Fun fact: you can't go from Sweden to Finland by train, because the tracks don't have the same width. You have to go to the Swedish city of Haparanda and take a bus to the Finnish city of Tornio (there's a station there that allows you to reach the rest of Finland).
For some reason, when I'm freefalling through wikipedia, I tend to end up on the article on track gauge (track width). Anyways, the track gauge of Sweden is 1435 mm, the same as the vast majority of European countries. Finland, on the other side, has a unique gauge of 1524 mm that no other country uses. However, the difference to the Russian 1520 mm gauge is so small that it's negligible.
It conveys the same semantic information, but it'd be translated into a separate phrase in Swedish: de tar en buss till Finland.
Why is "They are taking the bus to Finland" is correct, whereas "They are taking a bus to Finland" isn't? There is no definite article on 'bus' as I understand.
It's idiomatic. English prefers the definite here but Swedish does not. If it were "a bus", it would have translated to "en buss".
My first guess was: "They drive a bus to Finland" but I suppose that would translate to "De kör buss til Finland", or is "åker" ever translated as "drives"?
It may translate literally to "going by bus", but that isn't a phrase people use in any of the English speaking places I have lived in (6 US states, Tasmania, and British Columbia). We "take a bus" or "take the bus" or "they are taking a bus"...
Anyone shed any light on why "they take the bus to Finland" is correct but "they get the bus to Finland" isn't? Getting, taking and catching the bus to Canberra is pretty much synonymous with going by bus there. Does "de tar" have a bigger difference in Swedish for this kind of use?
To my knowledge "De åker buss till Finland" could as well be translated in English "They take a bus to finland". Since you can say "He is taking a train to moscow" etc.