As an expat in Sweden (although I do speak Swedish), I sometimes find it difficult not to laugh at some of the Swedish words that have the exact same spelling of English words, but mean something extremely different.
Amazingly enough, some of these words are so commonly used that you can almost hear or read them many times a day.
Here’s a list of 7 words that I think English speaking people shouldn’t be confused about when they come to Sweden. *
The “A” in Swedish is pronounced like “Ah” which means that this word “bad” is not the one that you’re familiar with, but is pronounced “b(ah)d”.
Apart from how it’s pronounced,
Bad (n) = Bathroom (or pool sometimes as you can see in the pic)
Bad (v) = Past tense of the verb “Ber” which means “Ask for/Pray”
Although it sounds almost the same in English and Swedish, the Swedish “barn” means “children”…
First things first. This one is pronounced as “Yeft” (the G sounds much like the Y in many Swedish words particularly when followed by a vowel).
Gift (or Yeft) interestingly has 2 meanings in Swedish which you can use your imagination to correlate.
Gift (adj) = Married
Gift (n) = Poison
Bra is one of the most commonly used words. You’ll hear it very often on daily basis and knowing what it means, you’re going to end up using it as well 🙂
Bra means “good”
It sounds almost the same and it refers to something that you can consider “nice”
Puss (n) = Kiss
Although replaced by “Puss”, “Kiss” still exists as a word in Swedish and has the exact same pronunciation as its English counterpart.
Sorry to disgust you, but…
Kiss (n) = Urine
So, yes… Be careful when you’re publicly repeating the word “Kiss”
To make things short,
Fart (n) = Speed
Add (In) before it “Infart” and you get the word “Entrance”
Add (ut) before it “Utfart” and you get the word “Exit”
The “u” is pronounced more or less like “ew”, so it doesn’t sound like the English word and it means something extremely different.
Slut (n) = End
One of the funniest situations is when you take the bus or train for the first time in Sweden and see this word “Slutstation” which means “Last station” 🙂
* There are many more words that I didn’t include because I thought it is inappropriate to include them here, but if you’re curious, you can Google “English words that mean something else in Swedish” and you’ll find more!