Lack of resources

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Woods
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Lack of resources

Postby Woods » 2016-12-31, 14:52

Swedish is so much easier to learn, and yet so deprived of resources! For Danish we have ordnet.dk (which includes two great dictionaries and the KorpusDK database), Politikens dictionaries on CDs floating around in libraries, sproget.dk which is full of dictionaries and explanations and who knows what else! About Swedish there’s not even a single comprehensive dictionary online, and the only dictionary I’ve been able to find for Windows is Norstedts’s, which is so old it doesn’t even run on modern PCs. So when I come here and read, and find a word that I don’t understand, how am I supposed to check it? How can I learn Swedish language if there aren’t any resources, except maybe some books only available in Sweden and some paid services, which it doesn’t make sense to subscribe for if you only tackle the language from time to time? Doesn't the Swedish goverment care, besides providing courses to immigrants, to provide people who have an interest in the language at least with a dictionary?

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Re: Lack of resources

Postby hashi » 2017-01-06, 0:24

It can be a bit tough to find decent resources - particularly dictionaries online for Swedish. Most of the time when I need to know the meaning of a word (or its conjugation, or examples of the word in use), I look it up on Wiktionary.

The English version of Wiktionary has most common words you'd need, but for harder-to-find words, or more in-depth explanations I definitely find the Swedish version better (although a working knowledge of Swedish would really be needed to understand it). I can't recall ever coming across a word that I couldn't find this way though.

It may be cumbersome to have to look this up all the time, but there are shortcuts, such as an extension for Chrome where you can enter the word and it searches Wiktionary for you.

I definitely agree more could be done though. When I dabbled in Nynorsk, there were few resources for it, but the there is however the very helpful website by Universitetet i Bergen which provides examples and conjugation patterns (although a knowledge of Norwegian is needed to understand it). Maybe there's some hidden website for Swedish also xD

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Re: Lack of resources

Postby Johanna » 2017-01-06, 7:58

Woods wrote:About Swedish there’s not even a single comprehensive dictionary online, and the only dictionary I’ve been able to find for Windows is Norstedts’s, which is so old it doesn’t even run on modern PCs.
[...]
Doesn't the Swedish government care, besides providing courses to immigrants, to provide people who have an interest in the language at least with a dictionary?

There are actually two monolingual Swedish dictionaries for very different purposes freely available online. Both are published by Svenska Akademien, and even though said academy works independently from the government, it's about as official as you can get. They're not aimed at learners though, and no one has really thought about changing the format between the printed versions and the online ones.

  • Svenska Akademiens ordlista (SAOL) lists the normative spellings and conjugations for the most common words and tells you the meaning for those that the average Swede might not know. You also already need to know the basic rules for conjugating nouns, verbs and adjectives, as when they're completely regular all you get are the suffixes needed for deducing the other forms.

  • Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB) is supposed to be a record of all words in the Swedish language all the way back to 1521, but it's not finished and only covers A to vedersyn so far, and since they started on it in the late 19th century, spellings may be obsolete and you won't find modern words early in the alphabet either. But hopefully that will change once the dictionary itself is finished.

  • A third, more classic dictionary exists as well - Svensk ordbok (SO) - but it's not available online, and the app costs money. It looks quite detailed though, and includes recordings.

If you want to translate between Swedish and English, there's Folkets lexikon, which is quite decent. It has a couple of drawbacks, for example it only gives translations and no more detailed definitions or examples, but since it lists pretty much every possible translation there is, you can usually figure out the details anyway. It's also completely useless for conjugations.

hashi wrote:It may be cumbersome to have to look this up all the time, but there are shortcuts, such as an extension for Chrome where you can enter the word and it searches Wiktionary for you.

In Firefox there's the search box to the right of the address bar, all you have to do is go to Wiktionary in the language(s) of your choice and there will be an option to add it.
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Re: Lack of resources

Postby Woods » 2017-01-11, 21:42

hashi wrote:The English version of Wiktionary has most common words you'd need, but for harder-to-find words, or more in-depth explanations I definitely find the Swedish version better (although a working knowledge of Swedish would really be needed to understand it). I can't recall ever coming across a word that I couldn't find this way though.


