This is mainly intended for people who want to write fantasy stories or make videogames (many of them use Nordic, or butchered Nordic, names). The words below are good for place-names, but both plant and animal names are used in even modern-day person names as well, so you can be named “Eagle Birch’s-Leaf” for example.
This is language from the 1860’s and a bit earlier, from Värend and Småland (south of Sweden), so it’s spelled a bit differently from modern Swedish and gives it that old-timey feel. Source is here. I wrote this post ages ago (back when my Swedish was a lot worse) and don’t intend to fix it up for some time, but it’s still usable.
Here are some short things I translated or paraphrased from bits of early 1900’s newspapers, plus some misc. stuff about bootleggers in America. (EDIT 2015: These were translated sometime before 2013, so my language skills were a lot worse; be warned.)
From Oyggjarnar, 1899: (Faroese newspaper – loosely translated)
in icelandic and faroese the cases and genders still remain, and basically the first word of a compound has its ending changed to genitive etc. (and depending on the word’s gender) when put in a compound word. prepositions also decide which case the related words go into, so ex. till would govern genitive case, which often added an -s to the end of the word, as in “till havs – to sea” but directly translated is “to sea‘s“.
when i was newer to sweden/swedish i went to SFI (Swedish For Immigrants) and asked my teacher if they had a list of words that did this so i could just learn them since i already knew some icelandic and it was easier, and she didn’t know what i was talking about and i never got any sort of list. when i search online i don’ really find anything either. so i started making my own, hopefully this can eventually help other learners of swedish out.
Last update: 2014.11.30
Swedish words that don’t exist in English. Not “unique Swedish words”, as many or even all of these exist in other languages, but just ones that aren’t in English. Occasionally updated as I find more.
On this list are not words that English has taken from Swedish (ex. ombudsman, smörgåsbord), and not words that relate to things only done/available in Sweden (ex. äggost which is a type of food, skogsrå which is a mythical lady in the forest who is part fox or something).
Since some nouns have verbforms and vice versa those repeats haven’t been added either. I tried to limit them to compounds with only two words, and while there exist a lot more slang words that don’t exist in English, I’m only adding slang words that are so common you can see them on advertisements and they’re in the Swedish-English dictionary etc.
OBS! Dålig svenska. Receptet kommer från “Alþýðublaðið Sunnudagsblað – 4. juni 1939”, en isländsk tidning.
/ This recipe comes from “Alþýðublaðið Sunnudagsblað – 4th June 1939”, an Icelandic newspaper.