Swedish: sit or take an exam

dimhollow

Senior Member
Polish
Here's a sentence from my Swedish course:
"Jag ska gå upp i en viktig tenta nu på torsdag."
I assume it means: "I'm sitting an important exam this coming Thursday."
So is "gå upp [i en tenta]" the usual way for Swedes to say "to sit/take [an exam]"?
 
  • dimhollow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I thought it was "(att) ta en tentamen"...

    I see. I understood that "tenta" was a contraction of "tentamen" in colloquial Swedish.
    So how should I understand this:
    "Jag ska gå upp i en viktig tenta nu på torsdag."
    maybe as:
    "I'm going to go to an exam"? or "I'm going to show up/arrive at an exam"?
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Not sure how to translate it. I mean, I would intuitively just assume it meant the same as "ta en". But I don't know how I'd translate it. I don't think I've ever seen or heard "upp in en" in this context.

    Someone else should chime in.
     

    dimhollow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Not sure how to translate it. I mean, I would intuitively just assume it meant the same as "ta en". But I don't know how I'd translate it. I don't think I've ever seen or heard "upp in en" in this context.

    Someone else should chime in.

    "Je vais me présenter jeudi à un examen important." is the translation I've got here in French,
    and "se présenter à un examen" means "to sit an exam". The author of this course is called William Fovet,
    which doesn't sound very Swedish to my ears, so I guess he made a bit of a mistake there?
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Yeah, for some reason it just doesn't sound idiomatic to me. I could maybe see "gå på tenta" which would be similar to "gå på bio" (go to the movies). But really someone else should chime in. It's been a good couple of decades since I studied back home.
     

    dimhollow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yeah, that's why I suggested other options: "I'm going to go to an exam" or "I'm going to show up/arrive at an exam" both of which seem quite plausible.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't think you'd normally say in English 'I'm going to show up at an exam'. I would translate it as 'take/sit an exam' quite simply.

    One may wonder why people who write language courses don't use the most common phrases and words :mad: In fact, Dimhollow, if you find a number of examples of unusual Swedish in that course, I suggest you look for another course. It's difficult enough to learn another language without course writers wasting our time with strange expressions, either because they don't know Swedish properly or because they're showing off how much Swedish they think they do know!
     

    Abbe

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Gå upp i något usually mean to engross oneself in something. My initial understanding was that he is going to engross himself in studies as a preparation for the exam. The sentence is strange.
    To take an exam I would have written jag ska skriva en tenta på torsdag or jag har en tenta på torsdag.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    To me the gå upp i en tenta/tentamen sounds like from something before 1968, while the old student examination still existed, and there were first a written part, and then an oral part in front of a censor, and there were a risk of failure.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    To me the gå upp i en tenta/tentamen sounds like from something before 1968, while the old student examination still existed, and there were first a written part, and then an oral part in front of a censor, and there were a risk of failure.
    In Danish you can say, Jeg skal op i dansk på torsdag meaning I have a Danish exam on Thursday. At skulle op i et fag (til eksamen.)..do you have something similar in Swedish?
     
    Yes, bicontinental, only we add before upp, as in "Jag ska gå upp i danska på torsdag". The sentence "Jag ska gå upp i en viktig tenta" is perfectly idiomatic, and it simply means "I will take an important examination", perhaps with a connotation that it is something of an ordeal. I was born in the fifties, and I have no problem whatever with this construction. It might be more or less unfamiliar to younger generations.

    Let me adduce:
    1> "Gå upp i examen", SAOB, s. v. gå upp, 1) Svenska Akademiens ordbok | SAOB
    2> Stora svensk-engelska ordboken, 1988.
    3> The following recent text from the department of philosophy at Stockholm University, where it says "Du anmäler intresse att gå upp på ett uppsamlingstillfälle genom att skicka ett mail till expeditionen".
    Tentamen - Filosofiska institutionen

    On top of this, if the context is clear, we can say simply "gå upp" with the same meaning. See Ord för ord, 1977, s. v. gå upp and tentera.
     

    Kim3737

    New Member
    Swedish
    Here's a sentence from my Swedish course:
    "Jag ska gå upp i en viktig tenta nu på torsdag."
    I assume it means: "I'm sitting an important exam this coming Thursday."
    So is "gå upp [i en tenta]" the usual way for Swedes to say "to sit/take [an exam]"?
    Sounds really strange to me. I've never heard someone use that phrasing when talking about exams. Sit/take an exam = skriva en tenta
     
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