v24: simma

It’s summer here: midsummer, to be precise. The 10-day forecast keeps hinting that we may get to 30C, but it’s always on the 10th day, where the confidence intervals must be rather wide.

Something obvious to do in summer is to go swimming, after all, Sweden is full of water, generally in the form of lakes and the sea (that’s sjö = lake, and hav = sea). Also obviously, to swim = simma. Well, not quite. Simma is the act of swimming; to go for a swim in the sense of playing around in the water is åka bad or gå bad, that is, bathe.

W and V were historically considered variants of the one letter in Swedish, and it was only in the 2006 edition of SAOL that the two letters were given separate entries. A colleague of mine was recently delayed in the US because the surname in his passport (starting with V) didn’t match the surname on the ticket (starting with W). So as I struggle to speak in Swedish about swimming, oblivious to the fact that I should be talking about bathing instead, it’s a simple mistake to assume that the correct verb to use is svimma:

På helgen ska jag svimma i Mälaren.
On the weekend I will faint in Lake Mälaren.

Oops!

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Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 09:46  Leave a Comment  
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