Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs? Well in most cases, “No, I can’t read the sign”. And there are signs everywhere here and while some have pictures that you can decipher there are plenty that I just guess or normally ignore and hope not to have to use the “ignorant foreigner” excuse later. Here are some good “sign” words that we do know:
fart = speed
farthinder = speed bump
ingång/infart – entrance
utgång/utfart = exit
förbjuden = forbidden; a good word to know in the local language when travelling
tillåten = permitted/allowed
vänster = left
höger = right
framåt = ahead
bakom = behind
We’ve spend a decent amount of time food shopping so the food vocabulary is getting better. Here are some food words:
bullar = buns, so we can have kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) or köttbullar (meat balls); balls, buns what’s the difference? well in English…
kött = meat and nötkött is beef … so is or isn’t beef a meat…
fullkorn = whole wheat; kind of makes sense
sås – sauce; they compound-word this one a lot to make all sorts of sauces like chilisås, pastasås, tomatsås, ostsås (cheese sauce), etc.
knäckbröd – crispy bread that they have fifty brands of here as a delivery device for matjessill (pickled herring) and other delicacies. Bröd by itself is regular bread
poäng – you thought you knew this one – those ugly IKEA chairs. No it means “points” – not sure how the chair got its name.
jämförpris – the per unit measure price used for comparing prices of different sized items. By law most things you see in stores have this price along with the item price.
Nytt lägre pris – the ever popular “new lower price” unless of course you bought the item at the “gammal högre pris” last week.
I have a few more favorite words
Häsla hem means “greetings/regards to those at your home”. Swedes express this sentiment enough that it made sense to have a brief greeting than “tell your mom and dad and sisters I said hi and wish them well”.
Grattis is an all-purpose festive greeting, congratulations and happy and merry all rolled into one. You can use this at almost any occasion: births, engagements, graduation, anniversary, mother’s day, and birthdays. If you want to get fancy, for birthdays you could also say Har den äran.
So… Grattis och har den äran, sister Bridget. I know you like words so I hope you have enjoyed these posts, just for you! 🙂