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https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--

Nonsensical Swedish verbs

--Charlotte--
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Hej fellow Swedes-in-training!

I have a question for the native speakers. I'm going to try my best to explain it, even though it might be a bit confusing.

I was wondering whether there is such a thing as nonsensical verbs in Swedish, and how you would go about creating one.

For example, in Dutch, (pretty much) every verb ends in -en. So if I were to create a nonsensical verb, I would take a word and paste -en behind it and conjugate it accordingly. In English, these type of verbs usually end in -ing.

Example sentence: "I have been spending so much time on this website, I am constantly Duolingo-ing every word I see!"

Now obviously "Duolingo-ing" is not a verb, but sometimes it's easier (and funnier) to describe an action this way.

Another example would be: "Can you please stop nailpolishing and look at me?"

These kinds of constructions happen quite a lot in Dutch (especially among the younger generation) and I was wondering if there is a way to do this in Swedish as well, since Swedish verbs are a completely different species than Dutch or English ones.

I hope you understand my question! Tack på förhand!

3 years ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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Sure, it's easy to construct new verbs by just adding the verb ending -a. I've used the verb "duolingoa" sometimes for example.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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Thank you! It's things like this that really make me enjoy learning a language. Little tidbits like these make it more fun!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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Indeed! I agree. :) Sometimes, a verb can also be formed with -era or -isera, like English newly constructed verbs sometimes taking -ise/-ize. I don't think the verbs are that nonsensical though, but rather a great area of diversity, creativity and development!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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Oh, I have a favourite -era verb, "trädgårdera"! I always use it instead of "arbeta i trädgården" (work in the garden), since it's more like a hobby than a work to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dbrown23

Would "odla" work here too, or is that just for crops? I love that there is a common verb in Swedish for growing vegetables, that can be used informally in a way that "cultivate" simply can't in English without sounding slightly pretentious.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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"Trädgårdera" is like gardening I think, so it is more than "odla".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joel__W
Joel__W
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I agree! Why would they be nonsensical when they often communicate what you want to say more efficiently?

Also, -ifiera is sometimes used (corresponding to English -ify) when you want to say "make something X", X being a noun or adjective, especially foreign ones. The prefix "för-" has the same meaning, and is used mostly with native Swedish words. E.g. simplifiera from simpel, and förenkla from enkel, are both Swedish words that mean simplify.

Oh, and if the base word ends -el or -er in Swedish, the e is left out in derivations from that word, so it's just -l/-r and then -a, -era -isera, -ifiera etc. Googla is one example.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna_Jansson
Anna_Jansson
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Yeah things like that are done. "Googla" and "lika" (must be pronounced as the English "like" but with an a at the end. Otherwise it will mean "same") are words I have heard.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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In Dutch we say Google-en (most people write Googelen and you pronounce it Google-uhn), which is basically the same premise as in Swedish apparently. Just say Google and paste -en behind it. I believe it's actually in our official dictionary now. Same for Liken (like-uhn). I'm really enjoying Swedish! So similar to Dutch, yet so different! Tack!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna_Jansson
Anna_Jansson
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You would have to change the word a bit depending on what you are saying: Att googla Jag googlar det/Jag har googlat det. As far as I know googla is considered a real word in Sweden. I think I read that it was added to some dictionary so it is that common. https://sv.wiktionary.org/wiki/googla

I just realized that this can be done in German too. Not sure if they do it though. "Ich habe es gegoogelt".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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But then again, what's a "real word"? :) Swedish has no regulating body, and as far as I'm concerned, any way speakers express themselves is as real as it needs to be to them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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I think as long as people understand what you're talking about, it can be considered a real word. When I was young, wild and free (a long time ago, in a land far far away), I was in a relationship with an Argentinian, whom I had met while on vacation in Israel. His English was limited, so we pretty much invented our own language. It was a mix of English, Spanish, Dutch and Hebrew, and we understood each other perfectly. Other people however, had not the slightest idea what the hell we were talking about most of the time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna_Jansson
Anna_Jansson
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Basically I mean a word that has been so widely accepted in the language so that it now exists in a lexicon. Of course you can make up any word you like and use it as you please.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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Ah, sure. Sorry if I came off as rude.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cjchapman
cjchapman
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"Ich habe es gegoogelt" is definitely used! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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So how do you know what tense to use? Would you just take the most common form? Jag Googlade det for example? Why not Googlä or something similar? Or is it just a matter of having a so called "Swedish ear" for things like that?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joel__W
Joel__W
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Yes, Swedish only open (i.e. productive) verb class is regular verbs ending in -ar in the present. Thus googla, googlar, googlade, googlat. By the way, where would you get the idea that "googlä" could be conjugation of a Swedish verb?! That's like if I were to propose "googleuth" as a form of "to google" in English. I don't mean to sound rude, but it seems so taken out of the blue that I'm curious.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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Oh no reason, it wasn't a specific example. Some Swedish verbs aren't in the -la/-lar/-lade category, but I couldn't think of one off the top of my head. I mean words like sjöng/flög/låg etc. Irregular verbs. Please don't judge me, I iz really gud at swedisj! (I managed to actually follow a Swedish song yesterday) :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joel__W
Joel__W
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Not judging at all! I was just surprised since no Swedish verbs conjugate with an -ä at the end, so it looks very un-Swedish to me. Generally with strong verbs there is a change of the core vowel of the verb.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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Maybe it works in meänkieli :)? It looks a bit like tornedalsfinska to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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"Skejta" is another one. I have even seen the spelling "skata" (from "skate" but with Swedish ending), but that is just too confusing.


En skata

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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Wouldn't skejta start with that typical Swedish sk-sound? Or do they keep the English pronunciation and just paste -ta behind it? I've noticed you Swedified the word shit to skit as well (which just makes it sound adorable).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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The English pronunciation is kept. And it does not sound adorable at all if you replace the s+k with the Swedish sk-sound :).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xaghtaersis
xaghtaersis
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Sure it is offtopic but I just had to comment as a native Dutch speaker. ''DuolingoËn'' in the dikke van Dale please xD. Duolingo gotta be in our dictionary.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Charlotte--
--Charlotte--
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Duolingoën, wat een woord... Het duurde al veel te lang voordat Googelen erin stond, dus ik denk dat Duolingoën nog wel even op zich laat wachten. ;)

3 years ago