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  5. "Man tar vad man har."

"Man tar vad man har."

Translation:One takes what one has.

August 2, 2015

36 Comments


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

The thing about this proverb is that it is more likely that you'll hear it pronounced "Man tager vad man haver" which is how you said it in old Swedish. It means the same, but using the old pronunciation is usually more common for this proverb.


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

Is this a Swedish proverb? I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly it's supposed to mean. Googling the English translation did not help. Do those two "man"s in the sentence represent two different people?


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

Yes, it's a proverb. Basically, it means that you have to make do with what you have. It's commonly attributed to Cajsa Warg, who wrote a very widespread cookbook in the 18th century, but she never actually used the phrase. Both occurrences of man refer to the same person.


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

It's clear now. Thanks a lot.


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

I still don't understand. Does it mean "one uses what one has"?


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

Yes, in the sense of "one makes do with what one has".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dood8

Quite similar to the English one takes what one gets.


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

Yes, and we have that expression too: Man tar vad man får.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelKop11

Is "man" here used as a "generalizing pronoun" like "man" in German, "on" in French, or "you/one" in English?


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

Yes, exactly.


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

Perhaps I'm missing something obvious here but, what does this phrase, or any of the words in it, have to do with the focus of this lesson ( Det Har/Nagot/Alla etc)?


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

Pardon my ignorance, but what skill is this sentence in? The forum threads don't actually display that, and I can't check, since I'm no longer a contributor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uppsala18

It is in the determiners lesson.


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

Thanks! Yeah, that's probably been misplaced, then.


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

Sounds like a Swedish "pay the iron price"!


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

... not really. :p


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

A play on words? All three letters with a center "a"?


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

I don't think it's a play on words, but it's possible it's a semi-rhyming mnemonic device. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

What is the difference in meaning between, "Man tar vad man har" and "Man tar vad man får"?


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

Well, with ha meaning "have" and meaning "receive" or "may":

  • Man tar vad man har = One takes what one has
  • Man tar vad man får = One takes what one gets, or
  • Man tar vad man får = One takes what one is allowed to

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

Thank you!

So, there is a slight difference of meaning, just as in English.


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

Which one would you say as you sigh into the miserable hand you were dealt in a game of 500?


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

Only the first option is an established saying, but neither really applies to card games.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troy489516

Why isn't it like "En tar vad en har." or "Ett tar vad ett har?"


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

English uses "one" as a generalising pronoun; Swedish uses man. Usage of en is on the rise (to avoid gender connotations with man) but it's not common enough to warrant inclusion in the course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troy489516

Ah, I get it now. Thanks for the help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karin484473

A better translation would be: one takes what one has (to offer)


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

That's the default translation.


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

Why can't "Man takes what man has" be acceptable too?


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

That's not really what it means, nor is it very good English.

The Swedish man here is the general "you", which English can also express as "one". It doesn't mean "man" as in the the sex or gender here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uppsala18

In the sentence of wyrmwood it could also mean 'humans take what humans have'. Man being a word for the human race. I agree though that it is not exactely the same as 'one takes....'.


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

I mean that the parenthesis and additional word (to offer), not in the actual translation be included...perhaps below the actual translation. Idioms in the duolingo spanish class are difficult because they only have an american translation and not a direct one. In spanish, one often misses the beauty of the idiom as it is stated in its original language. It seems like this is the opposite. Sometimes it is good to see both together. It helps to understand word order and translation between cultures.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/omeran1

Wouldn't the English translation be "you take what you get" or "you make it with what you have"? The"correct" doesn't make much sense to me


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

Please refer to my above comment which explains the meaning of the proverb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanbean425734

I agree. "One takes what one has" is not idiomatic for me, either. (Maybe it is the way to say it in other English-speaking places. I don't know.) Where I live, we use a couple of set phrases, just slightly different from what you suggested:

You take what you can get.

or

You make do with what you have.


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

I was wondering if it was the "you only have what you can take" or if it was "make do with what you have".

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