Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Simple Swedish – Lesson One from Patrick Hansson and Ola Lustig

I have written about the Swedish language a few different times. How I think you should learn Swedish. How it makes me laugh. And how good Swedes are at English, and just how annoying that can be.

I have never posted a video about the Swedish language. But now I have. Because this made me smile and nod in agreement. At the ridiculousness of the language. At the false friends. At the rules that you just need to know. And at slut. Of course.

If you have any interest in the Swedish language, watch this. If you’re learning Swedish you’ll chuckle. You’ll see the judging Swedish look as you mispronounce å, ä, and ö. If you don’t speak Swedish and just don’t have any desire to. Well, you’re not alone. It’s not exactly a popular language what with the nine million people in the country. But it does mean that you aren’t nearly as cool as you could be. Watch it anyway. If only for the slut jokes. Because come on, that stuff is comedic gold.

There’s talk of a second episode. I’m hoping they’ll talk about river horses, tooth meat, and breast warts next time. And if they do, I’ll claim all the credit. If they don’t, they also aren’t nearly as cool as they could be.

Welcome to Sweden. And Simple Swedish.

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  1. ppffttt... not 9 million... its 10 million speakers, in fact!! :-]

  2. FYI, "breast warts", or the swedish translation of nipple, sounds as horrible and unsexy as it seems even to us swedish.

  3. And by the way, this does in no way counts as writing my requested "english for swedish" post :-)

  4. Yeah! Dont forget the Swedish speaking finns.

  5. Hilarious! That's how I learned all my Swedish =P And yes, it is annoying AND impressive how well many Swedes speak English. -S.

  6. whale and antenna in Swedish were easy for me , they are the same as Persian words. also Swedish words for taking a shower or a painting if you're wondering. but that slut and fart haha. and when at the end the guy says slut, i don't know it was just.. so offensive!

  7. At least the spelling was not perfect. A consolation.

  8. Except River Horse is what we call it too. We just say it in Greek.

  9. I'n glad someone feels my pain trying to learn Swedish.

    @Andreas I think the mus is much more insulting.

  10. Floridian in FinlandNovember 10, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    This video is great. :)

  11. @deaf indian muslim anarchist – its true, although I did state just in the country.

    @Andreas – I am glad to hear that! And I know... the other day I actually wrote down a couple of things for an English/Swedish post. We’ll see what I can put together...

    @Swede – and the Swedish speaking Americans of course.

    @Anonymous – seriously. Its great, but sometimes its just a bit too much.

    @Tod – he really does hammer it home there at the end doesn’t he?

    @Eva – its the little things really

    @Ben – But thats the thing... it sounds so much better when it isn’t translated directly.

    @Stacy – oooh good work.

    @Floridian – I quite enjoyed it.

  12. OMG - that was too funny! Spot on! I also find his last name spot on, and very entertaining (duh!). Lustig of course means "funny", but is actually also a last name. Another one of those things you just "have to know", eh?

  13. thanks terander- but I knew that. why? because my english is better than your swedish. doesn't make sense? precisely.

  14. I LOVE that video - and it applies to Danish as well!

  15. Damnit, an error occurred. I will try again later. As I'm learning Swedish myself (just started), this will likely have me in Giggles. My favourites are still "utfart" and "infart"..bahahahahha!

  16. He really should bring up the pronunciation of "u". It is very common for non-native speakers to mispronounce our u, especially in words like "du" and "ful".

    His English grammar and such might not be bad, I dunno, I wasn't really paying attention to that, but his pronunciation wasn't very good, IMO. I really dislike the typical "Swedish" accent some Swedes have when they speak English, heh.

  17. As an American trying to learn to speak Swedish, that is funny stuff. Especially the part about the King saying "fuck you".

    I especially have trouble with the sj- sound. I can't say the word for "seven" to save my live. Seriously, my Swede corrects me every time I say it (and that's ok - I told him to correct me when I am pronouncing something wrong). Whenever I need sju of something, I try to find a way to make it sex (which leads to an entirely different discussion altogether) or åtta.

  18. love it - two high points for me:

    "this doesn't end here..."


    thanks for posting!!

  19. @terander – agreed. They definitely play with his last name in the text at the end.

    @Anonymous – hmmmm...

    @PiNG – theres probably a market for a Danish one. Maybe even for a Danish one aimed at Swedes.

    @SwedishJenn – agreed. Maybe Im horribly immature but damn it they are just funny. Still.

    @Argument – well the typical Swedish accent usually ends up being some sort of hybrid between british english and american english.

    @An American Girl – Im pretty sure the King should say that some time. Just to make a media splash around the rest of the world.

    @J Catlow-Shea – the slut at the end, as Tod said was just so offensive. I loved it.

  20. "But it doesn't matter because my English is still better than your Swedish". So true! Though I can order from McDonald's in Swedish now! It onlt took 8 months to figure that out. Yay me! hahaha ;-)

  21. I like to travel to "shoe goose": Skogås

  22. dude but am I the only one who heard him make a swedish mistake? He totally said fingrarna means a lot of fingers, but nej! That would be fingrar. FingrarNA is THE fingers. I guess not "every Swede knows it and never gets it wrong!" Kabam! That's some slick SFI skills right there. But I totally agree with the breast wart thing. How just damn ick. I'll never use it. Nipple it will always be.

  23. But I can't get over the fact that nipple (in English) and "nippel" (in Swedish) is a special nut for attaching spokes to the rim of a bike wheel.

    ...not to mention that innocent-looking words like "nut" and "rim" have sexual double meanings. Did I miss any? It's damn hard (uh, oh) to keep up (not again) with all those. That's part of the real challenge of learning English.

  24. Well I'd have to say after that Swedish looks a whole hell of a lot harder than Spanish...my second language...of which I know as many as 12 words...impressed? You should be. :)

  25. @shawna - its the little things. like being able to order a big mac.

    @Ron - thats a tricky one though because it could also be forest ridge skog ås.

    @m8 - nipple wins. every single time.

    @eklandisk - well played. you really nailed it.

    @mama - very impressed.

  26. Showed this to my swede guy and he couldn't stop laughing. Then all of a sudden he realized why I say that my deep Cajun accent attempting to speak Swedish is never going to be a good idea, lol

  27. maybe this should be required viewing for anyone ever getting involved with a native swedish speaker.

  28. Another example of swedish gone wrong when spoken in english - aka "Swenglish" as we call it.

    Comedian Robert Gustavsson acts the "Ambassador of scandinavia" pretty funny!


  29. My worst mistake ever when learning Swedish: I picked up pretty quickly that some Swedish verbs sound a lot like their English counterparts. Add something that could pass for "ar" or "er" and you could fake it. Like "drink" => dricker. "eat" = äter. And so on.

    So, I'm at H&M with a new friend from work, and we're trying on clothes. She calls over from her stall, in English, "How is it going?" And I, having just put on the perfect red sweater, want to tell her that "It fits!" Which I then yell, in Swenglish...

    You can work out the rest. ;-p

  30. I only want to make a comment about the Swedish word "flodhäst" (river horse).

    I don't understand why this word is so funny?

    You Americans use exactly the same word for these animals.

    The word Hippopotamos is a borrowed word from the ancient Greek language.

    Hippos = horse.
    Potamos = river.
    Hippopotamos = river horse.
    The Swedish word flodhäst = hippopotamos = river horse.

    Condemnant qui non intelligent // The Foreigner.

  31. I am well aware of the linguistic background of the word. I would be amused if the word was literally translated into english and then used that way as well.

    also, I like the use of latin to prove our ignorance. classy.