"En liten by i norra Sverige."

Translation:A small village in northern Sweden.

February 23, 2015

48 Comments


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

Unless you are surrounded by elves and trade in magic beans, you do not live in a "hamlet" to an American.

December 16, 2015

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

In Britain, a city has to have 100,000 inhabitants OR a catherdral have been granted city staus. A town has to have 10,000 inhabitants, a village has to have 100 inhabitants ( preferably a Post Office or church), and a hamlet has 11-99 inhabitants. I learned this in Geography GCSE in 2007 so it may have changed since then... I assume that Sweden has similar distinctions.

Several place names in Britain still have 'by' endings (e.g. Grimsby), coming from Old Norse. The term also survives in the words 'by-law' and 'by-election'.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purplelotus88

Not so. Hamlets are very common in New York, and it's an official way of describing a settlement of people. It's also very common to read in newspapers in articles and real estate ads descriptions of places as 'a charming hamlet', 'a quiet hamlet', etc.

April 6, 2018

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

That "By" means village will take some time getting used to, damn Swedes mixing it all up : P

July 17, 2015

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

I guess we'll have to blame medieval Low German for influencing Swedish and making us say stad where Danish and Norwegian still say by to mean city. ;)

September 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidCarls11

Why isn't "town" accepted? In American English we would rarely use "village" and never use "hamlet" no matter how small.

November 4, 2015

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

Because that would lead people to believe that you could call a town by in Swedish, but you really can't. This is especially important since the word does mean that in Danish and Norwegian.

November 23, 2015

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

Why is this sentence in the section about people?

February 23, 2015

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

Because people tend to live in cities or villages.

February 23, 2015

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

Ah yes

February 24, 2015

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

I actually happened to be speaking to a Swedish friend of mine today about this word (prior to duolingo teaching me it) and she said it's closer to the English word "hamlet"? She said it's maybe around 10 houses usually would qualify a "by".

I grew up in a village in England and that had a few hundred people, is there a different word for village over hamlet and is by more of a village or a hamlet?

April 26, 2015

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

To me a "by" is a small village of maybe up to a few hundred people. When it's a slightly bigger village with maybe a town center you could use "ort" or "samhälle".

May 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astridhofs1

In Dutch the difference between town (stad ) and village (dorp) is not about the number of people living there but if it got town rights. So there can be very small towns and bigger villages. But most of the time the towns will be bigger. The Hague is a big village and there is a town with only 50 people. I live in a community (I allways call it a village ) with 29.000 inhabitants.

April 1, 2017

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

So what rights does a Dutch town have? What can it do that a village can't?

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astridhofs1

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_privileges In Dutch the answer is much longer and it seems that long long time ago they stopped giving town rights (1800something) as not relevant anymore.

April 5, 2017

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

I remember being told that in Britain, a city has a cathedral and a town doesn't, but I have never been clear on the distinction between towns and villages, even though I apparently teach in a rather large village in Illinois.

April 5, 2017

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

Oxford Dictionary: "hamlet: a small settlement, generally smaller than a village, and strictly (in Britain) one without a church".

So you are close @JamesT.Wilson, but it's about the distinction between a hamlet and a village and and it's not about having a cathedral, but a church. (And @klaproosje, in Dutch we would call that a "gehucht".)

Anyhow, in the end I think we might agree: In modern usage we would just say town or village or city, depending on the size of the place, not concerning ourselves with it having a church or not; nor whether it has a medieval charter granting it city rights. (neither whether there is an active trade in magic beans, nor if there is a substantial elvish demographic (...))

In any case it seems the constructors of this course seem to want to stress that in Swedish "by" is a small place. Well, that's fine with me.

October 8, 2017

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

Do Swedes say "By" on a daily basis to mean a city or place? Just curious since in America I haven't heard "Village" used often.

October 26, 2015

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

We never say it about cities, only about villages or hamlets, but I don't hear it a lot in Swedish either. I guess it could be because I live in a city and don't know anyone who talks a lot about villages.

October 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia249078

I have dyslexia, so it was realy tricky to get that hamlet is a bit diffrent thing them helmet.... Traps are everywhere!

November 15, 2017

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

Why do we use "norra" like it's plural in this case?

