Why not learn some basic Swedish words and phrases? This Swedish glossary is a start.
Greetings & courtesies
God morgon! = Good morning
God natt! = Good night
Hej! = Hello
or Tjena! = Hi (informal)
Hej då! = Bye-bye
Hur mår du? = How are you? (neutral)
or Hur står det till? = How are you? (formal)
or Hur är läget? = 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?
Food & drinks
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, fairly common in Sweden)
mjölk = milk
ost = cheese
skaldjur = shellfish
smör = butter
vatten = water
vegetariskt = vegetarian
Förlåt! = I’m sorry/Forgive me!
Jag gillar dig. = I like you.
Jag hatar dig. = I hate you (use this one very cautiously, the phrase is particularly charged in Swedish).
Jag älskar dig. = I love you.
Jag är ledsen. = I’m sorry/I’m sad (depending on the context).
fika = coffee break (including the socialising that goes with it)
glögg = 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)
- SFI – Swedish for immigrants (Svenska för invandrare) courses are offered through each local municipality.
noll = 0
ett = 1
två = 2
tre = 3
fyra = 4
fem = 5
sex = 6
sju = 7
åtta = 8
nio = 9
tio = 10