Language

1. All English you ever learnt in Sweden came from American sitcoms.
2. You just love to 'fika' and know that it is an activity that is meant to last for hours and is NOT the equivalent of going for a coffee.
3. You don’t get why no other language has a verb for drinking coffee/tea since it is such a very, very important pastime!
4. You are happy to say that you can go around Scandinavia with one language, which of course is Swedish, the biggest one. (the Swedes, the Norweigans, the Danes and the (LUCKY) Finns understand it...)
5. You know you are from Sweden when your name is "Filip" or "Filippa" and people wonder why you don't spell it with a "ph".
6. You pronounce Mtv “mtweee”.
7. You know who Trycksfelsnisse is.
8. People ask you if we speak English, German or French in Sweden.
9. You always have to excuse your bad English spelling/grammar/accent/whatever, even though you do in fact speak better English than most other non-native English speakers.
10. Everyone in the room gladly switches from Swedish to English when a Non-Swede enters, just to be followed by the awkward moment after the Non-Swede might have left, and the Swedish people smile nervously at each other, not knowing whether to talk Swedish or English.
11. You believe that "USA" and "Great Britain" is the most common way to refer to the United States and the United Kingdom.
12. You don’t get the fact that there are two different sounds for “V” and “W” in English.
13. You have a tendency to not divide words when you write in English, since "särskrivning" is a sin.
14. You consider a fast and audible intake of breath as a synonym to the word "yes".
15. You have a tendency to make Swedish verbs out of English nouns, and do not consider it slang or grammatically incorrect.
16. You like things in general to be "lagom".
17. You consider Sweden being on the verge of annoyingly "lagom". Like a tetra pack of mellanmjolk, sort of.
18. You honestly thought that the word for “lagom” does not exist in any other language and you got confused, almost hurt, when you learned that you were wrong.
19. You just don't "orka"...
20. You think you understand Danish.
21. The Danish think you understand Danish.
22. Ultimatley, when spoken, you don't really understand Danish.
23. You make fun of the Danish for speaking "Swedish with porridge in their mouths".
24. You thought you understood Norwegian since you can understand Jon Skolmen in "Sällskapsresorna" and it was a brutal awakening when you realized that you can't understand a single word of what they actually say.
25. The difference in meaning between words that sound the same in Swedish and Norwegian never cease to amuse you. (rolig, bärs, etc...)
26. You have often wondered how to tell the English that you are “kissnödig” or “bajsnödig”.
27. Joo lajk to talk svänglish witt jår fränds jöst bekåse itts såunds såh riddkiulös.
28. You don't even realise that you speak/write Swenglish whenever you speak/write to Swedish people.
29. You cannot see why the first floor you walk into should be called anything but the first floor, and the next one up the second, and so on, and you get confused by this in every multi-storey building you enter abroad.
30. It's raining and you hear yourself say your grandmother’s wise words, "There is no bad weather, just bad clothes".
31. You have tried to translate a phone conversation from the radio show "Hassan".
32. You have genuinely believed that a person from the UK talking about "hockey" meant "ice-hockey".
33. You realise the potential and imagination behind a number of Swedish words (like: förfest, träningsvärk, groggvirke, sola, KLOCKRENT)
34. You find it OBVIOUS that a mile is 10 kilometres.
35. You think you're better at English than you really are.
36.You LOVE to use English quotes and slang when talking Swedish.
37. You end every phone call with "puss puss" and don’t get why Non-Swedes laugh at you.
38. You find it unbearable and disturbing that "puss" and "kyss" is only one word in English, since “French Kissing” just doesn’t cut the edge.
39. You actually know how to pronounce “smörgasbord”.
40. You´ve ended several conversations with "japp....så är det det...mmm" followed by an uncomfortable staring at the ground whilst shuffling some snow around with your foot…
41. You’re always stuck trying to explain what "fil" is...unsuccessfully.
42. You have to explain the wonder that is "snus" while everyone around you is about to vomit.
43. You understand the phrase "fjortis" and suddenly don’t miss being a teenager anymore.
44. You know what the term "dansband" refers to, but know that it is a losing battle explaining to Non-Swedes what it is.
45. You give a false (local name) when you order a table at a restaurant, since giving your Swedish surname is way too complicated.
46. Non-Swedes say your name in fifty different ways, but no one can get it right.
46. You sometimes finish your e-mails to Non-Swedes with the letters "Mvh".
48. You end a P.S with a D.S.
49. You see your non-Swedish friends utter display of confusion when you answer 'there is no danger on the roof' in response to their comment of not having any money left on their bus card...
50. You have, with some measure of success, spoken “rövarspråket”.
51. You use a vast array of expressions in “English” in your everyday life that you have no idea do not exist for anyone outside of the borders of Sweden such as “Shit the same”.
52. After a few drinks your school English gets mixed with Swedish slang, like in “are you fatting?”.
53. You are abroad you find it difficult to stop yourself thanking the “kock”, for the lovely dinner.
54. You get frustrated when people don't understand the differences between "juice", "saft" and "nektar" or why we drink "juice" with pulp.
56. You say something was "very funny" when you really mean "it was a lot of fun"
57. You find it hard to explain the concept of “tomtar och troll" in English.
58. You read something in another language and they use the words "ombudsman" or "smorgasbord" you get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
59. You've tried to teach a Non-Swede to say "Sex laxar i en lax-ask".
60. You find that teaching Non-Sweds the Swedish alphabet makes your day.
61. You are always having very long, philosophical and profound discussions when trying to explain the meaning of ”vemod” in English (even though you have never really understood what it actually means).
62. You order a pizza with excellent Italian pronunciation on "Capricciosa" or say that you’re going on vacation to Barcelona using a perfectly sounding spanish “Z-word”.
63. You constantly have to explain to Non-Swedes that there is no “sch-“ sound in “snaps”.
64. You say “oj” before sorry; “Oj, sorry!”
65. You can't see why it is rude not to say please, since there is no equivalent for it in Swedish
66. You have no clue when to use "is" and "are".
67. You say “Yes, thanks” instead of “Yes, please”.
68. You can’t pronounce the English version of the “J-sounds” correctly.
69. You think "yes" and "no" is enough answer to any question (apart from “how are you?”)
70. You have given up trying to explain to Non-Swedes how to pronounce words beginning with lj-, hj-, or sj.
71. You think that the response: "garden and garden" is a perfectly normal response to the question "Do you have a garden?", or "car and car" to the question "Do you have a car?"
72. You answer a question with "mhm" and the questioner repeats their question thinking that you didn't hear or understand. Resulting in you getting annoyed by the fact that they didn’t get that you ment "yes".
73. You think that by saying something twice it will sound more friendly; “Hej Hej!”, “Nej men Nej men" and so on.
74. You think the english word "synopsis" is funny and giggle due to all the sexual associations you get...
75. You insist on saying "gamla Svedala" (old Svedala) about Sweden, even though Svedala is a town.
76. You speak English with an American accent rather than British, even though you live in Europe, although you do mix American and British vocabulary.
77. You say embaressing things like "I have two pricks in my name" or "I'm a fart freak" because you think all Swedish words can be translated directly to English
78. You think that "restrooms" are used for relaxing.
79. You innocently say “F**K” at completely inappropriate times when talking English.
80. You have found yourself trying to explain to Non-Swedes why on earth K is sometimes pronounced “SCH” or “CH” Like “Kärlek”, “Kök” and so on.
81. You get really upset when people think “the Swedish chef” in “the Muppetshow” actually speaks Swedish, and even more upset when you realize that's what people think swedish sounds like – because you thought it sounds like "Elvish".
82. You tell people to call “Polia”, after having asked if they need help.
83. You with great (albeit hidden) pride explain that in Swedish we call our grandparents MORMOR & MORFAR and FARMOR & FARFAR, so no need for silly mistakes, longwinded explanations (my mom's mom) or formal /impersonal phrases, such as paternal grandparents.


