Ten Swedish words you won't find in English
Published: 20 Mar 2012 13:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2012 13:34 GMT+01:00
Whether Swedish is the world's richest language or not, it can lay claim to at least ten very common words that are sorely lacking from English. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten here, and you may be surprised what’s NOT in the list…
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The only thing a Swede likes more than having a “fika” (which means, essentially, coffee and cake) is talking about the word fika and how you’ll never find it in English.
“So it’s like a coffee break?” you may foolishly ask a Swede.
“No, no, it’s a lot more than just coffee. There are cinnamon buns.”
“Ah, so more like a high tea, perhaps?”
“Tea? Don’t insult me, it’s coffee. And cakes.”
“So coffee and cakes then…”
“Well that’s not one word, is it? Shut up and eat your cake.”
The fact is, any Swede will proudly defend the word for hours. Perhaps that’s even what they spend their fika breaks doing.
But be that as it may, “fika” is a word we don’t have in English, yet.
If it's not fika, you can bet your bottom krona that talk of untranslatable Swedish words will lead directly to the word “lagom” which means “just right” – (think Goldilocks and her final bowl of porridge).
However, these two words have been done to death in language discussions, and here at The Local we’ve found ten (dare we say it) more useful words that don’t have any English word equivalent, at least not yet…
So, without further ado, click here for a read through the top ten Swedish words missing from English, starting with verbs, moving through adjectives, and finishing with the nouns.
And be sure to watch this space for The Local's next language-inspired list, where we'll give you our list of off-the-wall Swedish words that we don’t have in English.