v27: våga

I recently wrote about modal verbs. Both Swedish and English have another group of verbs generally called modal equivalents (or marginal modals).  You can get an idea of the technical details at this page at Universitetet i Oslo. Swedish has a great number of modal equivalents, here is a sample:

behöva = need
= continue
= promise
= pretend
= intend

Swedish modal equivalents take the bare infinitive (rather than the att-infinitive):

modal equivalent:
hon behöver köra
she needs to drive

ordinary verb:
hon älskar att köra
she loves to drive / she loves driving

One day, my eye was caught by an article in UNT titled våga vägra vagn, literally dare to refuse the pram.

Two issues here. One is that våga (to dare) and vägra (to refuse) are both modal equivalents. However, in this example vägra is an ordinary verb, taking a noun complement (vagn). Secondly, how to translate våga vägra? It appears to be a stock phrase, but dare to refuse sounds odd to me, and in some examples avoid seems appropriate, but you may have a better suggestion. Try your translating skills on the following examples of things you may wish to avoid (follow the links to see the context):

vägra as an ordinary verb:
våga vägra vintern
= winter
våga vägra varg = wolves

vägra as a modal equivalent:
våga vägra vaccinera
= vaccination
våga vägra vakna = waking up

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 16:07  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://rinse.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/v27-vaga/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: