Swedish Language Blog

Tag Archives: Swedish idioms

Swedish Idioms Round Two, Go to Hekla and Fox Sleep Posted by on Oct 29, 2020

Last week, I wrote about some common idioms that you’re bound to hear in every day Swedish. In doing research for that post, I discovered some rather obscure ones too. I’ll share some of those in this post as well as share the origin stories behind a couple of classic idioms. Nu kör vi! Let’s…

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10 Common Swedish Idioms – “Shrimp Sandwiches” and “Cows on the Ice” Posted by on Oct 22, 2020

Idioms are the best. They are playful phrases we use to describe a situation by metaphor or figure of speech. The literal translations don’t make sense and often leave non-native speakers scratching their heads – “Huh, what do they mean by saying it’s raining cats and dogs?” There are several of these sayings that sound…

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False Friends – How “ett kiss” in Swedish isn’t “a kiss” in English Posted by on May 13, 2020

Faux amies or false friends are tricky little things for language learners! Called “bilingual homophones” these are words that look or sound similar between two or more languages but differ significantly in meaning. So, you guessed it, while (ett) kiss is pronounced relatively the same in Swedish as it is in English, it’s not a…

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How to Do a Whole Poodle in Swedish Posted by on Mar 31, 2015

That title doesn’t make much sense, does it? That’s what happens sometimes with literal translations. But in Sweden, you’ll sometimes see headlines about someone who has gjort en hel pudel. In fact, just recently, after Sweden apologized (or didn’t apologize) to Saudi Arabia after the country chose not to renew an arms deal with…

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Tricky Swedish idioms Posted by on Oct 5, 2012

Idioms are probably one of the most difficult areas in learning a language, partly because most of these idiomatic expressions are not written down making them hard to find. But generally most people just expect speakers of the language to know them, and these are of course a huge reflection of a society and…

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Swedish Sayings on Twitter! Posted by on Mar 12, 2012

A little over a week ago, a trending hashtag on Twitter was #swedishsayings. It was an entertaining look at some of the different sayings in Swedish and their literal English translations. Since then, there has been a steady stream of different idioms that have been translated to English. And it entertains me to no end…

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There is a dog buried here somewhere Posted by on May 26, 2011

As said many times before; direct translations of idioms can cause major confusion and most definitely a few laughs. Do you remember the dog’s head?  Well, I tried another dog the other day.  The buried dog, this time. Det ligger en hund begraven här  = There is a dog buried here – is used when something isn’t…

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