Swedish Language Blog

Helpful Swedish Phrases Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Living in Sweden, Swedish Language

We try to give you a basic understanding of Swedish here at Transparent Language. We mix vocab in with grammar in with culture in with news. It’s always a challenge trying to make sure that these posts have a little bit for everyone. And we realize that that is nearly impossible. Some of you have been studying Swedish for years and come here to just clean up a few of those nagging little questions. Some of you just started learning Swedish recently and are trying to absorb as much as possible. And some of you have no interest in the language at all and come here to just check in on Swedish culture.

With all that in mind though, I thought it might be useful to offer up a few common phrases in Swedish that could be helpful if you find yourself in Sweden or just speaking with a Swede. It’s a great way to show off your linguistic chops and start a conversation. Even if you have to switch to English a little bit.

Keep in mind, this will not include every useful phrase, and some of you might not agree with my definition of useful. That’s ok. In fact, I prefer it that way. All I ask then is that you add your useful phrase in the comments section below! Also, please note that I have not given literal translations, but instead focused on the colloquial meaning of these phrases. Good luck!

Hej. Hello.
Tjena. Hey.
Jag heter ________. My name is ________.
Mitt namn är ________. My name is ________.
Vad heter du? What is your name?
Hur är läget? How’s it going?
Läget? How’s it going? (Slangy)
Hur går det? How’s it going?
Hur mår du? How are you feeling?
Var kommer du ifrån? Where do you come from?
Ja, tack. Yes, please.
Nej, tack. No, thank you.
Tack Thanks.
Tack så mycket. Thank you so much.
Det var så lite. No problem.
Varsågod. You’re welcome.
Hur mycket kostar ________? How much does ________ cost?
Jag behöver en biljett till ________. I need a ticket to ________.
Var ligger ________? Where is the ________?
Var är toaletten? Where is the toilet?
Var är toan? Where is the toilet? (Slangy)
Är du hungrig? Are you hungry?
Jag är hungrig. I am hungry.
Är du törstig? Are you thirsty?
Jag är törstig. I am thirsty.
Ska vi ta en öl? Should we grab a beer?
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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.