Lookit daddy, peoples!

Swedish is a fantastic language with lots of little quirks and nuances which makes it fun both to speak and learn the language. Swedish also gives the opportunity to laugh one’s self to death over the multitude of grammatical and Freudian slips made on a constant basis. A place you can visit to read hundreds, if not thousands of eavesdropped slip-ups is here, however the website is only available in Swedish. My favorite mistakes and errors though, are those made by small children.

There is an eavesdropped conversation here, I find absolutely sensational. In Swedish we have two different genders with the indefinite articles [en] and [ett]. Children have HUGE problems distinguishing between these two.

A small boy and his father are visiting an amusement park. This particular park has an oversized green rabbit as its mascot. The boy sees one and calls out:


>>Lookit daddy, an troll!
>Yes… but it’s A troll.
>>Lookit daddy, a troll!
>Yes… but that’s probably more an oversized rabbit.
>>Lookit daddy, an rabbit!

This is a problem for anyone learning Swedish young or old and it’s not only Swedish. A whole pile of other languages have the same gender and case pitfalls as Swedish. What puts Swedish a little over the top is that there are no helpful shortcuts to getting it right. German, for example, has patterns to it, such as all words ending in -e, -ung or -eit will be feminine.

Guess I’m lucky to have grown up in Sweden and have avoided the problem.

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