Grammar Lesson 13:

Cultural norms are changing

In the recent Swedish development of our language, to adapt it to contemporary norms in society, the word commonly used for "one/you": "man", is ever so often replaced with: "en".

This means that the old word, "man", which literally means "man" as in a male human being, is now often seen as something of the old, male dominated traditions still being reinforced, for example at work, in the media etc, whereas "en", which means "one", would be seen as updated and being aware of the need to work from many directions to create a fair and equal balance between men and women in society.

Example:

Old version, still often used but seen as a bit outdated: "Vad gör man om det kommer en björn?" (What does one/do you do if a bear comes?

New version, often used in the media, and is already naturally occurring in some dialects as well: "Vad gör en om det kommer en björn?"


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