Swedish Vocabulary: Enlarging & Enriching


Swedish Vocabulary: Enlarging & Enriching

New Words in 2017

Globalization is also influencing the languages either directly or indirectly. Linguistic purists and pedants may like it or not, words from other languages especially those related to internet and social media have become part of a language’s lexicon.

Swedish is the national language of Sweden, and it is spoken in Finland and in some parts of Norway, Latvia and Lithuania and by the Swedish expatriates in the USA, EU and in some pockets of Asian countries. Swedish is fiercely monitored and regulated language but it is not an exception from external influences.

The words that have entered Sweden also reflect the socio-political trends and cultural aspects in the world.

The Swedish Language Council (Språkrådet: www.sprakochfolkminnen.se ) is the regulatory body funded by the government, has a semi-official status, controls the language through publications (spelling, grammar, what is the verb form for google in Swedish?) and it publishes the quarterly journal Språkvård meaning language care.

The words that entered Swedish in 2017 are interesting, throws clues to the changes in the lives of individuals and impact of internet on information among others. The following are the news word:

  • Alternativa fakta: alternative facts (coined by Kellyanne Conway the Donald Trump minion)
  • Cringeig (adjective), cringea (verb): cringe, a feeling of an embarrassment
  • Dabba: to dab, a type of dance move
  • Döstäda: to death clean. To clean out one’s possessions before death so that surviving family members don’t have to
  • Direktare: a dead body taken directly from an hospital to the cremation ground with or without the family members (elderly people usually live independently either alone or lonely)
  • Fejkade nyheter or fejknyheter: fake news
  • Knäprotest: to kneel in protest
  • Kompetensutvisning: deporting of highly-skilled migrants which happened in Sweden due to a technical or administrative mirror. The word was coined by Svenska Dagbladet
  • #metoo
  • Plogga: to jog and pick up rubbish at the same time
  • Serieotrohet: series cheating – to watch an episode of a series without your partner (when you are supposed to be watching it together)
  • Skogsbad: taking a bath in the forest, or a form of therapy where one immerses oneself in the forest to reduce stress. Called ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese.
  • Veganisera: to make a vegan version of food that normally contains animal products.
  • Killgissa: dude guess, guessing about something as though one knows though s/he may know it is only a guess!
  • Sekundärkränkt: when a person gets offended on someones behalf (opposite of vicarious pleasure). A Swede getting offended when the British makes a comical comment on the USA.
  • Serieotrohet: serial infidelity but here the infidelity refers to the spouse watching a programme on television or Netflix without the partner

For the full list of the words, check the language newspaper, and we will keep tracking the words that will enter into Swedish lexicon this year: 2018.