I won't bore you with explaining the intricacies of learning the Swedish language, but I would like to share what I consider to be some interesting insights I've stumbled upon along the way. Enjoy!
Bra is not an undergarment, instead it means good.
Bad isn't naughty, it's a bath.
Glass is appetizing because it's ice cream.
Tack isn't something you stick on a board, but how you thank people. Tack!
A gift isn't a present, it means poison... or marriage, haha. Coincidence, I think not.
Barn isn't connected to farming, it means children.
Kiss means to pee. Puss means kiss...yuck. Thankfully the pronunciation is different.
If you say you're full it means your drunk.
Fan is not something that provides a nice breeze, it's a curse word. Damn.
God means tasty. Gud means God.
A chef isn't a cook but a manager. A kock is a chef.
Hiss is an elevator.
And lastly, sex means the number six, but also sex - so be careful with that one.
It can be a little confusing at times. After being offered a morning snack, I once I told Andreas' parents ''no thank you, I ate wine for breakfast and was drunk.'' What I really meant to say was that I had just eaten some grapes and was full.
To read more click the bottom right -->
There are many, many ways to say thank you in Swedish. Most likely because Swedes don't really use the word please. Snälla is the word for please, but if you say please it sounds like your begging. For instance a child might say, ''can we buy some candy, snälla!'' A Swede will say, yes thank you or can you pass me the salt, thank you or can you take care of that thanks. Etc.
Here are many ways you can thank someone in Swedish and their rather funny translations:
Tack - thank you
Tack, tack- thank you, thank you
Tackar, tackar - thanks, thanks
Tusen tack - a thousand thanks
Tack snälla -thanks, so very kind of you
Tack ska du ha - Thanks you will have
Tack så mycket - Thank you so much
Tack så himla mycket - Thank you so heavenly much
Tack så hemskt mycket - Thank you so terribly much
Tack så skit mycket - Thank you a shit much.
Well, no one really says that but it brings me to my next point. Skit is the word for shit, but it can also mean super or a lot and is used widely:
Skit kul - super cool
skit mycket- like a lot of something
Skit häftigt - super awesome
Skit roligt - super fun/funny
Skit bra - super good
Skit dåligt - super bad
Skit tråkigt- super boring
And so on.
Swedish is a casual language. Swedes do not call each other Mr./Mrs. but rather by first name. This is true even with children and adults. Kids refer to their teachers as fruken, meaning teacher, or even by their first name.
Similar spelled words, pronounced differently:
Here are a few examples:
Exempel, situation, administration, sallad, hotell, and the months of the year - januari, februari, mars, april, maj, juni, juli, augusti, september, oktober, november, and december. No, Swede's do not capitalize months...another hard habit to break.
Unfortunately, by force of habit, I now accidentally write many words that start with a c with a k instead. Just throw a c in where the k is and you can read some Swedish!
Kan, kafe, kabel, kakao ,kamel, kamera, kamouflage, kamp, kanal, Kanada, you get the picuture.
There are several letter combinations that make a sh sound, whereas the letters individually don't at all - which was very irritating when learning to speak because there is no rhythm to this rhyme or is it rhyme to rhythm? I literally had to just google how to spell rhyme...It's the curse of learning a new language, the old one suffers.
Ke as in Kerstin A woman's name pronounced like 'shershtin'.
Kj as in Kjell A man's name pronounced like 'shell'.
Kö as in körskbär The word for cherry pronounced 'shurshbahr'
Sj as in sju Word for 7 pronounced like 'shoo'.
Tj as in tjena Informal greeting of a friend pronounced 'shaina'
Stj as in stjärna The word for star pronounced 'Sharna'
The Swedish language uses A LOT of compounds words. These are also common in English like bookshelf (book+shelf) but the Swede takes it a step further.
Sjukhus = hospital (sick + house)
Fotbollsspelare = football player
Bokningsbekräftelse = reservation confirmation
Husrannsakningsorder = search warrant
Nagellackborttagningsmedel = nail polish remover
Lets get a little more advanced, shall we?
According to Wikipedia, Swedish grammar makes it possible to create arbitrarily long words like Spårvagnsaktiebolagsskensmutsskjutarefackföreningspersonalbeklädnadsmagasinsförrådsförvaltarens (95 letters) which means: "[belonging to] The manager of the depot for the supply of uniforms to the personnel of the track cleaners' union of the tramway company". Um, yeeaaaaaaaaaa...
These are my two very least favorite words in Swedish, which are also compound words:
Tandkött = gums (teeth + meat)
Bröstvårta = nipples (breast + warts)
Also, my two favorite words in Swedish are:
kackerlacka = cockroach It's pronounced kind of like khack-ya-lacka and I think it sounds 'skit' cute, plus I've never seen one in Sweden, YAY!
Ja jamen = roughly translates to something like 'definitely, or 'yea of course'. It kind of sounds Jamaican, which is hilarious to me.
This clip will give you some slight idea of what I'm talking about, please excuse the profanities.
This picture is from 09/19/2010,
the day my Swedish life began.