Toilet phrases in Swedish

Posted on 07. Nov, 2012 by in Culture, Living in Sweden, Swedish Language, Travel

This post will not be about how to say so many rude things as possible even though rude words seem to be some of the first people learn in a new language. The aim of this post is to give you phrases you can use when looking for a bathroom or you need to excuse yourself from an engagement to pay a visit to the ladies/mens room. Everybody has been in the situation where you really need to go, desperately needing to find a toilet quickly. That is why these phrases might help you reach your destination a little bit more quickly.

 

You might have heard, if you are a speaker of the English language, many Swedes say “Can I borrow your toilet?”. Did you also think on reflection “Are you going to give it back?”. It isn’t strange however that Swedes often make this mistake because in Swedish the most common phrase to use is:

Kan jag få låna toaletten? 

The main verb used being “borrow”.

Ursäkta, var finns toaletten?                          (Excuse me, where is the toilet?) 

It is not uncommon to say, “may I use the bathroom?” using “bathroom” instead of “toilet” to be more polite in English. In Swedish this is however not so good. We just don’t say “badrummet” instead of “toilet”, but this does not make you rude, even though it might feel that way in the beginning. So just remember not to use the two phrases below.

Kan jag låna badrummet? 

Var finns badrummet?

After having asked where the bathroom is you often want to thank the person. Here come some phrases of thanks to help you. They all mean just about the same thing.

Tack så mycket!

Tusen tack!

Tack tack! 

Tack så jättemycket! 

There are also a couple of different words, synonyms for “toilet” which can be very useful to know. In everyday conversations you might hear the word “toalett” be substituted by; muggen, toa, dass. 

One final pointer about public toilets in Sweden is that you have to pay to use them, so a piece of advice is to keep some loose change on you whenever you go out and see the city. You usually have to pay about 10 Swedish crowns but consequently they are clean and in good shape. To avoid paying many people started using the public toilets in fast food restaurants, so it is not uncommon to have to pay to use the bathroom at places like McDonald’s or Frasse.

 

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2 Responses to “Toilet phrases in Swedish”

  1. Gül Öztürk 7 November 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Tack så mycket Katja! How nice lesson this is! Your way to explain the things is so clear and I really enjoyed learning also the words in daily language. It would be great if you could teach us some more related vocabulary like “to go the toilet” and some derived words, too. Jag hoppas att du har tid för att skriva mera. Tack igen för allt!

  2. Katja 7 November 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I’m very glad you like it, I will definitively try to get some more toilet vocab in for you! :)


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