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https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Swedish-English false friends

Zmrzlina
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Hey!

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 :

http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_%C3%B6ver_falska_v%C3%A4nner_mellan_svenska_och_engelska

Enjoy! /Emil

46
3 years ago
11

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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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.

17
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidalso
davidalso
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As a perpetual 12 year old at heart, that one never gets old.

16
Reply23 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaminegg

I'd never think of the English meaning, but I might trip over the German meaning of 'drive', a vehicle trip! Some friend!

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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One of my favorites is gift, a homophone which means 'married' as an adjective and 'poison' as a noun.

6
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreepernHjalmar

It has a very slight accent change, though. It's not the exact same word. At least not in the Swedish I speak.

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8
Lundgren8
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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.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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That's good to know. If I may ask, is Skånska your native dialect?

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreepernHjalmar

No, I'm from Lund, which is in Skåne, but it is a much less danish sounding dialect. Skåne actually has quite a lot of accents in different places. If you want to know more here's an old funny podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc3-AyPLa6I

1
Reply63 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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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.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreepernHjalmar

Very interesting :D Well I hope you will continue learning it! And I'll be happy to answer questions.

1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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Fun example of goat and kid – there's a discussion about them here.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Synthpopalooza
Synthpopalooza
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"Dog" definitely needs to be included here. In Swedish, it means "died".

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Synthpopalooza
Synthpopalooza
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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!"

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/So1ovei

This is very helpful~ (and interesting) Tack så mycket!

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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Varsågod!

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcchang
davidcchang
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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!

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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As far as I know, there is no such list. Words that aren't false friends are true ones, I suppose.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tracymorgan1

Very useful, thank you! I have been caught out by some of them in my time!

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaminegg

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?

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
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Potato chip, maybe?

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlbinoKiwi21
AlbinoKiwi21
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Exactly, Helen: Potato chip. They're crispy!

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrBymur
HerrBymur
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Du är Amerikansk?

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaminegg

Ja, jag är självklart Amerikansk.

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122
ion1122
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'crisp' is British English; American would be 'potato chip'

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/impy_imp
impy_imp
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You mean 'crisp' is English and 'potato chip' is American English ;-)

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Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuki_Shiro
Yuki_Shiro
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Thanks! German seems to be closer to swedish, I am so lucky ;)

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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Swedish is essentially the bastard child of Low German and Old Norse. :p

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Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KattenSune

With some French words thrown in, and English on later days...

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Meatknight

fort: fast in Swedish, "A fortified defensive structure stationed with troops." in English

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Reply1 year ago