Translation:The fairy tale is about two hedgehogs and a bar of soap.
This is the closest tale I could get (no soap): http://www.amazon.com/The-Tale-Anabelle-Hedgehog-Riverbank/dp/0745946771
And this is the closest product I could get (hedgehog soap): https://www.facebook.com/hedgehogsoap
Jag tycker om love Stephen Lawhead, and his many excellent books. But I think he knows more of celtic sagas than Swedish ones.
Sonic Adventure 2 had Sonic the Hedgehog and, for the first time in the franchise, Shadow the Hedgehog. Additionally, the shoes worn by Sonic in that game were from a brand called Soap. That's the closest thing I've found about this fairytale, which might be just a Sonic game.
I think that may be a liiittle too much headcanon, but I like the theory. :p
For works of fiction, "canon" is the term for the official version of events. For instance, the comics industry is infamous for publishing storylines that directly contradict each other, deciding later which ones are canon and which ones are not.
"headcanon" means something that is neither confirmed nor refuted by the canonical storyline, but which is still believed by someone to be correct within the realms of it.
I'd like to read this fairy tale...
In Germany there is a fairy tale called "der Hase und der Igel" that is about two hedgehogs and a rabbit. When I first read this sentence (not knowing the meaning of tval) I thought this was the story the sentence was refering to.
A terribly late reply, but that fairy tale is called Haren och igelkotten in Swedish. It's not very common, but certainly not unheard of either. :)
Apparently it was first written down in Plattdeutsch in 1840; I should try to find the text and see how much it differs from modern Platt.
Does sagan just apply to fairy tales, or does it also apply to a saga or epic?
It's a fantasy story, but not necessarily a fairy tale. The epic the Lord of the Rings books and films are called Sagan om Ringen in Swedish, but they're definitely not fairy tales.
I think fairytale and fantasy story are more or less interchangeable. Fairy tales may be more stories for younger audiences. So is it safe to say that saga is not age specific?
saga in Swedish refers both to fairytales and Icelandic sagas and things like The Forsyte saga. There are more specific words like islänningasaga, folksaga, konstsaga and so on if you want to be more specific. (and long epic stories about families are more often called släktkrönika than saga, but saga is sometimes used too)
The most typical example of saga is a fairytale for children, but it can be used about a lot of other things too depending on context.
Thanks for the comment, but isn't a saga on animals quite close to the definition of a fable?
A fable is actually basically a tale meant to enforce a moral. It very often has animals in it, but it's not a requirement.
Besides, "quite close" doesn't really work in linguistics, hence why you can't translate English "tiger" into Swedish lejon either. :)
So maybe the following statements are true:
There are several fables that are also saga. (traditionella berättelse om djur som ger en moralisk lärdom)
There are at least some fables that are not saga. (moderna fabler som är inte traditionell berättelse)
There are some saga on animals that are not fables (saga med djur som inte ger en moralisk lärdom)
Definitely. :) At least if you're talking about Swedish. An English "saga" isn't quite the same.
could you say "some soap", or is it strictly "one soap" "a bar of soap"?
The thing is that native English speakers don't really like a soap or one soap, they prefer to say things like a bar of soap and similar – it isn't really countable in English. In Swedish though, it's a normal word. en tvål, två tvålar, tre tvålar… :)
Is saying simply "soap" (since I learned that it is uncountable) accepted here?
I at least would probably prefer to call those en flaska handtvål, since it's more the packages that would be counted. I actually often buy several of these at once, as refills, and when I've brought those home I might say things like Jag har köpt fyra paket handtvål.
I translated "handlar" as "has to do with" and it was rejected. Am I so far off?
I think has to do with is a bit more vague than is about. With is about, they're really what the story is about. With has to do with, they might be just elements in it, or just be connected to it somehow.
Could you please elaborate some more on "handlar". I am confused. Does the verb have two meaning, "to shop" and "to be about"?
Also, a totally unrelated question: do you know of any dictionary that gives the phonemic transcription of Swedish words? I have trouble distinguishing long and short vowels and it would help me to see the correct written pronunciation.
What does this sentence refer to? The comment bubble says there are a whopping 44 comments so I imagine it's discussed at length there, but when I click on the bubble only two comments come up.
That's probably quite common, actually. I do that with my toddler.
I was surprised at first to see the word "igelkott" being taught in this course, until I realized they are pretty common in Europe. We don't have any hedgehogs in the U.S. except as pets, imported from some other country, and they are not common even as pets.
I've done this sentence many times before, but this time I wrote "porcupine" and was marked incorrect. Is that a separate animal from igelkottar?
Yes, they're not even in the same order - porcupines are rodents, and hedgehogs are eulipotyphlae.
The animal you'd typically mean by "porcupine" is called jordpiggsvin in Swedish - literally "earth spike swine". :)
Is there a real Swedish fairy tale about two hedgehogs and a bar of soap? I really hope so!
Did you mean the English "kinky"? Because kinkig means "whiny" in the sense of e.g. overtired infants and toddlers. :)
Perhaps we're not naughty enough - Swedish lacks a really good equivalent. :) I actually think most Swedes would use the English word, with the English pronunciation and spelling.
Is this a reference to something, or am I destined to forever wonder what was the deal with the hedgehogs and a bar of soap?
What is a good definition in English of the Swedish word "saga"?
I don't think "fairtytale" is quite right because a fairytale is a specific genre of children's stories and it is expected to contain royalty, fairies or witches or magicians, peasants, romance, and a medieval European setting. This (fictional fiction) story about hedgehogs and soap would not qualify as a fairytale.
What kinds of stories does "saga" include?
saga is actually a really good translation of "fairy tale". The genre is a little bit wider than your examples, and the AT(U) classification system contains plenty of fairy tales with animals in them. :)