Tango Shenanigans (in Swedish!)
June 29, 2013 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Five Ants - Forward and Backward Tango (youtube). [Fem myror - Framåt och bakåt-tangon. Clip from a children's show, in Swedish with no subtitles.]

From the blog post on which I found it, this description:
When I was little, one of my favourite children's programs was one called "Five ants are more than 4 elefants" (which in Swedish ("Fem myror är fler än 4 elefanter") is a different kind of clever because we use different words for quantity in number and quantity in mass). It was all about teaching kids how to think relatively. In this, unsubbed, video, they take on the concept of "forwards" and "backwards".
posted by Glinn (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't speak Swedish, but I found this so strange and charming. I was struck by how close the men were standing next to each other, even more by the physical humor, and then by the (potentially/almost) inappropriate dance with the woman. I suspect it's my American background that causes me to find any of those things strange, which is really too bad. It seems like a show I would have loved as a kid. (And maybe as an occasional pick-me-up, as a not-kid). And the sound of the language just seems to suit it so well!
posted by Glinn at 12:00 PM on June 29, 2013

Fem myror was before my time - I belong to the Björnes magasin generation - but as far as educational children's shows are concerned it has never been surpassed in its ambition or quality. Probably the closest to Sesame Street or Mr Rogers children's educational programming came in Sweden.

Magnus Härenstam would go on to do lots of tv/film comedies and plays but for the longest time he was known as the host of Jeopardy.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:21 PM on June 29, 2013

OMGOMG I'm so happy to see "Fem Myror" on Metafilter. Weird, sorta, but awesome!! It was always my absolute favorite show as a kid. Magnus (the dance master), Brasse (the uncoordinated one) and Eva were huge stars for my generation of Swedes. The show was overall super educational but also hilarious, and the three leads were obviously having fun.

This particular skit is indeed intended to teach "forwards" and "backwards" and they say this during the dance (loosely): "First we go forwards, one two three four. Then we go backwards, one two three four. Then we turn around for a little while, then it's downwards, and then it stops."

My favorite from this show was always the "Lattjo lajban-lådan." As per the Wiki entry: "where Brasse presents 4 animals of which 1 doesn't belong with the others and should be removed. Magnus and Eva have to guess, but Brasse always thinks they're wrong; the purpose of this sketch is to teach children that one thing may have more than one property." When they do get it wrong, Brasse yells "Fel fel fel fel!" [wrong wrong wrong!] - my brother and I still yell that at each other occasionally.

Ahhh, nostalgia! :)
posted by gemmy at 4:37 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the additional links! I wonder how much Swedish I could learn if I just watched these. They seem so perfectly goofy and good-natured and entertaining, and some of the animation is really appealing. (On the other hand, I took 2 years of German in college and have retained approximately none.)
posted by Glinn at 5:27 PM on June 29, 2013

I showed this to my seven year old daughter and she says:

"Pappa, Für Elise klassas som en bagatell. Det är ingen tango."

Daddy, Für Elise is classified as a bagatelle. It is not a tango. Her violin teacher will be so proud!
posted by three blind mice at 12:16 AM on June 30, 2013

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