Basic Swedish Words & Sentences – Useful Phrases to Survive a Conversations with Swedes

Basic Swedish words & phrases for your small-talk with Swedes
Basic Swedish words & phrases for your small-talk with Swedes

Do you want to learn some basic Swedish words and phrases for your trip to Sweden? To impress your Swedish friends or flirts?

With the following basic Swedish vocabulary, words and phrases, you’ll have a great foundation for the first five minutes of any conversation with Swedes. Just pick your favorite topic and start talking. (Swedes will love to help you with the right pronunciation.)

My top 10 tips how to make learning Swedish easier, here

Useful Swedish vocabulary for conversations about holiday

  • Vi har stängt hela juli – We are closed all July
  • ta ledig – go on holiday
  • sommarjobb – summer job
  • sommarstuga – summer cottage house
  • Vad kostar en två-veckors resa i Thailand? – How much is a two-weeks trip to Thailand?
  • Fan, det är ju sjukt billigt! – Damn, that’s sick-cheap!

When having a fika (Swedish coffee break)

  • En kopp kaffe, tack! – A cup of coffee, please!
  • dammsugarevacuum cleaner (green marzipan rolls, shaped like cylinder vacuum cleaners)
  • Ska vi ses över en fika någon gång? – Shall we have a coffee together some time?
  • Åh, jag måste tyvärr gå nu. – Oh, unfortunately, I have to leave now.
  • Jag har bokat en tvättid. – I have booked a laundry time.

Conversations about fashion in Sweden

  • skohylla – shoe shelve
  • nyklippt – freshly cut (hair)
  • Finns den en storlek större/mindre – Do you have it one size bigger/smaller?
  • Har ni denna även i svart? – Do you have it in black, too?
  • Jag brukar inte köpa märkeskläder. – I usually don’t buy brands.
  • Oj, vilken fin skjorta/kjol! Vilket märke? – Oh, what a nice shirt/skirt! Which brand?
  • Var har du köpt den? – Where did you buy it?
  • Fanns den inte i din storlek? – Didn’t they have it in your size?
  • Den har jag köpt på rea! – I have bought it on sale! (Popular excuse if someone with brand-avoiding friends dared to buy a brand-item)

More about Swedish fashion: top fashion brands from Sweden and Swedish outdoor brands

Useful vocabulary in Swedish stores

  • nummerlapp – ticket
  • nummerlapp automat – ticket dispenser
  • Vilket nummer har du? – Which number do you have?
  • Förlåt, jag glömde dra en nummerlapp. – Sorry, I forgot to get a ticket.
  • Du glömde dra en nummerlapp. – You forgot to get a ticket.
  • Hejdå! – Good bye!

Talking about the Swedish Royal Familiy

  • kung – king
  • drottning – queen
  • prinsesstårta – princess cake (delicious, very green, try it!)
  • vargjakt – wolf hunt
  • att vara född med silversked i munnen – literally: to be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth (born into privilege)
  • bra representant för Sverige i världen – good ambassador for Sweden in the world
  • slott – castle
  • slut – finish

Having a conversation about Swedish nature

  • kvällsdopp – evening dip (jump into the water on a warm summer evening)
  • myggnät – mosquito net
  • Oj, titta vad söt! En björnunge! – Oh, look how sweet! A little bear!
  • Hopsan! – Ooops!
  • Spring så fort du bara kan! – Run as fast as you can!

…to be continued

More useful infos to get prepared for interactions with Swedes


What are your “language experiences” in Sweden? Which lines or phrases worked for you? Which words would you add to a list with basic Swedish knowledge? Please comment below!