The debate about whether Swedish is a rich or poor language could continue long into a sun-kissed Stockholm afternoon, depending on who you ask. But just for today, let’s all agree that it’s certainly got some nuggets of gold that we’re missing in English.
Here at The Local, we’ve already covered ten common Swedish words that are sorely missing from English, but what about the less common words, and the downright obscure words?
For example, what do we call someone who simply will not enter the water, regardless of its temperature?
We’ve gathered nine off-the-wall Swedish words here in a gallery with a description of what they mean. Not one exists as a single word English – they are…untranslatable.
Armed with this knowledge, we (rather cheekily) sent The Local’s Oliver Gee out on the streets of Uppsala, eastern Sweden, to challenge regular Swedes into doing the impossible – translating the untranslatable.
And yes, Swedes are brilliant at English, but clearly no one is perfect…
We suggest familiarizing yourself with the words first before watching the video.
Oh and one more thing: “lagom” and “fika” do not get a mention. This was intentional.