Swedish Language: Svenska Words and Phrases

Swedish, or Svenska, is spoken by 10 million people. The large majority of them live in Sweden, with the rest living in Finland, Norway, and Estonia. Swedish is the official language of Sweden and one of the official languages of Finland, along with Finnish. It is a Germanic language like Icelandic, Norwegian, and Danish. The Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian languages all came from Old Norse about 1000 years ago, with some Low German thrown in.

Swedish vocabulary is mostly Germanic, with words like "gas" for goose and "kung" for king. As in German, new Swedish words are formed by putting words together, so it is very flexible. New verbs can be created by simply adding an "a" to an existing verb, like adding an "a" to disk (dish) and it becomes "diska," which means doing the dishes.

Swedish Words and Phrases

Swedish had an influx of French words in the 18th century. Examples are "niva" for level and "paraply" for umbrella. On the other hand, the English language has adopted many Swedish words, like:

  • Gauntlet - glove

  • Moped - a small motorcycle

  • Ombudsman - intermediary

  • Smorgasbord - buffet

  • Tungsten - metal

Here are some common Swedish words and phrases:

  • Ja - yes

  • Nej - no

  • Bra - good

  • God - good

  • Hej - hello

  • Morgan - morning

  • Goddag - good day

  • Natt - night

  • Snalla - please

  • Tack - thank you

  • Ursakta - excuse me

  • Varsagod - you're welcome

  • Hur ar det? - how are you?

  • Trevligt att traffas - pleased to meet you

  • Talar du svenska? - do you speak Swedish?

  • Hej da - goodbye

  • Jag alskar dig - I love you

An Introduction to Sweden

Sweden is on the Scandinavian Peninsula in northern Europe. It is bordered by Finland and Norway. It is a short distance by sea from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Germany, and Russia. Stockholm is the largest city and capital of Sweden.

Bodies of water that border Sweden are the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. The Scandinavian mountain chain, Skanderna, makes up the border between Norway and Sweden.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Sweden was a strong nation and one of the great powers of Europe. The last war Sweden participated in was in 1814, when Finland became part of Sweden. That continued until 1905, and Sweden has been peaceful since that time. Sweden has a highly developed economy. It is a constitutional monarchy and is governed by a parliamentary system.

The climate is not as cold as you might think, being that part of Sweden is north of the Arctic Circle. The Gulf Stream keeps the climate temperate and the winters warmer and drier than many other countries of the same latitude. Because Sweden is so far north, daylight in Stockholm ranges from as little as six hours in late December to more than 18 hours in late June. Northern Sweden has colder temperatures and snowier winters than the rest of the country, with parts of Sweden rarely receiving snow.

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