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

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.


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

Happy baking!


Välkommen februari; but please stay away vabruari

February in Sweden is a month of both pleasure and pain – pleasure as in winter break (Sportlov) with possible skiing, and pain as in the month when kids apparently get sick the most – it is the peak month of parents staying at home from work to care for sick children.

The winter break is known as Sportlov, and occurs from week 7 to week 12 depending on where in Sweden you live. If the Sportlov is in February we also call it Februarilov. Week numbers? What?

Ok; back to the topic of February. Recall the sick children?

When parents take leave of absence from work to care for a sick child it is called

“Vård av sjukt barn.” = care of sick child in Swedish.

An abbreviation hereof is VAB (Vård Av sjukt Barn)

In everyday Swedish language these words have become a verb; “att vabba” = to “vabba”

“Jag måste vabba idag” means that I have to take leave of absence to care for my sick kid; well, you get the picture; we need a shorter way of saying it since a sick child leaves little room for long talks.

Remember the word februari (=the month of February) from the text above? Put together what you have learnt from the info above and you will understand why we sometimes jokingly refer to it as “vabruari”. Even if it is no joke.

And yes, I posted a photo of my tulips instead of a sick child.

Mer jul

Mer jul // More Christmas …

… is the title of this months featured music.

Written and performed by Adolphson & Falk  it is  a self-ironic ode to Swedish Christmas and yes; Kalle Anka is in it. It made it to the charts in 1984 and are still in the top when it comes to Christmas music.

Swedish Christmas vocabulary

Christmas time is here. Again! Whether you celebrate the tradition of Christmas or not you might be interested in picking up a word or two in Swedish, related to the season.

I made and shared this poster on Swedish Christmas last year and have been asked to post it again. After all; it’s Christmas every year. 😉
This poster is free to print (you would make me happy though if you shared it or left a comment) – put it up somewhere where you make sure you lay your eyes on the words at least daily. Don’t forget to use the words!

Simply right click on the poster to print it.


Swedish christmas words
Svenska julord


You have probably heard of Lucia; the Queen of Light who brightens the dark morning of December 13 in Sweden.

In short the tradition consists of a procession ( ett luciatåg) with a Lucia up front, followed by handmaidens (tärnor), star boys (stjärngossar), brownies and elves (pepparkaksgubbar och tomtenissar). All but the brownies and elves wear white gowns. Lucia wears a light crown/wreath whereas the handmaidens each carry a candle. Lights can be battery operated; more likely the younger the children in the procession.

Lucia in Sweden
ett luciatåg

There is beautiful singing. Either it really is, or you are a parent. These Lucia processions can be enjoyed at every preschool and school, and sometimes even at workplaces. Most towns have an official procession visiting hospitals and elderly, malls and libraries. There is also a national broadcast. You can find the Lucia concert broadcast on SVT. Search for Luciamorgon.

Want to know more? Watch Lucia for Dummies.

Swedish Lucia For Dummies from Sweden on Vimeo.

Svenska #decemberverb

Välkommen till en december-utmaning! Welcome to the December challenge! Here is a list of #decemberverb; one verb  for each day of the month of December. Your challenge is to learn the verb by somehow illustrating (in a broader sense), acting or demonstrating its meaning. This will help your brain to acquire the new word and to remember it. For instance you can take a selfie showing the meaning of the word slappa/pyssla/slå in.

This is meant as a challenge for you personally; trying another angle of learning. If you want to, please feel free to share some results via e-mail, website or social media, using #decemberverb and @globatris If you forgot to click above to get the list, here is another chance #decemberverb

list of challenge #decemberverb

Learn Swedish Free Printable Fall


Learn Swedish free printable fall

Free printable – Learn Swedish Free Printable Fall

I love the fall and the colors of this vibrant season. Last fall it inspired me to make this printable design of Swedish words connected with fall in Sweden. I decided to repost it this year. Print and frame, or pin it somewhere. Pretty to look at and if you are learning Swedish you are killing two birds with one stone (“att slå två flugor i en smäll”)! Just click on the picture above, right click and select print and learn new vocabulary in a different way.

It is free for you to print however it would make me happy if you posted a comment and/or paid a visit to Globatris on facebook and liked it. You can also tweet the link super duper handy here.


höst = fall
löv = leaf or leaves
varma jackor = warm jackets
äpplen = apples
handskar = gloves
höstlov = fall break
blåbär = blueberries
november = December – just kidding; November of course 🙂
familj & vänner = family & friends
skördetider = harvest times
promenader = walks
en god bok = a good book
skogen = the forrest
färger = colors
lingon = lingonberries
Allahelgona = All saints
svamp = mushroom

Trevlig höst!

