"We should learn more about vikings."

Translation:Vi borde lära oss mer om vikingar.

March 3, 2015

This discussion is locked.


What is the difference between borde and ska? Both of them are translated as "should" however, "borde" seems more imperative, whereas "ska" feels more 'inner motivated'. But it might be just me...


ska generally means "will", and borde generally means "should". But modals are so idiomatic in most languages that there isn't a strict 1:1 correspondence, so there are lots of exceptions and tricky situations. Personally, I find ska the single hardest word to teach because it's so common, so arbitrary, and often so devoid of good reason for being translated the way it is.


Vi får aldrig glömma Lindisfarne! :P


But... those were most likely Dane vikings. :(


Hah, I kid. It was over 1000 years ago anyway. But as part of school history, it is usually the first thing that comes to mind after the word 'Vikings"....so maybe we should learn more about the vikings...


It's an interesting topic indeed. :)

Most viking age people from the Svíþjóð area, which through a complicated process was later to become Sweden, weren't the violent plunderers commonly associated with vikings. Just like most of Europe's people, the average viking was a small-scale farmer and livestock keeper. But those who did venture from Svíþjóð did so mainly eastwards along the great rivers of today's Russia, and mainly to trade. Some reached as far as Constantinople and Persia in their expeditions, while others settled at various places in Russia, intermarrying and assimilating into the Slavic majority population relatively quickly.

There is a theory that the name Russia is in itself derived from an Old Norse word ("Rodr") having to do with rowing, thus stemming from the Norse seafarers who rowed their longships eastwards. This is also thought to have given name to Sweden in Finnish and Estonian, where Sweden is called Ruotsi and Rootsi respectively. Furthermore, the name rusiyyah is used by the 10th century chroniclers Ahmad ibn Fadlan and Ahmad ibn Rusta to describe the Norse traders they met (separately) in eastern Europe, and of whom they wrote accounts of their ways. Lastly, sources a thousand years ago seem to differentiate between Rhos and Slavs for reasons yet unclear.

Although an interesting theory, the name of Russia as a Norse word is highly disputed, with many Slavic historians and linguists searching for the root of the word in domestic Slavic sources. No clear consensus has yet been achieved in the academic community and maybe we shouldn't hope for one either - but nonetheless it's interesting to have a look into how things might be explained!



That was been really interesting!


This is fascinating! I am learning so much about early European history and the evolution of language by struggling through just this one language. Thank you for these bits of history and historical linguistics.


Zmrzlina: This is great information thank you!


Yes it is interesting, but has nothing to do with the sentence assigned. I find nothing in the dictionary between "bord" and "bordell", except "bordeaux". So what is the root of "borde"?


borde is the past tense of böra. That and the present tense bör are typically the only forms used in practice.


why is the past tense used here? it feels like a present tense sentence.


I honestly don't know the historical reasons, but English does the same in a way - "should" comes from "shall", even though they are nowadays separated enough to carry different meanings. German uses sollte, which is the subjunctive form identical to the simple past. I suspect it's some kind of common Germanic trait.


The translation should be: Vi borde lära oss mera om vikingar.


That's much more colloquial.


Is the reflexive form here mandatory?


Yes, learning is always reflexive in Swedish.

The reason is that lära means "teach" - for instance: jag lär honom svenska = I teach him Swedish. So if you want to say "learn", you essentially say "teach oneself". For instance: jag lär mig svenska = (literally) I teach myself Swedish = I learn Swedish.

  • 1547

Why is "vi skulle" not accepted?


skulle would mean either "would" or "were going to" here.


Why is not bör corrct here


The following is copied from this website: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/b%C3%B6ra#Swedish

Böra indicates a recommendation or probability, or obligation perceived from the point of the speaker. This differs from måste which signifies an absolute requirement or even force. The difference between present tense bör and past tense borde is not so much of tense, but of the strength of the request. Borde is less strong and perceived as more polite, and is more like making a suggestion that the subject is free to ignore. In the case of statements of reality such as Det borde fungera, borde indicates more uncertainty than bör; the speaker is not sure if it will work, but they believe it will.


15 years of living in Sweden, I have not once used "bör". Be aware of what it means, but seriously don't learn it. It's overly formal anyway.

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