Swedish Language Blog

Hot Topic: Mellandagsrea and Corona Posted by on Dec 29, 2020 in Culture, Living in Sweden

Göra Assner

“Haga in Göteborg.” Photo: Göra Assner/Image Bank Sweden

Welcome to “the between days!”
Mellandagarna refers to the days between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Children are home on school break, employees enjoy some much needed respite, and Swedish retailers offer end of the year sales. In a typical year, the streets are bustling with shoppers taking advantage of sales. This week, we’ll learn how Coronavirus is impacting retail with a short article.

Mellandagsrea is a hot topic this year. Literally, it translate to “the between days sale,” but let’s call it the “after Christmas sale.” Coronavirus has the Swedish Health Authority (Folkhälsomyndigheten) advising against after Christmas specials this year. They point out that the typical doorbuster sales send surges of people to popular shopping streets, an event that this year would only encourage the spread of the Coronavirus.

But organizations like Svensk Handel (The Swedish Trade Federation) argue that these sales simply must happen. With many retailers falling behind revenue goals from early in the year, advocates say stores must clear their inventories during mellandagsrea to stay afloat. Next, we’ll look at a news article på lättläst svenska (in easy-to-read Swedish) to uncover more details on both sides of this argument. 

De ställer inte in rean  “They are not cancelling the sale.”

Below this 8sidor.se article is a word list, organized by Swedish verbs, nouns, and adjectives. 8sidor is a news site that serves A2-B1 students best. Intermediate folks – read the article without looking at the vocab list, highlight the words you don’t know and try to define them based on context. Beginning learners, scroll down to the vocab list, and spend a few minutes studying the words and example sentences. Once you’ve learned a few new key terms, read the article!

De ställer inte in rean
8sidor.se   26 december 2020

I dag börjar många butiker med extra låga priser på saker.

Det är rea.

Folkhälsomyndigheten vill inte att butikerna har rea i mellandagarna i år.

– Locka inte med låga priser i butikerna i år,

säger Johan Carlson.

Han är expert på Folkhälsomyndigheten.

Låga priser i butiker brukar göra att många går ut och handlar.

Då finns risk att det blir trångt.

Då kan viruset corona spridas lättare.

Men organisationen Svensk Handel säger att butikerna måste ha rea i år med.

– Har man inte fått sälja tillräckligt tidigare under hösten behöver man bli av med

sina varor.
Det är det mellandagsrean handlar om, att rensa lagren, säger Karin Johansson

som är chef på Svensk Handel.

Hon säger att rådet borde vara att inte trängas.

8 Sidor/TT

ställer in                        to cancel

att locka                        to tempt or lure
     Locka inte med låga priser i butikerna i år.
     Don’t tempt (shoppers) with low prices in stores this year.

går ut och handlar      go out and shop
     Många brukar gå ut och handlar på mellandagarna.
     Many usually go out and shop between Christmas and New Year’s.

att bli av med                to get rid of
     Man behöver bli av med sina varor.
     One needs to get rid of their products.

att inte trängas             to not crowd
Rådet borde vara att inte trängas.
     The advice should be not to pack the stores.

en rea                              a sale / a sales event

en butik                           a shop
     butiken → butiker → butikerna

en vara                           a product / a good
     varan → varor → varorna

ett lager                          a supply / a warehouse
     lagret → lager → lagren

extra låga priser          extra low prices

trångt                             crowded
     Det blir trångt
     It will get crowded.

tillräckligt                     enough
     Många har inte sålt tillräckligt under hösten.
     Many have not sold enough during the fall.

So what did they decide? Shops are not ordered to close in Sweden. However, many more retailers are turning to their web stores for help clearing their inventories and  allowing for a safer shopping experience for customers.

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.


  1. Mark Beckstrom:

    Tack så mycket!