In this article you’ll learn some Swedish phrases that can be good to know when visiting Sweden. We will also explain, or at least try to explain, how to pronounce the words. But you don’t have to worry, it is not necessary to speak Swedish in Sweden since almost everyone here are fluent in English.

Greetings!

Hej – it means “Hello”. It is pronounced like “hey” and it sounds similar to what the horse says: heeey. 

Tjena – is also a word for “hello”. It is pronounced “chena”. 

Hej då – means "goodbye". You already know how to say “hej”, and "då" isn’t that hard, it is pronounced: “doh”.

Some phrases about you.

Jag talar inte svenska – translates to ”I do not speak Swedish”. Even if we hope that you’ll learn some Swedish with these articles, this is still a good phrase to know. “Jaaag tah-lah-r inte sven-ska” is sort of how you say it. 

Jag förstår inte – means ”I do not understand”, which can be used in many different situations. You pronounce it like “Jaaag fur-stoh-r inte.” 

Jag heter… – “My name is…”. There is a special Swedish verb for that something is named something and that is “att heta” (to be named), do you follow? Anyways, it’s pronounced “Jaaag heh-ter…”. 

“Ur-sch-ekta may.”

Polite phrases.

Tack – Swedish for “Thanks.” Pronounced like ”Tak.” Tak, however, is Swedish for roof and ceiling and is pronounced with a longer “a”-sound, like “taaak”. 

Tack så mycket – maybe you can figure it out? It means “thank you very much”. And “Tak so mi-ket” is the way you say it. 

Ursäkta mig – simply means ”excuse me”. The first word could look a bit scary, but we’ll walk you through the pronunciation: “Ur-sch-ekta may.”

Prosit – that’s what Swedes say when somebody sneezes, but is actually not as far from the English version “bless you” as you might think. Prosit comes from latin and means something like “hope it does you good.” It is pronounced “pro-sit”.  

Asking and answering: “how are you?”

Hur mår du? – “How are you?”. “Hur” directly translates into “how” and “du” is Swedish for “you”, but “mår” is how you’re feeling, both physically and mentally. So in some ways it is a deeper question than “How are you?” which in some cultures is used like a greeting. Anyways, it is pronounced sort of “hur more (‘more’ with an American accent) du?”

Jag mår bra/dåligt – translates to ”I feel good/bad” so it is the answer to the previous question. You pronounce it like “Jaaag more bra”. “I feel bad” is pronounced like “Jaaag more doh-ligt”.  You can also answer the question with “sådär” (soh-der) and shrug, which means “so so…”, so not that good but not that bad. 

“Kan ve be-taah-la?” 

More phrases…

Var ligger…? – Swedish for ”Where is…?”, but directly translates to “where lays…”. You pronounce it like “Vaaar lig-er…?”. 

Kan vi betala?  – ”Can we pay?”, a good phrase to know when visiting a restaurant. You say it like “Kan ve be-taah-la?”.

Next lesson...

Now that you know some basic Swedish phrases, we will move on to study some sounds in the Swedish language, like the special letters "Å", "Ä" and "Ö". 

“Hey doh!”

Note: these articles are supposed to be entertaining and give you a sense of the Swedish culture through our language. If you are serious about learning Swedish you should turn to educational institutions which provide classes in Swedish.