Saturday, January 14, 2006

Homonymity

When I first moved to Sweden, I was quite confused with the words for "queue" and "gender." The are pronounced differently, but can easily be mistaken for each other in written form. Kö, which means queue (as in "line"), becomes kön when it is in definite form, that is to say, when one wants to say "the queue."

During my first week in Sweden, after coming back from the restroom disgruntled at having to wait so long, I grumbled, "Det finns en länge kön i toaletten."

My Swedish friend replied, snickering, "Which bathroom were you in?"

4 Comments:

Blogger Flyer said...

En av mina internationella vänner slåss med uttrycket "stöta på" som beroende på hur det uttalas betyder att "träffa någon" eller att (i princip) "ragga på någon".

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Mio said...

Jag kan förstå din förvirring. Har du samma problem med kör (som i köra en bil) och kör (som i en grupp sjungande människor) ?

7:51 PM  
Anonymous geena said...

As you know, the word for "cow" is also similar to the word for "queue" - and I was once heard telling a gentleman who thought he was getting in line behind me that I was not "standing on the cow."

7:18 PM  
Blogger Proteus said...

Kul läsning!
Som vanligt är din "observationer" av det svenska mycket underhållande att läsa om. Oftast mycket insiktsfulla.

Just de ord du tar upp här är som skapta för missförstånd och mer eller mindre roliga och/eller pinsamma ögonblick :-)

11:07 PM  

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