• Sweden edition
 
THE LOCAL LIST
Sluts, sex and farts - welcome to Swedish
This Swedish road sign has nothing to do with flatulence

Sluts, sex and farts - welcome to Swedish

Published: 20 Apr 2012 14:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Apr 2012 14:24 GMT+02:00

An English speaker recently visited us in Stockholm, and found great amusement in pointing out all the funny looking words.

Yes, here in Sweden, most people don’t even raise an eyebrow when a train pulls into a “slut station” (final station). Nor when a magazine might offer “sex tips” for a better office environment (that is, six tips).

And when a road sign points out there is a “fart hinder” ahead, it just means speed bump (however the image above can always bring a smile).

Click here for The Local's list

Anyhow, these fresh eyes got us thinking. Sure, the Swedish language has some strange words from the perspective of an English speaker.

But even stranger, perhaps, are those Swedish words that amuse even the most determined language learner.

For example, the word "vegetables" in Swedish is “grönsaker” which literally translates to "green things" - and that's just the beginning.

With this in mind, we gathered our nine favourite Swedish words (with the help of our Twitter followers) where a literal translation could send you on a wild goose chase.

Call them weird translations, call them compounding madness, you can call them what you like: just don't eat the "mother cake".

Click here for the gallery of our top nine weird Swedish words

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:21 April 20, 2012 by Åskar
No 5 might be some kind of a buffet, but it is in no way a "Smörgåsbord".
19:52 April 20, 2012 by Old Trafford
'semester' (meaning 'school term' in english but 'holiday' in swedish) takes the cake in my opinion
00:43 April 21, 2012 by Mbenzi
"Sätt på kaffet"...

F*** the coffee?
09:37 April 21, 2012 by Leyarah
I have a number of favourites:

"Pratshow", - Talk Show - particularly as most of the people who go on them are in fact prats!!!!

"Slag" - Punch - which is what will happen if you call someone a slag!!

"Fuktteknik" - Damp Technology - That one kinda speaks for itself and makes me giggle like crazy every time I see the van go past me
09:56 April 21, 2012 by skatty
Personally, I misunderstood the first time a Swede asked me "är du pigg…?" which I confused "pigg" with the English "pig", and felt upset!
10:44 April 21, 2012 by Lukestar1991
For example, the word "vegetables" in Swedish is "grönsaker" which literally translates to "green things" - and that's just the beginning.

Hilarious!!!
20:22 April 21, 2012 by philster61
My favourite is Slappa Meg....(slap me)
21:00 April 21, 2012 by Old Trafford
Another for me is 'kom igen' which in English will be 'come again (repeat)'..but no! no!! no!!! in swedish, it is 'common'
14:55 April 22, 2012 by AndreaGerak
"kom igen" would be actually "come on", and not "common"...

There are some Swedish words that sound funny in Hungarian as well:

"fika" = snut

"kaka"= sh*t

"kula" = sh*t

"kurva" = whore

So if you go to Kungens kurva and get a nice kaka for fika, topped with a kula of soft ice...
20:16 April 22, 2012 by Old Trafford
Dammsugare - vacuum cleaner in swedish. One could think of it as 'lady sucker' in literal english translation :)
05:13 April 23, 2012 by pivo
Whenever I see someone moving at a fast pace I can hear my Swedish boyfriend's voice saying "full fart!" It always makes me laugh.
12:13 April 23, 2012 by Åskar
@Old Trafford

Only if you don't know how to spell it.
17:15 April 23, 2012 by guy noir
Headline for a review of a fast car seen in the automobile supplement:

Fartmonster

Sale (Rea) sign seen at Ikea:

Fåreskin

which, when the å is properly pronounced, sounds like :-)

Some Swedish words are difficult to say when with Germans, and will raise some eyebrows:

the verb in "Jag Fick", sounds and is spelled exactly like the German verb in I f..k while Fika is close ... and Fickan sounds exactly like the infinitive of the german verb to f..k
18:16 April 23, 2012 by bow290
no one picked up on the swedish word for edge or corner... give that one a go in crowded room, it out does all the rest by a swedish mile!
19:49 September 11, 2012 by Emerentia
@ Old Trafford "Damsugare" would be lady sucker, but there is no such word. Dam=lady, dame. Damm=Dust. Dammsugare=Dustsucker.
Today's headlines
National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Politics
Israel's ambassador recalled from Sweden
Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman. Photo: TT

Israel's ambassador recalled from Sweden

Israel has recalled its ambassador from Stockholm "in irritation" that Sweden has officially recognized the State of Palestine. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

970
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN