Swedish Language Blog

Phrases to use when meeting a Swede abroad Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary

Have you ever had that feeling that you want to try to speak with somebody that you are almost sure is a Swede? For example; you are out shopping and you hear what you are certain to be Swedish, since you spend so much of your free time learning Swedish it would be cool to try speaking to the person in question and try out a little of what you have learned. All of a sudden you wonder what you are actually going to say to the person, you don’t want to be a nuisance but then again the person might actually appreciate the fact that you have approached them. They have no way of knowing that you are a Swedish speaker undercover (or at least becoming one). So why not use the phrases given to you here and try making a new acquaintance, for all you know you might get along really well, or have lots in common.

The phrases below are there for you to have some sort of conversation starter to have ready up your sleeve. Good luck!

Svenska English Comment
Ursäkta, är du från Sverige? Excuse me, are you from Sweden?  
Pratar du svenska? Do you speak Swedish?  
Var ifrån Sverige är du från? Whereabouts in Sweden are you from?  
Vad gör du i _(name of place you meet them)_ ? What are you doing in _(name of the place you meet them)_ ?  
Varför jobbar/studerar/är du utbytesstudent i __(name of place you meet them)_ ? Why are you working/studying/an exchangestudent in ­__(name of place you meet them)_ ?  
Saknar du din familj i Sverige? Do you miss your family in Sweden?  
Kommer det folk och hälsar på dig från Sverige? Do people come and visit you from Sweden?  
Jag har bott i _(name of place you have lived in in Sweden)_. I have lived in __(name of place you have lived in in Sweden)_.  
Jag har varit i __(name of place you have been to in Sweden)_. I have been to ­__(name of place you have been to in Sweden)_.  
Jag kommer från _(country where you are from)_. I am from _(country where you are from)_.  
Jag kan prata mycket/lite/sisådär/bra/dålig Svenska. I can speak a lot of/just a little/a bit (so-so)/good/bad Swedish.  
Jag kan inte prata Svenska. I don’t speak Swedish.  
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  1. Massimo:

    It’s a very useful handbook, but phrases pronunciation is missing.

    Massimo Sposaro

  2. Gabriella:

    very nice! thank you.

    …I have said, “Är ni svensk?” only to find they were Swedish-American like me. But I still heard a great story about visiting Sweden.