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Swedish etymology for English speakers?

Hi there,

I started learning Swedish partly out of curiosity, but also because I knew it would help me with some of my historical English (Middle English, Old English). Frequently I am able to recognize Swedish words as being alike to modern English or older/dialectal English.

However, there are getting to be more and more words I don't recognize as being similar to English words (ursäkta, snälla, älskar, etc.) and the trouble with that is it makes them very difficult for me to remember! I'm hoping to find some kind of Swedish etymological dictionary that would explain root words and cognates in other languages, or at least the history of the words in use. So far I am only able to find such dictionaries in Swedish, but I'm not advanced enough to be able to read them. Anyone know of a resource suited for English speakers?

3 years ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Joel__W
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In my experience, English Wiktionary is a good source for etymology, and covers both Proto-Germanic and Old Norse quite well, as well as Swedish and English. Often you will find links to cognates in other Germanic langugages on a word's Wiktionary page, but not always. It covers English best, naturally, but Swedish words often also have their Old Norse or Proto-Germanic etymology listed.

Another good one is Online Etymological Dictionary, which lists both Proto-Germanic and Old Norse forms. From the Old Norse you can usually figure out the Swedish forms. This site is best when going from English to Swedish.

Going from Swedish to English, i.e. finding the etymology of Swedish words and going to English, the sources I know are in Swedish. Svensk etymologisk ordbok at Project Gutenberg is really good - it usually comes up when you search the word in Swedish + "etymologi" on Google.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Mod
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Let me second that about wiktionary. It's surprisingly good.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceA
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That's so helpful. Thank you very much! Have a lingot!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceA
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Thank you for articulating a question that I've had for a long time. Have a lingot!

3 years ago
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