Languages change. There’s phonetic change and morphological change and lexical change. Sometimes they’re obvious and other times maybe a bit less so. But, for the most part, these changes do not mean that the language is dying or disappearing. You hear that a lot when people start wondering about the number of foreign words making their way into a language. Like English words in Swedish, for example.
There are a whole host of English loanwords that appear in Swedish. And that’s ok. Especially because the vast majority of people in Sweden are still speaking Swedish. Surprising, I know. Språkrådet, the organization that kind of watches over the Swedish language, even came out and reminded everyone that it’s ok to use some English words in Swedish and that it is not the downfall of Swedish. Loanwords come from all kinds of language. Swedish has loanwords from English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, and the list goes on.
Plus, from a language-learning standpoint, loanwords can be very helpful. They can often act as cognates, those helpful words that have a similar etymology and make them easy to recognize. Because I speak English, I’ve put together a short list of words that have been borrowed into Swedish. They appear somewhat regularly and can be very useful in everyday speech. While it may seem silly to put together a list of cognates, it can be helpful in adding them in to your working vocabulary.
I’ve included 20 verbs below and you’ll notice many of them are related to technology. Some of them are more common in the speech of younger Swedes, others you’ll hear from Swedes of all ages. Hopefully, they’re all helpful.
|twittra||to tweet on Twitter|
|printa ut||to print out something|
|facebooka||to use Facebook|
|logga in/ut||to log in/out|
|dumpa||to dump someone|
|chilla||to chill out|
In the comments below, please add some more of the loan words and cognates you’ve come across.