Swedish-English false friends
Answering a question got me thinking about false friends in Swedish-English context. For those who don't know what a false friend is, it's words the look alike but have different meanings in the languages concerced. I googled Swedish false friends and found a list on Swedish wikipedia that might come in handy :
Interesting! Some of them were new to me. And I must confess that I use "illitterat" the English way.
PS. Guess that "fart" should be included :). It is a Swedish word for speed.
I'd never think of the English meaning, but I might trip over the German meaning of 'drive', a vehicle trip! Some friend!
One of my favorites is gift, a homophone which means 'married' as an adjective and 'poison' as a noun.
It has a very slight accent change, though. It's not the exact same word. At least not in the Swedish I speak.
They have the same accent in the singular. But there’s a difference in accent between e.g. gifter (poisons) and gifter (marries). But all one-syllable words in Swedish always have the same accent in all dialects.
Sorry, I inadvertently deleted my previous comment. As far as I know, my Swedish immigrant ancestors mostly taught their children English. But several of their descendants learned Swedish as a second language later in life. My grandmother was the most recent one to do so. I've been interested in Sweden since childhood because of her.
Very interesting :D Well I hope you will continue learning it! And I'll be happy to answer questions.
"Dog" definitely needs to be included here. In Swedish, it means "died".
Is there a list somewhere online that's like the opposite of the Wikipedia link in the original post? Another words, is there a list somewhere that shows "true friends" between English and Swedish? I've just started learning Swedish, but I think such a list would help me realize how many Swedish words I already know without even knowing it. I didn't have any luck finding one after doing a quick google search. Thanks!
As far as I know, there is no such list. Words that aren't false friends are true ones, I suppose.
Another hilarious false friend is "tack" ... at my workplace (in a pretzel shop), I have been teaching my coworkers some Swedish phrases, so I wrote a special order on a dry erase board: "1 original pretzel, lightly done. Tack!" ... one of my coworkers runs to the back and produces a pushpin. "Here's your tack!"
Very useful, thank you! I have been caught out by some of them in my time!
Some of these actually share meanings with the cognate. Example: Karaktär sounds like character; both mean quality but the english one also could mean a person. It's enough to help an aspirin salesman. ;-) And what in the nine worlds is a crisp?
fort: fast in Swedish, "A fortified defensive structure stationed with troops." in English