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New Dictionary

This fast, free Swedish dictionary deserves a place in your Favorites, as your last resort for obscure words. Even if you’re a beginner, add it to your toolbox.

Check out my earlier post on dictionaries, for sites which will help you translate explicitly Swedish to English & back.

Wiktionary may be old news to you. At more than 5 million English entries, chances are good that this is your go-to English dictionary.

But check out the five o'clock spot on that picture. Swedish is pulling up on 600,00 entries. And yesterday, Wiktionary helped out where no other resource did.

The sentence that I needed help with is from John Ajvide Lindqvist's Låt den rätta komma in (p. 149 in my copy):

Han låg kvar, ihopkrupen under täcket, tills det blev så varmt att han svettades.

I stumbled upon Swedish Wiktionary, as none of my dictionary sites were helping with ihopkrupen, and even translators were turning up nothing. I ran a web search for the word and got back this link:

Note that ihopkrupen is listed as a related word and that it's in red, meaning there's no independent entry for it. Still there are two killer bits of info here: first, the "krupen" part is related to the verb krypa (which along with ihop you can find on any of the sites in my earlier post); and second, definition #1 is very descriptive. (I'll leave the translation to you.)

So going back to the sentence from the book, you get what Lindqvist was trying to convey: that the character (Oskar) was not just under the covers until he began to sweat, but that he was bunched up under there -- I'm thinking sort of like the "Child's Pose" from yoga. If I'm reading it right, Lindqvist was portraying Oskar as being in a cocoon.

My conclusion is slightly off, maybe -- but what a great definition Wiktionary gave! This is probably better than the other sites would have given, and of course it's more descriptive and far wordier than a print dictionary ever could afford to be.

It may be more than you need if you're just starting out in Swedish, but keep Wiktionary in mind as you move ahead.


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