Swedish: åhöra

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by eoneo, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. eoneo Member

    While reading a book, I came across the following sentence:
    Han hade åhört samtalet.

    In this situation, his mother got angry because her neighbor told her something that bothered her.
    His presence is uncertain, he (the son) may have been with his mother while she was talking with her neighbor, or he may have been in his room, (unintentionally) overhearing or listening to the talk.

    Can åhöra mean either overhear (unintentionally) or listen to (intentionally) depending on the context?
  2. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    For me åhöra would always be intentionally, to listen to a conversation, without taking part in it. I would use either smyglyssna (eavesdrop) or råka höra (happen to hear) when hearing something not intended, whether is in secret or unintentionally.

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