Swedish: snabb vs rask

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by applefarm, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. applefarm Senior Member

    In swedish there are two synonyms for English word "fast":

    1. snabb
    2. rask

    I don't understand the difference of those adjectives.
    A lot i see phrase "i rask takt", which means that something has good (not slow) tempo.
    But also the "snabb" means a higher tempo.

    Can you explain, when i need to use Snabb and when Rask?

    I only have a beginner level in Swedish, so i cannot formulate my question text in Swedish here yet.
  2. dekkers New Member

    rask is more uncommon (today), at least in spoken language. "I rask takt" is idiomatic, it's a fixed phrase, that's why you use "rask" here. But it wouldn't be incorrect if you said "i snabb takt".

    -Snabb can be used more broadly. For instance, you wouldn't use "rask" to descibe the speed of an airplane or a car, you would use "snabb".
    -To me, snabb sounds a little faster than rask
    -If translated into english "rask" sounds a little more like brisk, while snabb sounds more like fast
    when in doubt, always say "snabb"
  3. applefarm Senior Member

    But how then is the best way to express those 3 adjectives/adverbs in Swedish:

    1) quick(ly). That means that some action is started immediately, and it does not matter how slow the action proceeds later, the immediate reaction is needed for definition of "quick(ly)".
    Example: come here quickly, don't think long!

    2) fast(ly). That means that it does not matter how quickly something happened, but the following proccess was done in a high tempo.
    Example: I decided quickly which beer to order, but i did not drink the beer fastly, i drank it slow.

    3) brisk. That means that something has lot of transactions and movements inside, it has lot of activity inside, lively movements/happenings.
    Example: Forum has been brisk today, so many posts!

    Is the answer:

    1) snabb(t)
    2) snabb(t)
    3) rask(t)
  4. dekkers New Member

    You have used snabb(t) correctly, but not raskt:

    1) Kom hit snabbt, tänk inte så länge!

    2) Jag bestämde mig snabbt för vilken öl jag skulle beställa

    3) ---
    You can't say the forum was raskt. This word normally describes how fast a person (or animal) does things, like walk or work etc. So you can say that you answered the posts on the forum "raskt". Unlike "snabbt", it adds the feeling that you are not only doing it fast, but also with strength, or with efficiency or with liveliness.

    I do not know what adj/adv to use in the third example, because I'm not sure what you are trying to say. I dont think you can use the english word "brisk" to describe a forum.
    If you want to say the forum was full of life today, you can say "det var livligt på forumet idag". If you want to say a lot of things happened, you can say "det hände mycket på forumet idag".

    People don't normally use rask unless it's part of a fixed expression: "rask takt/fart/tempo", "raskt humör", "raska på!" (hurry up!). So my advice to you is do not use it, only use snabb. You must understand the word rask, but you do not need to be able to use it, since it isn't very important anyway. "Snabb" is a much more important word.

    If you want to learn the word rask, learn by listening to/reading swedish people using it many times.
  5. petrichor-3 New Member

    "En rask promenad" would be when you take a walk and walk in a fast tempo, like power walking

    "En snabb promenad" would be when you take a walk in a short time, etc if you decide to take a quick walk before your guests arrive

    "Rask" sounds a bit more old fashioned than "Snabb"

    At least that's what I think

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