Swedish Language Blog

Long and short vowel sounds: second part Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary

To continue explaining the confusing words that the Swedish language is filled with, why don’t we start with the two common words: “vila” and “villa”. “Vila” means to rest, and “villa” is a house.

“Det ska bli skönt att vila lite” (“It’s going to be nice to have a little rest”)

“Har du köpt en villa på landet?” (“Have you bought a house in the countryside?”)

“Visa” means to show and “vissa” means some.

“Ska jag visa vägen till tågstationen?” (“Should I show you the way to the train station?”)

“Vissa saker händer bara” (“Some things just happen”).

The next two words are very commonly mixed up by people just learning to speak Swedish. “Ful” means ugly and “full” means drunk. Do not mix up “full” and “mätt”. In English we say “I’m full” when we mean that I’ve had enough to eat. In Swedish if you say “Jag är full” it means I’m drunk. So instead of saying your drunk at the dinner table, if you want to convey how satisfied you are you say “Jag är mätt”.

“Hål” means a hole, whilst “håll” means you have a stitch in your side. But “håll” is a dialectal word only used in about half of Sweden. The other term for “håll” is “mjältugg”. If somebody doesn’t understand the first, just try the second. Good luck!

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