Swedish Language Blog

For the love of sport. Posted by on Feb 19, 2010 in Culture, Vocabulary

First of all: Screw Jante! My god, alpine skier Anja Pärsson! What a performance! What a talent! What an achievement! To fly 60 meters and crash in a horrid way, stand up, walk away with a stiff leg and come back next day and score a bronze medal… I’m speechless. Go Sweden! Heja Sverige!

Anyone who’s missed the fact that Vancouver is the place to be at the moment? Well done if you have, even though you – in my opinion – are missing out on some brilliant entertainment. And by entertainment I don’t necessarily mean who wins what and on what time. No, Olympic Games are always packed with drama, tears, laughter, unexpected winners, amazing athletes, fun outfits… and some bizarre disciplinces. Think about it. Throw yourself down an icy slide, head first? Throw yourself down an icy slide, with another person on top of you? Ski a minor marathon with a rifle on your back? Come back the next day and ski another minor marathon with a rifle on your back, but while hunting the other competitors? Hmm. Hunting, rifle, last man standing… Is it only me who gets weird battlefield associations? And, what could possibly come next? Slalom with a gun? Gang luge? Downhill Biathlon? Any thoughts on new exciting disciplines?

This is my first winter Olympic in UK and boy have I struggled with the Olympic vocabulary. Until the other day I was convinced that Biathlon was called “Skishooting” since the Swedish word is “Skidskytte”. And Skeleton, isn’t that something you have inside your body?
Therefore, here are some useful words to impress people with this upcoming week of Winter Olympics:

Olympic Games = Olympiska Spelen (OS)
Race = lopp
Final = final
Gold medal = guldmedalj
Silver medal = silvermedalj
Bronze medal = bronsmedaj
Goal = mål
Winner = vinnare
Looser = förlorare
Competitors = deltagare
Dicipline = gren
Doping = dopning
Judge = domare
Cross fingers = Hålla tummen (Literally means Hold your thumb)
Luge = rodel
Biathlon = skidskytte
Ski jump = backhoppning
Figure skating = konståkning
Cross Country Skiing = längdskidor
Go Sweden! = Heja Sverige!
Congratulations to the gold medal! = Grattis till guldmedaljen!
Sweden has more medals than Norway = Sverige har fler medaljer än Norge

Oh, I also must mention the brilliant Swedish word “Curlingförälder”, meaning “Curling parent”. Can you guess what a curling parent does? Correct! Curling parents cleans and sweeps away all obstacals and problems in front of their kids. Great word, isn’t it?

Anyway, time to stop babble and to start hålla tummen for Charlotte Kalla. Bring on cross country skiing!

At last, I must clarify that that the unbelievable tragedy with the Georgian luge slider is of course not what I mean when I talk about “drama and tears”. It was a horrific start to the games and has affected every bit of it.

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  1. Luke (Sydney):

    Just wondering how to do hålla tummen properly, is it just hiding the entire thumb with the other fingers (of the same hand)? I can think of just about three different ways of doing it. Can’t be too careful with finger gestures.

  2. Anna:

    Yes – that excactly how to do it – but you always “håller tummarna” – meaning both of them.

  3. Jennie:

    Luke: Yup, exactly! Just fold it in!

    Anna – don’t you know that it’s considered bad
    luck instead of luck if you hold both the thumbs?? No, one thumb is the way forward!
    It’s a shame you haven’t figured it out until now 🙂