Höstsånger – fall songs in Swedish

Höstsånger kan vara ett sätt att lära sig svenska. Tänd ett ljus, kryp upp i soffan och lyssna och mys. Försök förstå orden och sjung med i refrängerna! Du hittar en lista med förslag på höstsånger längre ned i inlägget.

“Höst” in Swedish means fall, or autumn. Fall is entering late this year. Some years it is even winter by now also in the southern parts of Sweden. This year however it is still meteorological summer in the south of Sweden.

However November is here, and so is the rain and the dark nights. So let’s light a candle or two, and listen to some music of the season, in Swedish of course. I have compiled a list of fall songs in Swedish. Criteria? They all contain the word “höst” in the title, except for the last ones on the list, and most of them are sung fairly clearly for you to be able to listen to the words. As usual, sing along to practice prosody! Not interested in singing but speaking 😉 ? If you need help to improve your Swedish  conversational skills go here to learn more.

Höst på min planet – Lars Winnerbäck Lars Winnerbäck – Höst på min planet

Höstens färger – Mauro Scocco

Mellan sommar och höst – Marie Fredriksson

Höstvals – Tomas Ledin

Höstlegender – Masse, Petter

Innan höstlöven faller – Thorleifs

Hösten – Lisa Ekdahl

Höstlöven dansar – Nordman

Höst – Cajsa Stina Åkerström

Höstens guld – Sofia Karlsson

Höstkänning – Ola Magnell

Höstvisa – Ainbusk

Höst – Björn Afzelius

Gula höstlöv – Lasse Stefanz

Höst – Niklas Lind

Minns i november – Olle Ljungberg

November – Bo Kaspers orkester

November – Pernilla Andersson

Sjung nu med i dessa höstsånger! Lycka till!


Ju är ett litet ord som jag ofta får frågor om. Det används när man tycker att något är uppenbart (= självklart, eller givet), eller att det borde vara uppenbart. Först hittar du några exempel. Längre ned på sidan har jag skrivit exempel ur mitt dagliga liv, för att du ska förstå bättre. Kanske känner du igen dig? Skriv gärna egna förslag på meningar i kommentarerna.

Ska vi gå ut? Nej, det regnar ju!

Sedan så åkte vi ju till Skåne och hälsade på släkten.

Du behöver inte säga det en gång till, jag har ju förstått.

Vi skulle ju gå på bio ikväll. Hade du glömt det?

Du är ju för go’, ju!

Exempel ur mitt dagliga liv:

Du har ju mat, ju! (Det säger jag till katten som stirrar på mig och vill ha mer mat i skålen / Directed to the cat that looks at me as if his bowl was empty).

Det finns ju massor av mat i kylen! (Som svar till tonåringarnas “det finns inget att äta” / As answer to the teens’ “there is nothing to eat”

Jag sa ju det förra veckan. (Påminner maken om att jag visst sagt det. /Reminder to husband that I have told him.

Jag hade ju telefonen/nycklarna alldeles nyss! (Telefonen/nycklarna är tillfälligt borta …/ The phone/keys was/were here a minute ago!)

Du, vi sa ju att vi skulle laga kycklingen ikväll, men jag tycker vi gör något annat.

Det funkar ju inte! (Oftast om något inlogg, någon app eller hemsida)

“Kärlek och anarki” på Netflix är ju för bra!

Ju är obetonat, och fungerar som satsadverb/satsadverbial. Testa att sätta in “ju” i alla exempel här.

Här kan du läsa om det lilla ordet “nog“.


Svenska språket innehåller en hel del mat-uttryck. Känner du till uttrycken nedan?

Peppar, peppar! = Ta i trä. Knock on wood.

Lätt som en plätt! Easy as a pie!

Ge/få igen för gammal ost. / Ge/få betalt för gammal ost. To get even with someone (who has wronged you in the past).

Att smöra för någon. To butter someone up.

Att äta kakan och ha den kvar. To have your cake and eat it too.

Att komma upp sig i smöret. = Att få det bättre/riktigt bra

Inte för allt smör i Småland!= Inte till något pris; aldrig.

Grädden på moset! Cream of the crop!

Att koka soppa på en spik. To make something out of nothing/ very little.

Nu är det kokta fläsket stekt. The goose is cooked.

De är lika goda kålsupare. They are equally bad (behaviour).

Att ha rent mjöl i påsen. To have a clear conscience.

Klart som korvspad. = Kristallklart. Clear as a crystal.

Det äter mig ur huset! Eat you out of house and home.

Alla äggen i en korg. All your eggs in one basket.

Att gråta över spilld mjölk. To cry over spilled milk.

Att ta det med en nypa salt. To take something with a grain of salt.

Fyll på med fler i kommentarerna om du kommer på något!

Alla äggen i en korg.

Nu kan du förhoppningvis några ny mat-uttryck! Vill du lära dig fler uttryck? Här har jag samlat några som har med “öga” att göra.

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