Tag Archives: Sweden

Lagom

Lagom

Outside of Sweden the word “lagom” seems to be trending this year. It takes over the Danish “hygge” and I expect to see books to be written on the subject. Or, wait; could really that much be squeezed out of the word lagom? To fill an entire book? Well, if hygge could …

Lagom is not trending in Sweden. It’s always around, always with us.

The urban legend has it that lagom derives from the Vikings; sharing the meal and the mead between themselves, using the same bowl. The words supposed to have been spoken were to not eat or drink more than that it would last “laget om” – the team around. Laget om then became lagom. Alas lagom means ”just the right amount, not too little not too much”. Lagom is a balance of things. Wether used for water temperature, amount of miles travelled during holiday, how much pick-and-mix candy the kids are allowed or how many guests are to be invited lagom is the answer.

A few examples in English and in Swedish:

Is it time to leave? Yes, it’s probably (the right) time. // Är det dags att gå? Ja, det är nog lagom.

Isn’t it too cold to swim? No, it’s just about right/perfect.// Är det inte för kallt för att bada? Nej, det är lagom varmt.

Does the blouse fit you (refering to size) Yes, it’s good! // Passar blusen? Ja, den är lagom!

Is it lots to do at work at the moment? No, it’s pretty ok/the right amount of work. // Är det mycket att göra på jobbet just nu? Nej, det är ganska lagom.

the Swedish Semla

Today is Fettisdagen. Let me decode that into National Day of the Semla. Now it´s all clear, right?

Semla is a sweet chubby wheat bun, cardamom laden, filled with golden almond paste and whipped cream. Originally semla was only eaten on Shrove Tuesday, as a last blissful treat before Lent. Today we know better and eat semlor (we need to go into plural here) all winter long. Fettisdagen has gone from being the only day to enjoy our precious pastry to the day you must enjoy at least one of them. Because as you all know we have fika (coffee break) at work. That means you are likely to down your first semla already by ten in the morning.

Semlor can be bought in every bakery, grocery store or gas station in Sweden. Sometimes you make your own.

If you make it past the photos below, find out how I make my Swedish fika treats; semlor recipe to follow; in English. If you want to practice your Swedish language I suggest you google “recept semla” and follow the instructions in Swedish.

recept semla
Semlor

There are ready made buns (albeit a bit flat) in the store, made just for semlor. Link if you don´t. 🙂
•Cut off the tops, scoop out the center of 8 buns, and put it in a food processor.
•Add 125g of almonds and 1 dl confectioners’ sugar and GO!
•Pour 1 dl heated milk into the mixture making it that special heavenly paste.
•Fill up the holes abundantly with the almond indulgence and top up with whipped cream.
•Put the lid back on and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Voilà!

If you use Us cups, add some almonds and use half of a cup of confectioners’ sugar and milk.

Happy baking!

Expressions in Swedish using the word “grön” (green)

grönt

Spring has arrived and the nature is practically exploding around us! Every possible shade and shape of green is offering its beauty. Rest your eyes and mind on dancing foliage; use your senses and memorize a new expression; expressions in Swedish using the word “grön” (green). Some of the phrases and idioms are used in several languages.

First I’ll give you two expressions that are often used in reference to nature, garden and outdoor life as well as healthy food:

grönt och skönt
grönt är skönt

grönt – here referencing the color green, vegetables or greenery

skön = nice, comfortable, fine, beautiful

 

Phrases and idioms:

Att komma på grön kvist = to end up in a financially good position. “De har minsann kommit på grön kvist.”

Att ge grönt ljus till någon = to give someone the green light (permission) “Jag gav honom grönt ljus”.

Att få grönt ljus = to receive a permission, “good to go”, to get a green light. “De fick båda grönt ljus av chefen.”

Att vara grön av avund = to be jealous. “Han blev grön av avund!”

gröna vågen = “green wave”;  the trend in the 70’s seeing young families leaving the cities moving out to the countryside in Sweden

att ha gröna fingrar = to be good at keeping plants and garden; to have green fingers; to have a green thumb. “Hon har verkligen gröna fingrar!”

Gräset är alltid grönare på andra sidan. = The grass is always greener … Other circumstances might appear more desirable than one’s own but in reality they are not.

 

Idas sommarvisa

“Idas sommarvisa”, or “Du ska inte tro det blir sommar” is a popular spring/summer song among school children in Sweden.  It is often seen as a non-religious alternative to hymns (even though there is a reference to “someone to take action” in the lyrics – which of course is free to interpretation). The song is widely used during the ceremony of the last day of school (skolavslutningen) before the summer break.

“Idas sommarvisa” was featured in the Emil movie from 1973.

Lyrics by Astrid Lindgren.

Learning about this tune and perhaps part of the song/a few new words is good practice not only for learning the Swedish language but also a for getting to know Swedish culture.

Listen via Youtube:

Listen via Spotify. Use the lyrics function in Spotify to see the words.

Glad påsk! Happy Easter! Free print in Swedish

A Happy Easter to all my customers, followers and friends! Let there be sunshine, food, company, love and lots of chocolate!

And a Happy weekend if you do not celebrate Easter.

As usual you can print this mini poster – put it in a small frame on the counter, or put it up on the refrigerator door to learn or keep Swedish vocabulary alive! Just right click on the picture. Share or leave a comment if the print made you happy!

Charlotta

miniposter Swedish vocabulary related to Easter
Glad påsk!

the Sami languages

The Sami languages conform a group of languages spoken in the Northern parts of Sweden (as well as in Northern parts of Norway, Finland and Russia). Sami is one of the official minority languages in Sweden.

“Joik” means song in Sami.

Take a moment to listen to Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s joik.

Note: 4 more minority languages are recognized in Sweden; Finnish, Romani, Yiddish and Miänkieli.

Swedish Dictionary App – svensk ordlista

If you are learning Swedish a Swedish dictionary app comes in handy.  I  suggest downloading the app  SAOL (svenska akademiens ordlista) to your device. The app is far more lighter to carry around in your pocket than the heavy IRL book. Promise.

SAOL will not always give you synonyms or explanations but spelling, inflection and declension, and the ever so important EN or ETT!

The good news – the app is a  free one. Gratis! (means “free”) Grattis! (means “congratulations”). Links at bottom of post.

If you know Swedish already you need SAOL too :). We can always learn more!

Svenska Akademiens Ordlista iTunes
Svenska Akademiens Ordlista Google Play

There is also the SO app (svenska akademiens ordbok). This is a thesaurus, providing meaning of a word, pronunciation by listening etc. Read more about it here.