Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Not really about dating, but it makes for good conversation during the first "fika." Swedishisms I've learned the hard way:

1) "Mjölk" and "filmjölk" are NOT the same thing, even though they are packaged in very similar looking Tetrapacks. Pouring "fil" into your coffee is a very nasty surprise.

2) It doesn't work to translate "care package" directly from English into Swedish. A care package is a box of goodies your family sends you when go to summer camps as a kid, or later on, to college. But Swedes look at you very strangely when you proclaim exuberantly, "Min mor skickade mig ett vårdpacket!!"

3) Be very careful with long and short vowels. "Att knöla" means something entirely different than what it might if pronounced with a long vowel. (The best translation I can come up with it "to crumple up.") I am never allowed to say that I'm going to "knöla" anything. I use the other word only deliberately, just so there are no misunderstandings about what I want to do and where I want to do it.

4) "Kö" and "kön" are actually two different words, even though "kö" becomes "kön" when you mean to say "the queue." The former is pronounced with a hard k, and the latter is pronounced with a soft k. Imagine my surprise, my second week in Stockholm, when my Swedish friends burst out laughing when I came back from the bathroom slightly disgruntled "Det finns en länge kön i toaletten."

I should also add that I will forever be amused by Swedish words such as utfart (exit) and slut (end, or final). I shall always, always get a smile on my face when I read online profiles whose male authors describe themselves as "en glad prick." I KNOW this means something along the lines of "a nice guy," but I can't help but think that he is referring to himself as a real dickhead. Self-awareness, fellows, is a good thing.


Blogger The Pale Green Woman said...

I've always wondered if Brad Pitt is a "glad prick"?

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Tindraz said...

My mother have sent me care package once or twice when I'm have been broke. We call them "överlevnads kit"
Survival box or something...

11:56 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

Yeah, survival kit would work just as well as "care package," and I guess would circumvent the translation problem.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Koriander said...

Have you heard this one...
In Sweden they have "Pussy" on can.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Helena said...

I like "infart" even better than "utfart". It sounds like a reverted... well, um.

And I like that an aunt is faster... :)

10:54 AM  

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