Swedish Language Blog

Latest News from Afghanistan in Swedish Posted by on Aug 20, 2021 in Culture, History, News, Politics

Image by David Mark from Pixabay. “Afghanistan town city people.”

It’s been a turbulent week for Afghans at home and abroad. With the U.S. and allied forces withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Taliban immediately and swiftly taking control, the headlines are intense. Evacuations of Afghans and foreign nationals are difficult, the democracy has collapsed, and the rights of women and girls hang in the balance. And these are only some of the uncertainties and stressors to process as the situation in Afghanistan unfolds. So how are the Swedes reporting on the latest with Afghanistan? We’ll look at some headlines and cover common verbs and nouns to help you discuss this news in Swedish.

Länder och geografi – Countries and Geography

Afghanistan’s country name is the same in Swedish and English. Iran, as well as the other neighboring -stan countries all share the same name in English, too. The Middle East region is called Mellanöstern.

Below an article from Göteborgs-Posten describe the immediate future of some Afghani migrants and the need for humanitarian help. You’ll also see a video from Swedish Utrikesminister (Minister of Foreign Affairs) Ann Linde with the latest updates on the evacuation of Swedish government workers and citizens from Afghanistan.  

Screenshot: Göteborgs-Posten, 16:48 – 17 aug, 2021.

Afghanistan i substantiv – Afghanistan in Nouns

The Taliban is a collective noun in English. In Swedish, this group is referred to in the plural bestämd form talibanerna. Below is a list of additional nouns common in Swedish headlines right now:

en afghan → afghaner
an Afghan → Afghans

en migrant → migranter
a migrant  → migrants

en trupp → trupper
a troop → troops

(ett) kaos → kaoset
chaos → the chaos

ett gränsland → grannländer*
a border country → neighboring countries

*notice the switch from
gräns (border) to the root grann- (neighbor) in the plural form of this noun.

(en) makt → makten
power → the power

en huvudstad → huvudstaden
a capital city → the capital city

A great place to focus on more nouns is 8sidor.se Their articles are chock-full of great vocabulary. Like this article below:

Screenshot: 8sidor.se, “Talibanerna har tagit makten.” 16 August 2021.

Verb i rubrikerna – Verbs in the Headlines

Below are a few verbs featured in svenska rubriker (Swedish headlines). I’ve specifically chosen the irregular verbs to conjugate, no group 1 verbs here. 😉

att fly       to flee
flyr flydde → har flytt

Screenschot: Aftonbladet, “Här flyr de undan talibanerna.” August 18, 2021.

att förbereda sig     to prepare (oneself)
förbereder → förberedde sig →  har förberett sig

Screenshot: Dagens nyheter. “Ylva Johansson uppmanar EU-länderna att ta emot fler flyktingar.” 18 August 2021.

att förtrycka     to opress
förtrycker → förtryckte →  har förtryckt

Screenshot: Aftonbladet
“Afghanistans kvinnor förtrycks när talibanerna tar över.” 18 August 2021.

Mer om Afghanistan via SAK – More about Afghanistan via SAK

Svenska Afghanistankommitén’s mission is För ett Afghanistan fritt från fattigdom, våld och diskriminering / For an Afghanistan free from poverty, violence and discrimination. Representatives from their organization have been weighing in on the latest news, providing a lot of great context for what is happening right now, and why. But they’ve been working on Swedish-Afghani initiatives since 1980. The group was originally founded as a reaction to Sovjetunionens (the Soviet Union’s) invasion of Afghanistan. A lot of their work involves educating Swedes on Afghanistan to better involve citizens in the Afghani narrative and Sweden’s foreign policy there. The intro from their page Lär känna Afghanistan (Get to Know Afghanistan) is as follows:

Afghanistan och Sverige skiljer sig en del, men vi är också ganska lika. Till exempel älskar vi båda potatis, Idol och koriander. Eller, alla kanske inte gillar just koriander. Här på sidorna “Lär känna Afghanistan” kan du i alla fall lära känna landet och människorna lite bättre.

Found any good Swedish news articles on the latest in Afghanistan? Post them below for your fellow readers to enjoy! 👇

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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.