Swedish: varhelst han visar sig i

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Språkliga Möten, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Språkliga Möten Senior Member

    I was reading a newspaper article where there is a photo of man with a strawberry hat and the caption read:

    "Det finns ingenting som är konstigt med hans jordgubbsmössa, ändå envisas folk med att flina och kommentera varhelst han visar sig i den."

    I am not sure what "varhelst han visar sig i den" means here. Perhaps, "People grin and comments where his hat is"?
  2. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    varhelst= wherever
    han visar sig=he appears/shows up
    i den="in it" (=wearing it)
    There's nothing strange about his strawberry hat, and still people insist on sneering and commenting wherever he appears in it.

    (Sadly, there are still people who make fun of men wearing traditionally "female" items of clothing, the classical knitted strawberry hat is typically worn by little girls.)
  3. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    The problem here is varhelst, which means wherever. As such, the phrase can be translated as wherever he appears in it, with visa sig i *något* meaning to (publicly) appear wearing *something*.

    Are you sure Wilma? I used to wear a strawberry beanie as a kid...
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  4. Hanq Member

    This made me wonder.

    I have often heard the word "än" conveying the meaning of "-ever". As in: Vart du än går, följer jag med. Would it also be okay to use the "än" construction in this instance instead?
    Can the two forms ("-helst" and "än") be used interchangeably? When is one preferred over the other?
  5. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    There are no real difference between "varhelst han visar sig", "var som helst han visar sig" and "var han än visar sig" in this case and I would rather use the last one. The first one sounds a bit outdated, the second one is more in use and the third one is the most common I would say.
  6. SharpBlade

    SharpBlade Member

    @Hanq: I wouldn't say that they're always interchangeable. If you wanted to use helst in your sentence you'd get: "Varhelst du går, följer jag med." It might be gramatically correct(though I'm not totally sure) but it sounds off to me and I wouldn't say it that way.

    @AutumnOwl: I agree, "varhelst han visar sig" sounds a little outdated but I would consider using it in writing. The third one is the one I'd use when talking and it would be correct in a written text as well. I gotta say though; I've never heard the second alternative. "Var som helst han visar sig" sounds off to me and I can't say I've ever heard someone putting it that way. Maybe people say it like that in Finland?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  7. Hanq Member

    Thanks for the info.
  8. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    I agree entirely. Varhelst han visar sig or var han än visar sig are the two options I would use, the first one more likely in writing and the second in speech.

    Off-topic: @Tjahzi: I may have to amend "little girls" to "women and children" perhaps - the point was that very few grown men are seen wearing it.

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