Burkini and finance crunch add to Swedish vocabulary

Burkini and finance crunch add to Swedish vocabulary
The global finance collapse in the autumn and swimwear for Muslim women are among the phenomena of 2008 that have thrown up a slew of new words proposed for inclusion in the vocabulary of the Swedish language.

The Language Council of Sweden (Språkrådet) has reported that it has received almost 2,000 proposals for its list of new words.

The new words being considered for 2008 include the burkini – a bathing suit with long arms and legs; klimatism – which describes a fear of climate change that has reached fanatical, religious proportions, and blåstråle – a literal Swedish translation of the English blu-ray.

The council receives proposals from a range of sources. Many of its words come from staff commissioned to scour the newspapers and identify new words developed by journalists to describe new phenomena.

One of the major influential events of the year has been the financial turbulence that intensified in the beginning of the autumn.

In English, recent economic developments have been afforded various epithets such as “financial crunch”, “financial collapse” and “financial meltdown” and so likewise in the Swedish language with finanssmälta – describing a total breakdown of the economy, becoming en vogue as 2008 comes to a close.

The council also receives a wealth of suggestions from members of the general public who send in their proposals for new words and phrases.

Some of these in 2008 include Al Gore-vår – to describe the early springs experienced in Sweden in recent years; Frugalista – someone who buys their clothes at second hand and charity shops, and hemester – a translation of the English staycation, describing a holiday spent at home.

The Language Council of Sweden is the “official language cultivation body of Sweden” and has been commissioned by parliament to care for and develop the Swedish language.

Aside from compiling lists of new Swedish words and phrases the council publishes handbooks, gives lectures and offers linguistic guidance within the Swedish language and the other languages spoken in Sweden.