There is a ban on non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU until 31 October. The ban excludes Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK, as well as Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Also excluded are foreigners coming to Sweden to study and certain highly skilled professionals. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to the following EU countries until 23 September: Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia; as well as to countries outside the EU, EEA, Schengen or the UK until 15 November. For more information on how the coronavirus/Covid-19 is affecting Sweden, please go to, official emergency information from Swedish authorities.


Swedish glossary

Learning Swedish is tough, some say. Why not start by using this Swedish–English glossary to learn some basic words and phrases? It’s not that difficult, really.

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An insider tip: the Swedish letters å, ä and ö sound like the o in ‘for’, the ai in ‘fair’ and the u in ‘fur’, respectively.

Photo: Sofia Sabel/ (altered)

Swedish glossary

Learning Swedish is tough, some say. Why not start by using this Swedish–English glossary to learn some basic words and phrases? It’s not that difficult, really.

Greetings & courtesies

Swedish English
God morgon! Good morning
God natt! Good night
or Tjena!
Hi (informal)
Hejdå! Bye-bye
Hur mår du?
or Hur står det till?
or Hur är läget?
How are you? (neutral)
How are you? (formal)
What’s up? (informal)
Bara bra, tack. Och du? I’m fine, thanks. And you?
Tack! Thank you/Please (depending on the context)
Varsågod! Here you go/Please/You’re welcome (depending on the context)
Talar du engelska? Do you speak English?
Trevligt att träffas Pleased to meet you
Ursäkta mig! Excuse me
Ursäkta mig, var ligger toaletten? Excuse me, where is the restroom/toilet?


Kanelbulle = cinnamon bun.
Read an article about cinnamon buns.

Photo: Björn Tesch/

Food & drinks

Swedish English
Bröd Bread
En dagens, tack! Today’s special, please (mostly lunch time)
En stor stark A lager beer (literally: ‘a big strong’)
Ett glas rött/vitt A glass of red/white wine
Fisk Fish
Kaffe på maten Coffee after dinner (literally: ‘coffee on the food’)
Knäckebröd Crispbread
Kyckling Chicken
Kött Meat
Köttbullar och lingonsylt Meatballs and lingonberry jam
Lättöl Low-alcohol beer (a maximum of 2.25% alcohol by volume, common in Sweden)
Mjölk Milk
Ost Cheese
Skaldjur Shellfish
Smör Butter
Vatten Water
Vegetariskt Vegetarian



Swedish English
Förlåt! I’m sorry/Forgive me
Jag gillar dig I like you
Jag hatar dig I hate you
Jag älskar dig I love you
Jag är ledsen I’m sorry/I’m sad (depending on the context)


Älg = moose.

Photo: Folio/


Read more about the moose here:
Sweden’s most dangerous animal

Typically Swedish

Swedish English
Fika Coffee break (including the socialising that goes with it)
Glögg The Swedish version of mulled wine
Lagom Just right; not too little, not too much
Nja (nej + ja) No and yes
Ombudsman Ombudsman (!)
Påtår A refill of coffee (often included)
Sambo Someone who lives together with his/her partner without being married (short for samboende)
Smörgåsbord Smorgasbord
Särbo Someone who is in a long-term relationship but does not live together with his/her partner
Älg Moose (Eurasian elk)



0 Noll
1 Ett
2 Två
3 Tre
4 Fyra
5 Fem
6 Sex
7 Sju
8 Åtta
9 Nio
10 Tio


Useful links Online multilingual dictionary Online dictionary, mostly Swedish–English–Swedish Multilingual phrase dictionary Free online Swedish course for beginners

Last updated: 16 May 2016


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