04 June 2009

get, acquire, take, recieve

All translations for the Swedish verb "att få". As in to receive a present, be gifted with something, or in the context of illness, to catch something.

I was having a conversation with one of my hosts in Sweden about Sweden and Swedish. (wow, that sounds a weeee confusing. Are ya with me?) We'll call him Per. It was all I could do not to roll around laughing on the floor at this comment of his:

I think you like Sweden.

Hmmm, I wonder what made him think so! The rest of the conversation was also amusing, but more for semantics of grammar than 'funny'. I have to take it in Swedish, then in English for it to make sense.

Per: Du få flytta hit. (You should move here)

Lucy, (through giggles): Gärna! Det finns några problemar med det; jag har ingen jobb, kan inte lasa eller skriva så bra på Svenska.... Willingly! There's only a few problems with that; I don't have a job here, I can't read or write so well in Swedish....

Per: Nejmen entligen. Du skulle trivs har, och vi behover ju folk som ville vara har, och ville jobba. (No, really. You'd do well here, and we need people who want to be here, and want to work.)

Translation is NOT an exact science, and translating directly to English from Swedish can result in errors like this:

"Since five years, I have been working for ABB,"

instead of

"For the last five years, I've worked for ABB."

Yes, I really read that in a Swedish person's English translation of their own bio. Urgh. Doesn't anyone proofread ANYTHING, anywhere in the world? Good to know that the crappy grammar of the common era isn't limited to English. /rant.

So what he said, du få flytta hit, can be translated a few ways.

There, it means 'should', but that's not what he said. By saying it that way, his intention is that Sweden should make it easy for me to move there, that someone should take care of all the logistics and paperwork for me, and hand me a residence permit. The mythical "they" should just handle it.

That'd be nice.

Perhaps the correct comeback would have been "and when do I start working for you?"!


MotherMe, Devil's Advocate said...

So when *are* you moving?? I'm sure DH will adapt very easily to his new environs...

Lucy Arin said...

Uh, yeah. So not happening! He liked Sweden when we visited, but not enough to live there. I was playing "hey, there's no such thing as reality" here. ;-)