Saying “hello” in Swedish Posted by Katja on Aug 4, 2012 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary
There are tons of ways of saying “hi” in Swedish. Some are for more formal situations but in general most of them are used just for friends or acquaintances. This blog post will gather as many ways of saying hello to somebody as possible into one place for you and try to give you an idea of when to use them. Most of these words however just mean the same thing meaning that it is up to you to choose and use the ones you like.
|Svenska||English||Example sentence||English translation of example||Comments|
|tja||yo||Tja, läget?||Yo, what’s up?||informal|
|tjena||hey / hi||Tjena, vad görs?||Hey, what’cha do’in?||informal|
|tjaba||hey / hi||Tjaba, allt bra?||Hey, how ‘ya do’in?||informal|
|tjenamårs||hey / hi||Tjenamårs tjenamårs!||Hiya||informal, sort of a happy greating|
|tjenare||hey / hi||Tjenare snygging!||Hiya handsome!||informal|
|tjohej||hey / hi||Tjohej nu drar vi igång.||Alright, let’s get started!||informal|
|tjoho||hey / hi||Tjoho, är det någon hemma?||Hello, anybody at home?||informal|
|hejhej||hello||Hejhej, länge sedan sist!||Hi, long time no see!||informal|
|hejsan||hello||Hejsan, mitt namn är Lasse.||Hello, my name is Lasse.||informal|
|hallå||hello||Hallå? Är det någon här?||Hello? Anybody there?||informal|
|halloj||hello||Halloj halloj! Roligt att ses!||Hey there, nice meeting you.||informal|
|morsning||hey there||Morsning!||Hey there.||informal|
|goddag||good day||Goddag i stugan.||Hello (to people sitting in a cottage)||formal, but was used as informal a long time ago. When people still lived in cottages.|
|goddagens||good afternoon||Goddagens!||Good day to you.||formal, but sounds a little more happy or friendly that goddag.|
|godkväll||good evening||Godkväll gott folk.||Good evening ladies and gentlemen.||formal|
|godafton||good evening||Godafton! Vilken fin kväll.||Good evening, what a nice evening tonight.||formal|
|godnatt||good night||Godnatt, sov gott!||Good night, sleep tight.||both informal and formal|
|hej du||hey there||Hej du! Vilken fin tröja du har på dig i idag.||Hi there, what a nice shirt you’re wearing today.||informal|
In Swedish if you say something twice then you sound happier. So there is actually no difference between “hej” and “hejhej” apart from “hejhej” sounding happier. The same thing for “tjenamosh”.
Now go out the and bombard people with you “tjenare” and “hej du”s.
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Actually “tjenamosh” was spelled “tjenamårs” back in the 50s. Meant “tjenare, hur mår du”. Maybe the spelling has changed since then……
@Ulf Kahlstrom Thank you, I think it still is, but it’s at more common to say it than to write it. My bad. Was it the “big” thing to say back then?
This was very helpful! I’ve only learned a handful of ways to say hi (mostly just hej and goddag) so it’s good to learn some informal greetings too. Thank you!
This was fun! I think you may have mixed in some local (Stockholm?) dialect words though. I live on the West Coast and I don’t hear “tjaba”, “tjenamårs” or “tjenare” very often and then – I think – only as a joke. I was told – 20+ years ago – that “tjenare” (which means literally “your servant”) was VERY old fashioned, but I suppose it could have come back in.
“Tjoho” and “tjohej” also sound dated. (And saying “tjoho tjohej” sounds to me like something out of a pilsner film from the 1930s!)
I remember when *Friends* was first shown on Swedish TV, how very happy Swedes got when they heard Americans saying “hej!” instead of “hi!” to one another. Evidence that Swedish *matters* in the world. 🙂
I think “godnatt” is not a greeting, but a way of saying farewell.
Och … hej då!
Hey, im a native swede and one of those is quite.. unused (atleast where i live, lol)…
Sounds… unnatural, feels like “HEY! YES, YOU! YOU FORGOT TO PAY!”
“Hey, you. do you want to go to the cinema?”