Norden."

"Island ligger i Norden."

Translation:Iceland is in the North.

February 23, 2015

18 Comments


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

Okay, so sometimes "Norden" is "the Nordic countries," sometimes it's "the Nordic region," and sometimes it's "the North." Which I understand, because it's really all of those things. But it's frustrating when you choose to translate it as, say, "the Nordic countries," and you're told that you're wrong. Especially when Duo tells you that "the Nordic region" would have been an acceptable answer.


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

I just don't think it makes sense to say that 'Iceland is in the Nordic countries', do you? Norden is a name in Swedish, just like Europa for 'Europe', but 'the Nordic countries' is not a name in English. It's not like Iceland is located in any other country than, well, Iceland.

the Nordic region is an accepted answer here though.


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

The problem is that it feels so inconsistent. If I get "Sverige ligger i Norden" as a sentence to translate, then "Sweden is in the Nordic countries" is an acceptable answer (and I don't think "Sweden is in the North" would be, though I haven't tried). I just want some consistency, is all. I don't like having to guess which answer is "acceptable" when trying to translate something that in some ways just doesn't have a good English translation.


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

but as I said, Norden is a name in Swedish, but not in English. So it really doesn't work the same.


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

Right, no, I understand that, and I understand that names don't really translate well (or at all, usually). But since I'm being asked to translate a name anyways, it would be nice if there was some consistency with what translations work. That's all I'm saying.


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

well, but: few exercises before a learnt that "Norden" also means "the northern countries". So why should it be wrong here? At least it should be accepted like a missing accent ... but not be turned down totally just a little after it is learnt ....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avidon0

I said that it was 'one of the Nordic countries', which seems right to me; but I lost a heart for it... :/


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

Would an acceptable answer be 'is a Nordic country'


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

That would rather be "Island är ett nordiskt land".


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

So do Swedes consider Iceland to be Nordic? While I haven't been to Sweden, I've been to Iceland, and they seem to think of themselves as Nordic there (Nordic cross flag and such). What do Swedes think?


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

Sure, people disagree about which countries are Scandinavian or exactly what Scandinavia is, but there's no problem with the Nordic countries. Iceland and the Faroe islands are definitely Nordic countries. There's also Nordiska rådet, the Nordic council, and various types of economic/political collaboration which makes it extra clear which countries belong in the group – for instance we were able to travel to all Nordic countries without passports even before we joined the EU, so this distinction is a lot more tangible than the idea of "Scandinavia".


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

Good to know. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahferroin7

OK, so, translating this as 'in the North' is technically correct but really ambiguous, especially if you're saying it and not writing it (because you can't tell that 'the North' is a proper name), and even more so since 'the North' is actually idiomatically used in some dialects of English for referring to other regions (such as the northern parts of the UK). 'among the Nordic countries' or 'one of the Nordic countries' seems like a more idiomatic English translation to me (note, 'Nordic countries' is a thing in English as an idiomatic translation of 'Norden', it's just not really used much in everyday conversation because the Nordic countries are not something most native English speakers discuss with any regularity), or possibly even 'a member of the Nordic Council' (which is even less ambiguous, but potentially changes the meaning of the sentence).


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

I wrote "Iceland is in Scandinavia", which was marked wrong, but seems right to me (Depending on whether or not one thinks Iceland is a part of Scandinavia. Please Scandinavia, make up your mind ;) ). I think it's an acceptable sentence in English or am I missing something?


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

It's not accepted, because Scandinavia and the Nordic countries are not interchangeable in a Swedish context. In Sweden, the Nordic countries are Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland and their dependencies (Faroes, Greenland, Svalbard etc).

Scandinavia on the other hand, means only Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

In English, the terms are often used interchangeably though. But since we're trying to teach the differences in Swedish, we're quite picky on technicalities here.


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

Thank you. I was under the impression they are two different words for the same thing. It's confusing for non-Scandinavians, because even Wikipedia doesn't really give a clear answer.


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

Purely from a translation perspective, it's wrong because Scandinavia = Skandinavien.

You are correct that "Scandinavia" means different things to different people, but I think for the overwhelming majority of people from North-Germanic countries, it specifically means Norway, Sweden, and Denmark - those three countries in Northern Europe whose languages are mutually intelligible. It seems to be mostly English-speakers who try to add Iceland and Finland to the list.


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

Thanks. I thought "Norden" and "Skandinavien" were interchangeable.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.