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styvmodersmål

English translation: second mother tongue

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Swedish term or phrase:styvmodersmål
English translation:second mother tongue
Entered by: Helen Johnson
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16:13 Feb 11, 2007
Swedish to English translations [Non-PRO]
Other / employee's details
Swedish term or phrase: styvmodersmål
Talking about a man who's had a banking career and has now moved back to Sweden and ended up back with a British bank there. Wife = English.
He's pleased that so much is dealt with in English, which isn't his mother tongue but is his 'styvmodersmål'.
Does anyone know whether this is likely to literally mean his stepmother's tongue, or is it an elegant way of saying 'second language'?
Advice appreciated.
Helen Johnson
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:08
second mother tongue
Explanation:
That may sound a little weird, but I think it captures his intention while remaining reasonably intelligible ("styvmodersmål" is not, AFAIK, a standard Swedish word). It seems reasonable to me to suppose that English is his second mother tongue because he has lived abroad for a while and has an English wife. I doubt it literally refers to the language spoken by his stepmother, if indeed he even had a stepmother.
Selected response from:

Tim Kynerd
United States
Local time: 04:08
Grading comment
Brainwave - my client hadn't heard of it either! Thanks very much.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +2second mother tongueTim Kynerd


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
second mother tongue


Explanation:
That may sound a little weird, but I think it captures his intention while remaining reasonably intelligible ("styvmodersmål" is not, AFAIK, a standard Swedish word). It seems reasonable to me to suppose that English is his second mother tongue because he has lived abroad for a while and has an English wife. I doubt it literally refers to the language spoken by his stepmother, if indeed he even had a stepmother.

Tim Kynerd
United States
Local time: 04:08
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Brainwave - my client hadn't heard of it either! Thanks very much.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  gperdin: I think you are right, Tim, the applicant is trying to be clever. I've never heard anyone speak of near native fluency as being a "stepmother tongue".
10 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  EKM: Agreed, he must have coined this himself. Fairly clever too, I think.
20 mins
  -> Thanks!
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