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“What is this?” in Swedish Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Grammar, Swedish Language

So, after looking at the feedback some of you guys sent in many of you were interested in becoming more able to have everyday conversations. I thought, since I don’t really have a good idea of what level you all are at, I start somewhere in the really basic area and work towards more complex things as we go along.

The most important phrase ever probably is “What is this in Swedish?”

Vad är det här på svenska?

This phrase is used when for example pointing at something close to you. Det här means this. You can of course substitute “det här” for “det där” (that) or “det därborta” (that over there).

Swedish English equivalent
det här

det där

det där därborta

 this

that

that over there

Vad är ______ på svenska?

In the blank you just put in the English word you don’t know in Swedish.

Vad heter _____ på svenska?

Vad kallas ________ på svenska?

The same thing applies for heter and kallas. Heter literally means “named” and kallas is not too far off from the English “is called”.

If you know how to ask about the translation one way you should be able to ask what a unknown word’s meaning is the other way around.

Vad betyder _______ på engelska?

What does ________ (the word you didn’t understand) mean in English?

Vad heter _____ på engelska? Yet again, the same thing.

Vad kallas ______ på engelska? What is ______ called in English?

Vad är _______ på engelska? What is ________ in English?

If you want to know what the word means in a language other than English here are the names for some of the languages most commonly spoken in Sweden.

Note:  in English we say “in” English and use a capital letter for the language. In Swedish they do not use capitals for languages and they say “ engelska“. Literally translated as “on English”.

Swedish English equivalent
franska

tyska

spanska

arabiska

finska

danska

norska

kinesiska

ryska

japanska

engelska

svenska

French

German

Spanish

Arabic

Finish

Danish

Norwegian

Chinese

Russian

Japanese

English

Swedish

The words you put in the blanks can be very advanced or extremely simple.

Heres and example of a very simple word put into a conversation. Person A first asks what the word is in Swedish and then checks that they pronounced it correctly.

Person A) “Vad heter apple på svenska?”

Person B) “Det heter äpple”.

Person A) “Äppel?”

Person B) “Nej, äpp-le.”

Person A) “Äpple?”

Person B) “Ja, precis så”

Person A) “Tack”

Swedish English equivalent
ja, precis så

 

yes, just like that

 

 

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Comments:

  1. Mark:

    Great lesson. Tack!

  2. MichiganLady:

    Yes, nice lesson.