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"Var är saxen?"

Translation:Where are the scissors?

March 30, 2015

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Synthpopalooza

Question: Is scissors always plural in Swedish as it is in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

No. Sax is singular in Swedish. The plural "saxar" refers to multiple pairs of scissors.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rwhodges

What's more, sax is an en-word, so saxen is the definite singular form. There is a translation that sort-of transforms it into singular in English: "where is the pair of scissors" (where saxen stands in for the entire phrase the pair of scissors: what an economical language Swedish often is!) -- not that we'd typically say it that way in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Synthpopalooza

That's what threw me. I was taking sax for an ett word and saxen for a definite plural. Thanks for the info


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingoLaura

this one is so easy to remember because the x looks like en sax (:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ehsan.1984

can someone please let me know, is Sax and en word? if yes, saxen shouldnt be the scissor, and saxerna something like the scissors?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

Scissors is always plural. I guess it has something to do with the blades and you need (at least) two to be able to cut. In Swedish it is
en sax - saxen
flera saxar - saxarna


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

As a little FYI to our learners, "saxarna" can also mean "the Saxons". :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobShmob

Hehe, I only just wanted to point out that there is a federal state in Germany called "Sachsen" (after the tribe), that is pronounced very similarly, so my first thought was "in eastern Germany" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark841597

And what about "the saxes" (as in 'saxophones')?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

The saxophone is named after its inventor, the Belgian Adolphe Sax.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark841597

Well, I knew that ;-) but I was wondering if the Swedes also use 'sax' as an abbreviation for 'saxofon'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ehsan.1984

Ok helen, so we never say where IS the scissor, in English. Tack, snälla!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatherineMaas

I'm a native speaker of English and I say "where is the scissors" all the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ranld

My native language is English also. I have rarely heard that usage. I would say, and have almost always heard others say, "where are the scissors." I think it varies by region or by country. Katherine, are you in England?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenGrundberg

I've never heard 'where are the scissors'. It's 'where is the scissors, or where's the scissors'. Scissors is like a hammer, screwdriver, etc. Can't see it as other than a single object. But I suppose there is no such thing as a scissor. Then there are pliers. Not much different in action than scissors, basically two parts with a hinge point. I've always heard 'where are the pliers'. Never 'where is the pliers'. Oh, well...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PacificLuode

Clearly this has to do with dialect. In the US and Canada you would say "where are the scissors".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RevShirls

In the UK too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brydeemer

US native here. We always say "Where are the scissors", however, in Pennsylvania Dutch country, some older folks do say "Where is the scissors". We always just assumed it was there bad English showing through (as with much of their speech), but now I'm wondering if they say that in German, too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

Nice question. Pennsylvania Dutch originated from from a German dialect (Deitsch, Palatine German). "Where is the pair of scissors?" in contemporary German is Wo ist die Schere?, and in contemporary Dutch (the language of the Netherlands) Waar is de schaar?. So in Swedish, German and Dutch scissors are countable tools. I found a link about Pennsylvania Dutch: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Dutch


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polyglot_Dream.

"var" sounds more like "vår" rather than "var" here. Anyone feels the same?

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