I’ve often thought so too after having learnt Krankenwagen in German and sjúkrabíll in Icelandic, but we have sjukhus at least.
Minor correction: It's called "Krankenwagen" is German :). The term can be translated as "car of the sick", whereas "Krankwagen" would mean "sick car".
Thanks for the correction, I’ve edited the post. My German needs some work. :)
Why 'efter'? Could be 'Ring för en ambulans!' or without any prepositions just 'Ring ambulansen!'?
It's just the way it is, I'm afraid; we use a different prepositon that English does. You can't say för, and just ring ambulansen does work but it doesn't sound very idiomatic.
Can you "ringa efter" other things besides an ambulance? ringa efter polisen, or similar?
Yes, you can ringa efter other things that you expect to come to you. I imagine the most common one would be a taxi, but you could use it for people as well.
i am not a native english speaker, but as far as i feel the english they would sooner use "call the ambulance" for the same meaning as swedish "ring efter en ambulans". I know that translating word-by-word it is "call for an ambulance" but also in numerous other cases the english uses different prepositions and definite form instead of indefinite. So should "call the ambulance" not be accepted?? Thanks for the explanations in advance
Good question. We do accept e.g. "call an ambulance" as well, but I don't want to add the version with the definite since we could say ring ambulansen for that in Swedish as well.