Advertisement

Ten more untranslatable Swedish words

Share this article

Ten more untranslatable Swedish words
Photo: B Rosen/Flickr
15:32 CET+01:00
What's that word for when you buy two bottles of champagne, only to pour one down the sink to impress the crowds with your wealth? Oh that's right, there is no word in English for that, but in Swedish, on the other hand...
 
It's that time again. Every year, I've put together a list of untranslatable Swedish words. The first one, in 2012, remains one of the most read stories on The Local to this day. The second was also popular.
 
This year, I've gone with a theme of "typically Swedish". And a word of warning: Slide number ten is a very rude word that is definitely unsuitable for children. This is not a joke.
 
 
So a quick look at the golden "untranslatable" rule before we begin. 
 
A word is untranslatable if there is no single word equivalent in English 
 
For example, in Italy they have the word culaccino, which apparently means the mark left on a table by a cold glass. While it could be called a watermark, it is definitely not a "watermark". Nor a "stain" nor a "spillage". It's a culaccino
 
You get the  picture? Good. Let's get into it. 
 
And remember, slide ten is not the kind of word you'd say to your mother. Stop at nine if you are faint of heart or mind. 
 
Oliver Gee

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

Professionals offer revealing career advice to Stockholm International School students

Did you know what you wanted to do with your life when you were 14 years old? Maybe – but probably not. But luckily students at Stockholm International School get career guidance from international CEOs, UN committee board members, foreign ministry officials, entrepreneurs, and more.

Advertisement
Advertisement
3,716 Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement