Category Archives: Tips for learning Swedish

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!

“Detta med de och dem”

Most of my Swedish language students know the theoretical difference between “de” (=they) and “dem” (=them). It is when we go into sounding like a Swede that it gets a bit more complicated :).

Why?

Most Swedes pronounce the two different words the same way – “dom” – which sometimes lead to confusion and mistakes by Swedes when writing.

Here is an excellent video explaining the difference between “de” and “dem”. Detta med de och dem; Video by Maia Andréasson.

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.

 

Music in the Swedish language – the perfect video to practice Swedish

My pick of music in the Swedish language this month! To learn pop culture, or for you to practice pronunciation, intonation and to acquire new vocabulary. Best of all – the artist himself provides the text in writing! A must see video – I love it!

Vocabulary list at the bottom of this post.

If you want to listen via Spotify:

Josef Johansson – Tysta leken

tysta leken = the quiet game (the one who makes a noise is eliminated)

åka ut = to be eliminated (in a game), to be sent out of a room

att bry sig om = to care about/for

nån’ting – slang for “någonting” = something, anything

en Håkan sång = a song by Håkan Hellström (link to one of Håkan’s songs)

Christmas craft – instructions in Swedish

In my previous post I promised to provide links to  instructions for Christmas craft in Swedish.  Why? Because it is fun, and because it is a way for you to activate both brain hemispheres when learning the Swedish language, which is beneficial for your acquisition hereof.

I practiced this method myself yesterday when I tried to fold a small star from an instruction in German. I did not succeed in making the star but I did learn a new German word – which I now have a visual of in my head; working on different sections of paper ribbons across one another. I tried to fold it anew this morning from a Swedish video but have to say I did not manage that one either on the first go :).

en smällkaramell
en smällkaramell

 

So, which Christmas craft will you do first? Below you find three suggestions. How about sending me a pic of your master piece when you are done? I will happily put it in my FB timeline.

If you go here you will learn how to make a “smällkaramell” (see photo above)  in Swedish.  Sveriges Radio is providing the written instruction, with illustrations.

Below is a link to Barnens bokklubb, who provides a pdf for the task of folding a traditional paper heart. Yes I would like to make a heart – show me the instruction in Swedish! Pdf.

Here is a link to Arla’s video on how to make a paper star. Video; for you to practice your listening skills.

Good luck! Lycka till!

Learn a language using both brain halves

Do you learn a language using both brain halves? Our brains are divided into two halves; hemispheres. They each take care of different activities. The right one is usually referred to as the visual and creative side, while the left stands for logical and analytical functions. It is suggested that a combination of both sides is beneficial when acquiring a language. I have tried this with success when I a few years ago ran language & craft shops combined for kids.

I also encourage you as a language learner to activate both brain halves when learning a new word. For instance – think of slicing a yellow lemon when you learn the word sour in a language; picture the drops of fruit juice on the slicing board. Best of all; taste a slice of lemon. Here is the word in Swedish – “sur”!

bowl of lemons
“Sur som en citron”
en citron = a lemon

 

Another way for you to activate both brain hemispheres when learning a language  is to follow instructions for something you do with your hands or body – either written or by watching a video – and do it. It could be craft, baking, a sports exercise etc. In my next post I will provide a few links to Christmas craft with the instructions in Swedish.

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