Swedish: makulera

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Gavril, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I'd like to understand more about how the verb makulera is used.

    Would it work in any of the following contexts?

    After getting a new credit card in the mail, he tried to [makulera] his old card by pressing it against a magnet.

    If you start filling out this voting ballot, but then change your mind about something, you must [makulera] the ballot -- for example, by crossing it out with an "x" -- and then request a new one.

    Customs officer: To import these shirts into our country, you will either have to pay an import duty, or [makulera] them -- for example, by making a small cut in the sleeves, so that they can't be sold at full price.

  2. Segorian Senior Member

    Icelandic & Swedish
    Up until a few decades ago, one could makulera primarily documents and other printed materials that had specific value or validity, in order to remove that value or validity or, more generally, to make them unusable or prevent reuse. This included tickets; share certificates and bonds; postage stamps; etc.

    In the electronic age, this usage has been extended to a range of things that have replaced or superseded such printed items, including credit cards and online orders.


    Yes, although phrases such as förstöra kortet or klippa itu kortet are more likely to be used (only the former, of course, if you are trying to use a magnet).

    Yes, but I would expect something like göra valsedeln ogiltig. The verb makulera is much more likely to be used when a batch of faulty ballot papers is destroyed/discarded by decision of the electoral authorities.

    No, I don’t think makulera is used for this. I have seen göra [...] osäljbar in this sense.
  3. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    I would add that the verb makulera does not really specify any particular method of destroying or making the object unusable or invalid, which is why it's good for several purposes. I disagree with Segorian on point 1:

    När han fått sitt nya kreditkort försökte han makulera det gamla genom att trycka det mot en magnet.
    This is definitely a context where makulera could be used IMO. It is a formal word, but that doesn't prevent it from being used in everyday speech. The only problem here is that the method of destroying the card is not the one recommended by banks - normally you are advised to cut it (with a pair of scissors or similar) in at least two pieces.

    An example from the Swedish Police web site: Har du fått ett nytt pass eller nationellt id-kort är du skyldig att lämna det gamla för makulering. Den gamla resehandlingen ska under inga omständigheter användas.

    Receipts, purchase orders or book-keeping entries are also examples of items that can be "makulerade", regardless of whether they are electronic or printed. For items such as clothing, expired medicines or food items that have passed their sell-by date, we have another formal verb - "kassera".
  4. Segorian Senior Member

    Icelandic & Swedish
    True. I probably did not make that clear.

    Quite right. My reply was incomplete on this point.

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