"The waves of the sea"

Translation:Havets vågor

March 14, 2015

This discussion is locked.


What is wrong with "Havets vågorna"?


Same as if you'd say the sea's the waves or my the book in English. After a word in the genitive or a possessive pronoun, the thing owned needs to be indefinite.


But the English we're translating is "the waves of the sea", so it's a little misleading here to be marked wrong for "havets vågorna," since we've got two definites in the English. If the English were "the sea's waves", this would be clearer.


I don't really follow that argument, to be honest. You're saying that since English has two ways of forming the possessive, and Swedish only has one, Swedish should conform to the English form it doesn't have?

If you were asked to go from "the waves of the sea" to a direct possessive in English, you would say "the sea's waves", not "the waves of the sea". It's the same if you're asked to go from "the waves of the sea" to Swedish.


This is an irregular plural isn't it?


Somewhat, yes. A few monosyllabic closed-syllable en-nouns get an unintuituve -or. Ros ("rose") is the same in this respect, having the plural rosor.


Can we say 'vågen av havet'?


Apart from what Mark said, you can't use av here. If you want to use a preposition, you could use : vågorna på havet is a correct phrase.

Basically av is never (or at least very rarely) used to denote ownership in Swedish.


When I did some google-checking before answering, I did see vågorna av havet being used. Can av not be used in the material sense here?

In the English phrase the waves of the sea, "of" can indicate two different senses: "part of" (piece) or "made of" (substance). If I said I listened to the waves of the sea and not I listened to the sea's waves, I'm choosing to be poetic, and doing so implies the substantive meaning of "of". Likewise with the smoke of the fire drifted up my nose versus the fire's smoke drifted up my nose.


No, those are bad translations/too strong influence from English.
If you were to use av with the 'material sense', you should have the indefinite form. vågor av ljus 'waves of light' works for instance.

PS if you just take a quick look at the first hits even in the preview you should see some very serious language errors. "Man Anseendet Vid Vågorna", "Hög kvalitets Stock Foton", "Stor fet fläcken tvättmedel" – sites like that are really polluting the internet :(


Thank you for the clarification :)


No. The waves would be vågorna.


Is also vågar correct?


Nope. That's the plural form of another word våg, when that means "scales", as in the weighing device.


Why not Vågor av havet?

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