• Sweden's news in English
 

Ten more Swedish words you won’t find in English

Published: 15 Jan 2013 16:34 GMT+01:00

English may be the world’s richest language, but it’s far from perfect. In fact, it’s somewhat limited.

Why do we not have a word for "the day after tomorrow", for example? Swedish does.

Sure, English does have some unusual and fascinating words (the little plastic thing at the end of a shoelace is called an aglet, for example), but these words are impractical and seldom used.

I bet the only time you'll ever hear the word aglet again is in a word list or a pub quiz.

RELATED PHOTO GALLERY: Ten more Swedish words you won’t find in English

Too many times you'll see that the Italians have a word for the bit of milk that stays on your lip after you drink it, or that the Japanese have a word for a person who giggles too much on the subway. But these are words we don't have for a reason - we don't need them.

What's more interesting is when a word or concept is simply missing from English, even though it's something we regularly say.

A concept yet to be coined. A word yet to be whispered.

We've written about this before on The Local, but now it’s round two - here are ten more Swedish words that you just can’t find in English.

As always, the words fika (meaning coffee – “let’s grab a coffee sometime”) and lagom (the final bowl of porridge was lagom for Goldilocks) are NOT included in the list.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:06 January 15, 2013 by skogsbo
Comedy value, a local contributor is telling people that to do the dishes is bad Engish, try reading just about any item, on any page written and edited by the Local and you'll see reams of bad English !

You do make a bed, a bed is made up for a guest. ie the sheets/duvet/ blanket/ perhaps some towels on top for them too? It is made, you don't lay a bed sheet, it is made up for the first sheet, to the stuff on the top.

träningsvärk, there are many similar Engish phrases, the only difference is that in Swedish when many words are used in conjuction together, the space between them is removed.

Hen, as you are referring to good English or language, won't it be 'they' or 'de' ? You don't need hen,hon or han, you can just used They or De. Beside, it's hardly a new use of the words, it's just become a fad amongst certain groups of people, who think they are cool, arty, super liberal to use it.

Coffeesugen, you mean kaffasugen? Or are you specialising in Swenglish? ;)

Either way, another desperate article designed to get you to click through ten pages of advert and keep their web count up!
20:04 January 15, 2013 by redfish
@skogsbo:

Depends on how "hen" is being used by the people who are using it.

"They" can't replace "hen" the way the author used it, its only used for indefinite cases, such as referring to a general person, group of individuals, or unknown person. So "whoever was here left their coat". But in referring to a specific individual, a known masked robber as the author alluded to, "they" would be awkward.

So, if you had, say, a hermaphrodite/intersex person, you couldn't refer to that person as "they" without it being cumbersome and awkward feeling. I don't know how "hen" is used and whether or not it deals with this case, from what I gather, it probably does.

I've not heard "de" used in English at all, I'm not sure what you're talking about here.

There have been attempts to coin a gender neutral pronoun in the English language since the 1850s though:

http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm

http://illinois.edu/blog/view/25/31097
21:18 January 15, 2013 by Flutterbye
Think someone needs to get a life.
21:32 January 15, 2013 by jostein
"Hen" adds one thing to the swedish language and that is the ability to expose yourself as a political extremist and a bully, and an ignorant at that.

The alleged meaning that "hen" would cover is already covered by the word "den". As for example "Den som inte vet det..." or "Den som vill röka får göra det på balkongen".

Normal people will find the swedish division of nouns into Uturum (den) and Neutrum (det) stupid and a useless, unnecessary pain. And so it is. But it does have a historical explanation that also shows why "Hen"s only purpuse is to give withess to your own ignorance and vile nature.

In the beginning swedish had three genders, masculine, feminine, neutrum. One would literally say "Månen han", "Solen hon", "Människan hon" etcetera and use the personal pronomin to refer to the concept/object when apropriate.

But then (18th centuary?) these two merged into uturum, ie, "Solen den", "Månen den". All words with the article "Den" in swedish formerely had either masculine or feminine gender.

