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One thing struck me while watching this, but I have been out of daily exposure to the Swedish language for a while now, so I don't know if it is in fact strange...

In Swedish one can quite easily do away with most pronouns in a sentence, replacing the subject with the impersonal pronoun 'one', which is quite commonly in use. The object can often just be dropped or replaced in one way or another, so we end up with something where the 'I' is quite simply gone and displaced to people in general, and the object is just assumed. This can be done, it is done, but one does have other options, it is not the only way to speak. It seems to me that Persson does this a lot. More than 'normal'. I was trying to render it in English with somewhat idiosyncratic translations. Like this one, where we start with 'he' and 'I', and then quickly proceeds to depersonalised statements:

Göran Person: I noticed that he was uncertain, going up to the podium. And this is not unimportant as a signal, to me. That one notices quickly when one has socialised. It becomes a bit loose, and a bit unnecessarily stressed voice, and things like that.

Is this in any way strange, or is this actually how people speak? Is this how politicians speak? Is this an intentional effect to make us feel more like Persson is allowing us in on some dirty secrets? Does he end up doing this because he is gossiping about his colleagues and would like to distance himself (and them!) a bit from it?

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 03:15:39 AM EST
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One thinks one doesn't use "one" all to often, but one discovers one does so frequently.
I don't think I use "one" all that much when I speak, other than "det skulle man kunna tro" ("one would think that'd be the case"). When I wrote my Master's thesis last year I employed it somewhat frequently, for example "man kan konstatera..." ("one can conclude...").

To me it just sounds like Persson being Persson, though.

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by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 05:09:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is mostly a reflection of Persson being reflective. "He" and "I" is straight from the story-line, while he uses "one" when he narrates the story-line to explain it for the journalist.

I think that is quite a common way to use "one", though it is uncommon to go back in forth between story and reflection, especially in politics. It might also be indicative of Perssons background. In some dialects one uses one quite a bit.

I had a swedish teacher who considered it sloppy to use one and tried to get us to stop using it. This would indicate that it is quite common, but not considered proper swedish, which could be why it is not normally frequent on television.

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by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 06:39:20 AM EST
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