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English words missing in the

Swedish language

Hisingen
post 3.Feb.2013, 01:39 PM
Post #1
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

A lot has been made of late in The Local about Swedish words that have no equivalent in English, especially such words as ‘lagom’.

In a recent article about Ing Britt Ahlenius, a well known Swedish figure, she herself spoke of an English word that has no Swedish equivalent - accountability. She used in in connection with financiers ! ! ! !

There are many other words, or verbal endings, that the Swedish language does not have.

The topic should therefore not be quite so one-sided. With Swedish verbs, for example, there is no equivalent to the English ‘ing’ form which has so very many uses, but in some instances takes a strange form as in boxing, which becomes ‘boxning’ - with that what to English speaking people is a mis-placed ‘n’. I guess e have the Swedish Academy to thank for that. cool.gif

Or you are having a party, and the time for the guests to arrive is ‘eightish’.

I am sure that many of you can come up with other words that lack a direct Swedish equivalent. So why not see how many you can add to the list for those ‘Eminent Persona’ at The Local to mull over, and meet the competition.
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Orcade
post 3.Feb.2013, 02:19 PM
Post #2
Joined: 23.Apr.2012

Eightish= (runt) åttatiden.

Although I agree it is kind of one-sided; naturally english will have words with no equivalent in swedish. I read somewhere that english has roughly 4-5 times as many words as swedish. Whether this is because english has become some sort of hybrid between a germanic language and a romance one, and more often than not have both a romance word and a germanic word that describes the exact same thing, if it's because it's a global language or a combination of the two I will leave unsaid.
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oddsock
post 3.Feb.2013, 06:09 PM
Post #3
Joined: 19.Dec.2008

Pardon me? = Va sar du?
Excuse me? = Va sar du?
I didn't quite catch that = Va sar du?
What? = Va sar du?
Come again? = Va sar du?
Could you repeat that? = Va sar du?
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 3.Feb.2013, 06:45 PM
Post #4
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

QUOTE (Hisingen @ 3.Feb.2013, 02:39 PM) *
A lot has been made of late in The Local about Swedish words that have no equivalent in English, especially such words as ‘lagom’.In a recent article about Ing Bri ... (show full quote)

Accountability has a quite direct Swedish translation: ansvarsskyldighet

Regarding the -ing form it depends on which tense you are talking about. For example, in the present tense the phrases "I am playing" and "I play" could technically both be translated to "jag spelar", but if you want to emphasize a current activity you could also write "jag håller på och spelar". In most cases there are equivalents to the English -ing form, but it is often not needed.

There is one thing I can think of right now that does not exist in Swedish: "quit" and "stop" would both translate to "sluta" no matter if it is temporary or long term.
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Mo
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:01 PM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

The one I miss most is please
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Johno
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:10 PM
Post #6
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Please = snälla though perhaps with a little bit of pleading attached ? , and it is used, but not as routinely as English. And isnt adding tack after a request for something nearly the same thing ?
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:19 PM
Post #7
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

Also adding words that indicates that it is optional is the polite form of saying things.

For example, "skicka morötterna" is impolite, while "kan du skicka morötterna", "skulle du vilja skicka morötterna", "kan du vara så snäll och skicka morötterna" etc, are polite expressions. No need to add a "tack" here since it is already politely worded.
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Johno
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:23 PM
Post #8
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

So lesson 1. Its all more subtle than just looking the word up in a dictionary. And you have to be sensitive to how something is said.
Just as above, "va sa du ?" certainly sounded a bit stark to me when I first heard it, but you can say it nicely or bark it out. Better than just "Va ?"
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:28 PM
Post #9
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

Yes, intonation is quite important.
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Mo
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:31 PM
Post #10
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

QUOTE (Bender B Rodriquez @ 3.Feb.2013, 07:19 PM) *
Also adding words that indicates that it is optional is the polite form of saying things. For example, "skicka morötterna" is impolite, while "kan du skicka mo ... (show full quote)

But I can translate all of these into English and none of them translate to please, of course it is possible to express the sentiment if you use several Words, but that is not the topic of this discussion.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:32 PM
Post #11
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

True, there is no direct translation of please; it changes from expression to expression.
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skumdum
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:41 PM
Post #12
Joined: 28.Jun.2011

The direct translation of -ing is -ande or -ende.
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Johno
post 3.Feb.2013, 07:48 PM
Post #13
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

QUOTE
But I can translate all of these into English and none of them translate to please

Actually two of my referenced sources do translate "snälla" simply as please. And just think how many ways you include please in a phrase in English when asking for something. Its used less on its own as one word ?. And if someone asks "do you want..." in English you say Please or Yes please, in Swedish, "ja tack". And so on.
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axiom
post 3.Feb.2013, 10:22 PM
Post #14
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 24.May.2011

QUOTE (skumdum @ 3.Feb.2013, 07:41 PM) *
The direct translation of -ing is -ande or -ende.

and -else as in betydelse and -ning
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oddsock
post 4.Feb.2013, 07:51 PM
Post #15
Joined: 19.Dec.2008

They need a proper word for areola.

Currently it is vårtgården (wart yard). You can stick those two words together and pretend it's a new word, but it's still an abomination.

Poverty of language, I tell you.
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