It’s not a problem to understand the Swedish version – what I want is exactly a place where everything Swedish is explained in Swedish, and examples of usage of the word next to it. The Swedish Wiktionary is meant to become exactly this, but the problem is it’ll take many years, if ever, and it can still be incomplete, imprecise and as a whole not a resource that you can use and trust.

I also use it from time to time, but only because there’s nothing else.

Let me underline that I don’t want any translations of Swedish words into English or any other language.


Johanna wrote:Svenska Akademien (…) works independently from the government

Can you explain?

Svenska Akademiens ordlista is not a dictionary. It’s a good resource where you can check the spelling (and maybe gender, plural etc. – I’m not quite sure). Isn’t it meant for native speakers who are not sure of the spelling of a given word?


Johanna wrote:Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB) is supposed to be a record of all words in the Swedish language all the way back to 1521, but it's not finished and only covers A to vedersyn so far, and since they started on it in the late 19th century, spellings may be obsolete and you won't find modern words early in the alphabet either. But hopefully that will change once the dictionary itself is finished.

Okay, that’s actually something very interesting to hear! I didn’t know about this one.

If it goes all the way to vedersyn, then it should be almost complete, shouldn’t it? V is at the end of the alphabet.

It seems to be overloaded with tons of explanations, sub-explanations and examples and there’s no clear exposition of what the word actually means.

Just look at this shit:

http://www.saob.se/artikel/?show=k%C3%A ... .iY2L&pz=3

What the fuck…

But it may still be much a better choice than Wiktionary :)

Actually, I think I can skim through the articles and find what I need. Many thanks!

I don’t really care if it uses some old spelling – you guys here are telling me the latest reforms are all messed up anyway :) I think my MS word will correct it anyway, and I can always double-check with SAOL. As long as it can recognise the word I’m searching for from the way it’s written nowadays, it should be fine. Well, it might be a problem if it doesn’t have the current meaning.

Do you think there are too many modern words that will be missing?

Is there a chronology of when they started and finished each letter or something like that?

Talking of apps, Norstedts have one:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... tora&hl=sv

and it’s a good dictionary, but the problem is that it’s an app for smartphones. I want this on my computer, and I don’t mind buying it, but it just doesn’t exist.

Is Folkets Lexicon something like Wiktionary? Who wrote it?

Well if there’s one thing that is better comparing resources for Swedish and Danish, it’s that you guys in this forum are really supportive and you know a lot about your language. That’s why it’s my most active forum on UniLang, indeed :)

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Jurgen Wullenwever
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Re: Lack of resources

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2017-01-12, 18:36

Woods wrote:I don’t really care if it uses some old spelling – you guys here are telling me the latest reforms are all messed up anyway

They were decided 111 years ago (1906), and changed just four things: hv>v dt>tt fv>v f>v and apart from that one, there is also some variation concerning e/ä and o/å and c/k/q in older spellings, otherwise it has mostly been the same since before 1800, and it was officially defined in 1801. The current spelling is just as bad as for any other language, so it is not completely off. (The unfortunate thing is that people believe that the spelling is correct in showing the language sounds.)
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Re: Lack of resources

Postby Johanna » 2017-01-21, 22:16

Woods wrote:It seems to be overloaded with tons of explanations, sub-explanations and examples and there’s no clear exposition of what the word actually means.

Just look at this shit:

http://www.saob.se/artikel/?show=k%C3%A ... .iY2L&pz=3

What the fuck…

But it may still be much a better choice than Wiktionary :)

Actually, I think I can skim through the articles and find what I need. Many thanks!

That's SAOB, and it's mostly about etymology, like I said.

in SAOL you can see the more modern forms more clearly, as explained.
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Re: Lack of resources

Postby TeneReef » 2017-01-22, 10:57

http://lexin.nada.kth.se/lexin/
great learner,s dictionary
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Re: Lack of resources

Postby Johanna » 2017-01-23, 22:38

TeneReef wrote: http://lexin.nada.kth.se/lexin/
great learner,s dictionary

Yep

It's not perfect, but it has quite a lot of languages. The Swedish-English version is Folkets lexikon
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

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Re: Lack of resources

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-23, 22:45

Be careful with this dictionary. It got me into a lot of trouble on Unilang.
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