I’ll Learn to Speak Swedish
Six months before leaving, I decided to take the initiative and learn Swedish, surprising my friend. It turns out that Swedish is a really difficult language to learn.
In the 35 years we’ve been friends, the only words I learned to say were Hi (hej), Yes (Ja), and goodbye (hej då – pronounced hey do)). I signed up through Babbel. Every morning I would do a lesson and review the lesson prior.
One morning, I texted my friend, “Hur mår du,” which means “how are you?” I thought I’d impress her. Of course, she laughed and told me everyone speaks English in Sweden. I kept at it. When it came time to depart, I only knew key phrases and words. I decided to leave most of the translation to her.
Basic Words and Sentences To Know
Okay, so speaking Swedish was near impossible for me. I left the longer conversations to my friend. But I did okay reading and speaking basic phrases. Here are the words and terms that helped me in Sweden:
Good Morning- God Morgon. It is polite and proper etiquette to be able to say to everyone you come in contact with.
Good Evening – God Kväll
Goodbye -. Hejdå. Again, this is both formal and informal pronunciation.
Please – Tack and snälla are used since no direct translation of “please” exists in Swedish. Snälla means nice or kind, so using either appeals to someone’s kindness in advance.
Thank You – tack
Yes – Ja
No – Nej
Hi – Hej! Many times when we would come across a store employee or restaurant employee or hotel employee, my friend always said Hej hej. It is
Do you speak English? – Pratar du engeska
I would like – Jag skulle vilja. this is helpful when ordering food or buying something in the store. Say and point to the menu item (unless you’ve mastered Swedish food pronunciations).
Can I have the check, please – Kan jag få notan tack.
Exit/Entrance – utfart- I first saw this word when entering a gas station. Entrance is infart.
Excuse Me/Pardon – Ursäkta mig
Where is the lady’s room? – Ursäkta mig var är toaletten?
I met my friend in Sweden. When I came out of baggage claim, she held a sign that read Välkommen Janice Weinsoff. At least I knew what that meant. Whether you learn the language or not, Sweden is a beautiful country. You can read about the trip I took with my Swedish friend.