Sunday, October 10, 2010

On Swedish

Due to my recent declaration of love for Sweden, I feel the need to compensate by telling you something bad about Sweden. I am Norwegian, after all.

Thus.

The Swedish term for gift wrapping is "inslagning". Since many Swedes live in Oslo, I have often been asked "Får man slå den in?" [excuse my Swedish if I am spelling things wrong. It sounds much more convincing when I pronounce it...]. The thing is, "slå", "at slaga" means to beat something. Thus, when a Swedish person asks you to gift wrap the book they just bought, they are really asking you to beat the crap out (actually in, directly translated. "Beat in" is the exact wording of the Swedish expression) of it.

If that is how they treat their gifts... Just sayin'...

13 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Very interesting account about the Sweedish language. strange how different contries have the same words but different meanings,

Yvonne,

Jules said...

I hope these are hard backs :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

nonamedufus said...

Hard to understand how Sweden remained neutral during the World Wars when they were so busy beating the crap out of things.

Cruella Collett said...

Yvonne - so true. For instance, the Danish word for "laughing" means "crying" in Norwegian...

Jules - I suppose it would be easier if they were paperbacks, but the Swedes seem to have no particular preference. They beat them all ;)

Noname - oh, but during the war there was scarcity on everything. Probably gift wrapping too. So they didn't have the time to beat about the book.

Pat Tillett said...

I love that! The little (or big) differences in our languages is part of what makes us all unique.
great little post!

Cold As Heaven said...

Yes, Swedish can be funny. My favorite is "fika inte i puckelpisten" >:)

Cruella Collett said...

Pat - in many ways, Norwegian and Swedish are so similar that it is strange to call them separate languages at all, but every now and then I run across major differences.
Glad you enjoyed it :)

Ketil - HAHAHAHA! Fika I know, but I had to google "puckelpisten". WHY would anyone do that?!

Clarissa Draper said...

Yeah, *clears throat* that does sounds like a horrible country... I'm just saying. ;)
CD

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just depends on what they're beating...

The Golden Eagle said...

That's an interesting language twist . . . translating things can turn up some pretty strange results!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it :) I won't be asking any of my Swedish friends to wrap gifts for me!

Astrid said...

Hehe... I like that. Norwegian and Swedish are different languages, but almost different dialects. Things like that happen all the time between different English speaking countries (as I'm sure you know), and the same in Spanish speaking countries.

Language is awesome :D

Rayna M. Iyer said...

That sounds like the confusion we often have in India where different languages have similar words meaning very different stuff.

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