Short link: [Facebook] [Twitter] [Email] Copy - http://ofcour.se/~roQ6$s

Regarding pronounciation, this list leaves off the most obvious thing: that (most) Swedes can’t make the distinction between [s] and [z], since the Swedish language doesn’t use [z]. I do believe that V and W is not much of a problem though.

1. eh no! school and youtube.
16. not really
19. hahaha that’s like my favorite word.
24. Norwegian is easy, it’s harder with danish and finnish
32. don’t they? then what is it!?
66. is = one thing. are = many things

9 and 25 contradicteach other….

contradict each other*

39. You actually know how to pronounce “smörgasbord”.
– Actually it’s “smörgåsbord” 😉

48. You end a P.S with a D.S.
– Oh I honestly thought everyone did that, haha..

51. You use a vast array of expressions in “English” in your everyday life that you have no idea do not exist for anyone outside of the borders of Sweden such as “Shit the same”.
– No one says “shit the same” (“skit samma” in Swedish), if somebody does, they’re joking.

53. You are abroad you find it difficult to stop yourself thanking the “kock”, for the lovely dinner.
– Haha, it’s true that “chef” is “kock” in Swedish, pronounced “cock”, but we’re fully aware of the fact it’s not called that in English. So no, not really.

65. You can’t see why it is rude not to say please, since there is no equivalent for it in Swedish
– And yes we do! It’s true that there is no equivalent for it in Swedish, but we always use it abroad since it’s rude otherwise.

66. You have no clue when to use “is” and “are”.
– Er, where the hell did that come from?! We learn the difference in 3rd grade (which is the first year we study English at school).

68. You can’t pronounce the English version of the “J-sounds” correctly.
– Almost everyone can.

77. You say embaressing things like “I have two pricks in my name” or “I’m a fart freak” because you think all Swedish words can be translated directly to English.
– Again, not true. Our English is far better than that, maybe my grandma would say something like that, but I sure woudn’t?!

And btw, we do know how to pronounce v/w and z/s since we spell some words with z and w in Swedish as well. If you ask a 10-year-old (3rd grade student) to name the English alphabet for you, he or she would be able to do it correctly. 🙂

You must be logged in to post a comment.