Translation:The vehicle

March 11, 2015

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Did this come from the car marker "Ford"?


No, it's derived from fora, meaning "trip" and/or the wares brought on a trip. That word is Old Swedish (and not in use any longer), so it precedes Henry by at least half a millenium, as does fordon. :)

Our word for "car" - bil - is derived from the French automobile, by the way. We took the last part of the word, and the Germans took "Auto".


Ha ha ha! Thanks for the explanation. I'm always curious about the etymology of words.


That would make it akin to erfara (to experience; to get to know of) and the German fahren.


Yes, exactly. The original literal meaning of erfara is "walk through".


Thank you for the etymology. And for the one for bil! I would never think it came from this word :) And I've never checked it because I somehow knew bil even before I started to learn Swedish so I just remembered it.


Except that the French word for car is voiture. The English automobile is made from French parts, but as far as i can tell isn't French itself.


The loan is well over a century old, and the word is indeed French. See e.g. http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=automobile for a source. I'm aware that it's not a common word in French, but I didn't claim that it was either. I also didn't say automobile in French means "car" specifically.


Having studied spanish, i can verify this. The spanish word is automóvil.


But, as in France, in Spain it's more common to say "coche" ;)

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In Italy the word is "automobile"; speaking is often shortened to "auto". I see now that such a word was first introduced in French; never imagined: it seemed to me perfect Italian.


I also heard that car comes from horseless carrriage.


No, but I'm glad you asked! I'm very fond of its etymology. Considering its history, modern English has very few loans from Celtic languages.

During Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul, he encountered two-wheeled war chariots of a kind the Romans didn't have. They adopted the technology - and the native word for it: karros. This word still exists in other variations in related languages, such as the Welsh carr meaning "wagon".

Caesar wrote about the carrum in his writings on his military campaign, and from there it has survived through the millenia, and through several other languages on its way to the modern English meaning. :)

We actually have kaross in Swedish as well, which we got from French at some point. It can mean either a really fancy horsedrawn carriage (very rare) or the metal chassis of a motor vehicle (common).


That's a good way to remember, though!


I was totally stumped on this one so I tried different spellings of what I thought I heard in Google translate. My last attempt was fodonat. (I couldn't hear the r) It asked if I meant fodona. I learned a new work in Swedish I certainly won't be using in polite society. :-)


a new Word, not work.

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