Kristina från Duvemåla, explained

The following exchange from the musical “Kristina från Duvemåla” takes place between an American reverend and several newly arrived Swedish women:

“If you’re hungry there’s more of the deer that I caught.”
“Han är kåt!”
“Va’?!?”
“Eller kär!”
“Oh, I want to share what little I can offer!”
“Offer?!? Vad är det här?!?”

Explanation:

The humor stems from the reverend and the Swedish women misunderstanding each other over several similar-sounding words. Caught sounds a bit like kåt (particularly if the English speaker has a New York accent), kär and share sound similar, and offer (which I believe has the same etymology in the two languages) has taken on rather different nuances.

A full English translation of this verse might read:
“If you’re hungry there’s more of the deer that I caught.”
“He’s horny!”
“What?!?”
“Or in love!”
“Oh, I want to share what little I can offer!”
“Sacrifice?!? What is this?!?”

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One thought on “Kristina från Duvemåla, explained

  1. Pingback: Kristina från Duvemåla | Linguistic Parlor Tricks

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