"Han har bara ytliga kunskaper."

Translation:He has only superficial knowledge.

March 17, 2015

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What is the nuance of the plural kunskaper? Is it saying "He has only superficial knowledge across a range of topics? "Jack of all trades and master of none".


"knowledge" is plural in the English above, too, since "knowledge" is uncountable in English. The word "knowledges" suggested in the hover-over is bad English and shouldn't be there.


Maybe we have reason for concern:


They actually made a comic out of that? lol


Why is "got" in the English sentence here?


It doesn't need to be there at all. In fact, the preferred form would be without it.


That's actually a good question, it changes the tense of the sentence. My understanding is that 'has' used by itself indicates possession in the present tense, but as an auxiliary verb paired with a past tense verb (in this case 'got') it forms the present perfect tense. The Swedish sentence just has the 'ha' in present tense with no other verb.


The g in "ytliga" is pronounced when the woman says the sentence; but mute when you tap the word to listen to it again.

In relation to that: I know pronunciation of g is a funny thing in Swedish, especially in adjectives. Is there a simple rule for that (e.g. "you never pronounce the g in plurals of -lig adjectives"), or do you know where I can read more on the topic?


Before a consonate or hard vowel (a, o, u, å), is like g in English. Before a soft vowel or at the end of a word, it's pronunced similar to English y. There is also the ng sounds, which appears in words like många.

So the plural form of ytliga should have hard g sound, and my guess it's a bug. Hopefully a native speaker can confirm.


TIL you can click a word on Duolingo... wish I'd known that a few years ago.

I'd actually either not pronounce the g at all here, or just very faintly. The TTS voice has it correct. But I wouldn't hazard a guess about ratios.

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Can "ytlig" be used to describe a person as well?


Yes, absolutely - for someone who is e.g. shallow and vain.

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