"Den" therefor is the perfect word for a genderneutral pronomen. And is also used as such in a host of expressions and figures of speech. It is its orignial purpuse. Unless your an ignorant, powerhungering cultural marxist. Then "Hen" is better. Needless to say i lost respect for the author of this list and stopped looking at it when i reached "hen".
21:46 January 15, 2013 by KingArthur
In Dutch :

Swe/Övermorgon

Dutch/Overmorgen

Swe/förrgår

Dutch/Eergisteren

So not only Swedish :)
06:49 January 16, 2013 by Freelife
However..

Dag = day

Midday = Dinner :)

I morgon = tomorrow

God morgon = Good morning :D

What is the word for 'please'?
07:52 January 16, 2013 by philster61
Two words I hope never become part of the English language... Lagom and jante lagen....
11:36 January 16, 2013 by Scepticion
KingArthur,

quite right, most of these words are not specific to Sweden at all. German has them as well. Vorgestern, übermorgen, betten, etc. I think only 2 on the list are typical Swedish.
12:05 January 16, 2013 by cogito
philister61 (3/)

I'll drink to that.
18:45 January 16, 2013 by redfish
@Septicion,

Some people over time have tried to introduce 'aftermorrow' into the English language, its never been successful.
22:29 January 18, 2013 by calebian22
philister61,

I'll drink twice to that.
10:30 January 19, 2013 by Järven
I think that the surest mark of a word being "untranslatable" is its adoption in original form by another language. On that basis only "ombudsman" and "smorgasbord" qualify in English, and they don't even get a mention here!
Today's headlines
Older Swedes 'see the benefits of immigration'
Older Swedes are more positive about immigration than their European counterparts. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson / TT

Older Swedes 'see the benefits of immigration'

Swedish pensioners are significantly more positive about immigration than other older people in Europe, according to a new study from the World Bank. READ  

Increase in violence in Swedish asylum centres
The surge of migrants into Europe fleeing war-torn regions has increased the pressure on the Swedish migration system. Photo: Soeren Bidstup / AFP / Scanpix Denmark

Increase in violence in Swedish asylum centres

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has so far this year recorded almost as many reports of threats and violence in asylum accommodation as throughout the whole of 2014, according to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. READ  

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit
Rain in Stockholm. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit

Swedes complaining about the disappointing summer were vindicated after meterologists revealed on Friday that July indeed finished wetter – but warmer – than normal. READ  

Swedes get set for new money, money, money
Christina Wejshammar of Sweden's central bank. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Swedes get set for new money, money, money

A new smartphone app is set to help Swedes navigate the biggest switch in bank notes the country has ever seen with only two months to go before the new cash is introduced. READ  

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine
These are not the bananas on trial. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine

A Swedish driver has escaped speeding tickets in court – because the offender was eating a banana. If that sounds bananas to you, keep reading. READ  

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace
Schörling suspects that the swine, which have a value of around 65,000 kronor, were stolen. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/SCANPIX

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace

UPDATED: A Swedish farmer is mystified about the disappearance of 64 pigs from his farmyard in the town of Vingåker, central Sweden. READ  

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police
Snoop Dogg in concert in Uppsala. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police

Initial tests suggest that US rapper Snoop Dogg was under the influence when he was arrested by Swedish police after performing at a gig last weekend, a police spokesman told The Local on Friday. READ  

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts
The Malmberget mine in northern Sweden. Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi/TT

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts

On Friday Sweden awoke to news of the second earthquake in less than a week, this time in the far north of the country. But a seismologist told The Local that the tremors were the result of mining activity. READ  

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force
Swedish police are struggling to attract people from foreign backgrounds. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force

UPDATED: Swedish police academies expressed concern on Friday over a sharp decline in the number of foreign-born future officers. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party
Swedish crayfish party. Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se

How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party

August crayfish parties are one of the highlights of the Swedish calendar and appeal to people of all ages. Food writer John Duxbury shares his best tips with The Local for making your own crayfish party a success. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
Lifestyle
Five fun festivals to get you partying in Sweden this week
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
National
Why has Snoop Dogg said he will never return to Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
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

3,274
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se