January 3, 2018

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

I gave it some more thought, here is my theory until I hear otherwise. Sverige is a proper noun, so in effect, it is a definite noun referring to a specific thing, despite not being in any definite form. So we use the definite form of adjectives applied to it. This occurred to me after looking at some Swedish place names and realizing that any modifying adjectives are in definite form, e.g. Nya Långenäs, Västra Frölunda, to name a few random ones.

March 22, 2018

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

That's quite interesting, and I do not remember it being explained anywhere else. All of the languages that I know that treat definites differently from indefinites (Hungarian and Turkish come to mind) treat proper nouns as definites.

March 22, 2018

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

The direction adjectives have shortened forms for definite and proper nouns: norra, södra, östra, västra. I'm not sure if it's still technically valid to use nordligt here, or if anyone would actually do that.

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purplelotus88

I just watched a fascinating video that explained that 'by' is derived from the Old Norse word býr or bǿr meaning 'town' and that when Scandinavian settlers left to make new homes in the British Isles during the Viking era we now have towns named 'Thornaby', 'Helperby', 'Hemsby', etc. leftover.

Amazing!

April 6, 2018

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

Interesting, Etymonline says this: Originally an adverbial particle of place, which sense survives in place names (Whitby, Grimsby, etc. which I think means these places were next to or near something? And different from the Norse meaning?

We got the modern term by-law from Norse settlement, and that definitely refers to village law though Etymonline says it was probably influenced by English by as meaning adjacent laws to more general ones. English by derives from proto-Germanic bi “around, about”, from same root as Latin ambi-. If I recall correctly, Swedish by is related to att bo and distantly to English be, in the sense that existing is connected to dwelling.

August 23, 2018

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

This might be slightly off topic, but why is 'liten' used here? I've seen other variants of the word 'lite' and just want to clarify exactly what type is used where?

October 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emmeline856

Because 'by' is an en-word, and its talking in general terms (indefinite) vs. about a particular village itself (which would be 'lille' I believe)

For example: En liten by (a little village), en liten pojke (a little boy), en liten sked (a little spoon). All of these are en-words.

If the word is an ett-word, it becomes 'litet' - for example: Ett litet barn (a little child), ett litet bord (a little table), ett litet äpple (a little apple).

If its a plural, it becomes små instead.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

October 7, 2015

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

You're right.

October 23, 2015

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

This sounds right and thank you very much for your response - but I'm not 100% sure myself. I'm also wondering as to the use of 'lite' - Is that just the base word?

Please can someone verify that Emmeline's understanding is correct?

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emmeline856

Pretty sure 'lite' is the base word. I'd also like verification on this too.

October 8, 2015

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

Lite is used as a measure

Jag vill ha lite vin. I want to have a little (or some) wine.

October 18, 2015

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

The word little as an adjective has four forms:

Liten - en liten pojke Litet - ett litet barn Lilla - den lilla pojken - det lilla barnet When "the" is used Små - små pojkar / små barn

October 18, 2015

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

Why isn't "northern sweden" accepted? Isn't that the exact translation of norra sverige?

November 23, 2015

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

If you look on top of this page, you can see that A small village in northern Sweden is the suggested translation. What did you put exactly?

November 23, 2015

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

The sentence was "En liten by i norra Sverige", I typed my translation "A little village in the northern Sweden", but it was wrong and "... in north of Sweden" was suggested. Was it because I had "the" in my sentence?

November 28, 2015

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

Yes, you can say either in the north of Sweden or in northern Sweden, but you can't mix the two expressions.

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Farmor14

I translated 'i norra Sverige' as 'in the north of Sweden' and got dinged!

November 28, 2017

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

Why is Sverige sometimes capitalised and sometimes not?

October 27, 2016

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

Sverige, like all country names, is always capitalized. Nationality adjectives, however, are not.

April 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/balisong46

So what's the size limit of a By? I am assuming Örnsköldsvik doesn't count

March 3, 2017

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

Perhaps a few hundred people.

April 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IoannisTas1

❤❤❤ exactly do Swedes make the "y" sound in "by"? is there a good video for tutorial on it?

October 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sim-hae

Why is "in northern sweden" not correct?

October 28, 2017

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

The word is not in this course, but would nordlig work?

July 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kride83

En liten - A small why not One small

January 30, 2019

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

Why is little not correct? I said "A little village in northern sweden" and they corrected "small". Is there really such a difference?

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa954202

Grundtjärn?

May 29, 2019
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