Can someone help me out with "en duk" here? I get that a handduk is a towel. Can you ever use 'duk' to mean towel? When they say 'cloth' as a translation or 'tablecloth', is it used interchangeably, or more likely to be one or other? Tack saer mycket!
If i were to ask my mom where my towel is I would say: " Vart är min handduk?". A "duk" is a thing that you put on a table, I would never say "Vart är min duk?" wanting a towel "Duk" is not the same fabric as a "handuk" so to answer the question no "duk" does not mean towel. Det var så lite så! ( No problem)
For learners, note that vart is used colloquially like this in some regions, but it's not considered 'correct' standard usage, you should say var when you ask where something is. I totally agree about what Falimia says about duk vs. handduk.
In the manufacturing plant that i work, we use "duk" for a metal woven cover (for what it's worth)
I think "duk" is cognate with English "duck", in the sense of "duck cloth", not the waterfowl or the verb. It goes back to an old Germanic root meaning cloth, so woven metal is not surprising.
It's duken (the tablecloth) blir smutsig, not duk en blir smutsig or other similar sounds.
Why not smutsigt? When do I add the t after the adjectives and when do I not?
It's because it's an en word: duken blir smutsig but for ett words we use smutsigt, as in bordet blir smutsigt 'the table gets dirty' and for plural things: tallrikarna blir smutsiga 'the plates get dirty' – wow that was a lot of filth in one sentence.
Have I understood it correctly that in addition to 'a tablecloth', 'en duk' can also mean a cloth. For instance, the type of cloths that one would use for wiping dirty surfaces?
Yes and no. It's not completely off, but what you use to wipe a table or so is commonly called en trasa.
At the school where I work the table cleaning cloth is called "en disktrasa" .
Is it simply a bug that she pronounces smutsig with an s sound instead of a sh after blir, or is there something going on phonetically? Tack så mycket!
When speaking with native Swedes, I noticed they would also say this to mean that the tablecloth IS dirty. Or do they just have poor grammar?
It's a bit of a grey area :) but generally speaking, duken blir smutsig can be used in much the same way a continuous sense is used. So it's more like "the tablecloth is getting dirty" in that case, which probably corresponds to what your friends mean. Then again, it's hard to tell for sure without having been there. :)
Thank you! That makes sense! So let's say I'm walking in the woods, I could say, "Mina skor blir smutsiga" to mean they are getting increasingly dirty, correct?