Nine untranslatable Swedish words - caught on film
Published: 9 May 12 14.14 CET
The Local put together a list of nine unusual Swedish words that simply don’t exist in English. We even asked a bunch of Swedes to make sure - and filmed their responses…
The debate about whether Swedish is a rich or poor language could continue long into a sun-kissed Stockholm afternoon, depending on who you ask. But just for today, let’s all agree that it’s certainly got some nuggets of gold that we’re missing in English.
Here at The Local, we’ve already covered ten common Swedish words that are sorely missing from English, but what about the less common words, and the downright obscure words?
Click here for a gallery of the top 9 unusual Swedish words you won’t find in English
For example, what do we call someone who simply will not enter the water, regardless of its temperature?
We’ve gathered nine off-the-wall Swedish words here in a gallery with a description of what they mean. Not one exists as a single word English - they are...untranslatable.
Armed with this knowledge, we (rather cheekily) sent The Local’s Oliver Gee out on the streets of Uppsala, eastern Sweden, to challenge regular Swedes into doing the impossible – translating the untranslatable.
And yes, Swedes are brilliant at English, but clearly no one is perfect…
We suggest familiarizing yourself with the words first before watching the video.
Oh and one more thing: “lagom” and “fika” do not get a mention. This was intentional.
Follow Oliver on Twitter here
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