"The priest had died during the night."
Translation:Prästen hade dött under natten.
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Okay, thanks. I am confusing another comment I saw a few weeks ago that said the
"-de" ending in past tenses is not pronounced: "talade" is in fact spoken as "tala" - correct? I have no Swedish speaker to listen to, so trying to make sense of it all. I guess what is most confusing is that the program does correctly say "dom" for the pronoun "de", so when it pronounces the "-de" ending where it would not be spoken in normal speech it is less than helpful. Thanks again for your help.
That's true, most verbs drop the -de ending after an a, and other very similar verbs like sade (usually said 'sa') and lade (usually said 'la') drop the ending too, so it's totally reasonable to expect hade to drop it too. The reason it doesn't is probably that the form ha is already in use for the infinitive, so that it would cause confusion. (sa has the infinitive säga and la has lägga so they don't share the same problem).
I think it's reasonable that the TTS keeps the -de ending in longer verbs like talade where one might pronounce them in normal or slightly more careful speech (while one would still pronounce de as dom even in very careful/formal speech) but not reasonable that it says sade and lade which is really rare and basically just sounds unnatural.
Hi Arnauti - so are you saying that sometimes, when people are being less formal, they will say "de" as "de" rather than "dom"? That would clear something up for me, because I swear I have heard native speakers do that but it goes so fast I couldn't be sure (I've got to think about the next thing they are saying etc.) In particular, I feel that I may have noticed it when it's "the (plural) _adjective_nouns" - e.g. "Jag gillar de nordiska landerna" - I feel that's when a native speaker might just give a cursory "de". Have I got that right?
Secondly: When 'talade' is pronounced without the 'de'... wouldn't that sound too much like the infinitive "tala", or even "talar"? Thanks.
For the first question, yes, sure, you can hear that. There's a growing tendency that the written language influences the spoken language more and more. Some people will say de when they read aloud. (Especially people who don't read aloud a lot.) Some people think that saying de instead of dom sounds more formal and feel that it's more correct to stay close to the written letter rather than to the traditional pronunciation, while others just think it sounds unnatural. These things aren't totally linear, but generally people who are older and/or better educated are less likely to be affected by how things are written. For instance I once listened through a whole session with the Swedish Academy and found that its members say dom throughout even when reading their speeches aloud.
There are different dialects too, but generally in the dialects that make a distinction between de/dem, they tend to say de more like di rather than de.
Second question, when we say "han tala svenska" it does sound exactly like the infinitive but not close enough to the present tense to be confused with that. At least not in most dialects. So there's no real risk for confusion, but it can sound pretty sloppy when you drop them, too, especially if you aren't speaking all that fast.
To sum it up, my recommendation for a learner would be to always say de/dem as dom in all contexts, but to keep the endings on talade etc until you're starting to get pretty fluent.
OK thank you. Yes, well, I would pretty much always go with the most formal or correct way because I tend to do that even in English and I figure that I might sound a little weird but native speakers will know that I have learnt the 'formal' way of saying something and won't really care if it sounds too formal.
OK no worries. I think I got it the first time anyway. ;-) The infinitive versus present question (as in, would 'tala' ever be confused for 'talar') is, now that I think about it, context based as well as missing the "rrr". But the reason I ask is, that I've been going through LasseMajas Detektivbyrå av Martin Widmark, with an audio book and the e-book and just very slowly reading and listening and paying attention to basically everything. Unfortunately the audio book doesn't say who is reading, but I've noticed that sometimes there is just no hint of the "rrr" in a normal present tense verb and have concluded that it's just not how you would actually say that word in the middle of the sentence because the 'r' is phonologically too tricky and would hold the sentence back too much. Off the top of my head, an example where he does that is: "Det är polismästaren som står framför den lilla kiosken vid kyrkan och LAPAR på en strutglass." - You absolutely don't hear the R in "lapar", it just sounds like "lapa", but when I tried to put the R in, I found it was very difficult to roll it onto the "på" and carry the sentence on, so I could see why the narrator drops it.