"Han är sjuksköterska."

Translation:He is a nurse.

January 15, 2015

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This is a very helpfuk thread! I love the Swedish team


Can one also use sjukskötare? Are male and female forms of this kind of word generally interchangeable in Swedish?


All nurses in Sweden are sjuksköterska, regardless of gender, and you cannot call them sjukskötare. In Finland however, all nurses are sjukskötare instead.
So in Standard Swedish, it is incorrect to call a male nurse sjukskötare.
This word is an exception. We generally use the -are forms for all genders, they are not considered masculine. But sjuksköterska is an old feminine form that has stuck.


Thanks, that's good to know. That's a lot simpler and more convenient than in Dutch (my native tongue), where some occupations have 2 gendered forms, some don't, and those that do don't always have to be used. Thank you so much for your time!


A few professions have female forms that are sometimes used, skådespelerska 'actress' is one of those, the only one we teach in the course I think, and possibly the only one that is used fairly often.


In Spanish, futbolista (football player) looks feminine but is masculine. It is el futbolista. I do not think there is a word for a female football player.


And I thought being a male nurse in the US was bad. The ending of the word implies it's female, right?


Technically, yes, but since male/female genders fell out of Swedish centuries ago, it's only a historical curiosity. See the above comments.


Pretty bad in English too. The word "nurse" comes from the Latin nutrix, with a clearly feminine ending, meaning a wetnurse, i.e. a woman breastfeeding another’s child. As a verb, to "nurse" a child still means to breastfeed. It’s related to "nourish" and "nutrition". Its extension to women in other caring roles is recent. Its extension to men, even more recent.


Oh no, how awful to be in a profession titled with an archaic female suffix... humiliating... But wait, Swedish men aren't fragile snowflakes whose masculinity implodes from nonsense like this. Whew, what a relief.


Apparently "sköterska" also means "nurse." What is the distinction between it and "sjuksköterska?" Is a sjuksköterska a hospital/clinic nurse (i.e. a nurse for sick people, as in the name) whereas a sköterska is a general term for a caring professional (e.g. long term care nurses, homecare assistants, etc.)?


Sjuksköterska is a hospital/clinic nurse, while sköterska is an informal and general term for someone who works with taking care of people. There is also the term skötare (short for mentalskötare), which is used for psychiatry (mental health) nurses.


It is very similar to Russian words for the medical attendants. Санитарка ('a woman who takes care of the sick', 'aid-woman') usually refers to a nurse who works at a hospital or a clinic, and санитар ('a man who takes care of the sick', 'aid-man') refers to a male nurse who works at a mental health clinic or on an ambulance.

Moreover, we have three more words for 'nurse'. Медсестра (or медбрат for men) is rather a paramedic than just a nurse (but we usually translate it as 'nurse' - it is an old Soviet tradition :)), сиделка is very similar to санитарка, but it refers to one who works at the sick's home and for informal fees, and нянечка is very close to санитарка, but is more informal and tender. All that nouns (except for санитар and медбрат) are feminine.


At Swedish hospitals there are three main professions except doctors, sjuksköterska as above, and undersköterska, who also has an education for this, but a shorter one. And the third profession is vårdbiträde, who doesn't necessarily have any formal education. There are also more specific terms, like ambulanssjuksköterska who works in ambulances, operationsjuksköterska who works in surgery, etc. All those have special education for their fields.

sköterska and sjuksyster on the other hand are informal terms that don't have a very specific meaning and are not job titles.

As Zmrzlina said, skötare is short for mentalskötare, which is also a specific title. You can't change the gender in any of the job titles, the same is form is used for everyone.

Also, different terms are used in Finland.


Thanks for explanation! Now I see that my first suggestion was not completely right. The Russian and Swedish words correspond in other way. Can sjuksköterska make a diagnosis and treat a patient on his/her own?


Looks like I was on the right track. Tack!


Wow, hard to pronounce. :/


Try this: Sju skönsjungande sjuksköterskor skötte sjuttiosju sjösjuka sjömän på skeppet "Shanghai".


Oh my! :o :) I had to listen to it on Google translate. Brilliant! :) Thank you for sharing.


A bit of a tongue-twister for learners. But practice and you'll get the hang of it!


I thought this would be "sjuksyster", like a literal german translation of "krankenschwester" for nurse


No, sjuksyster or syster is rarely used anymore.


Or more correctly (maybe?): Only elderly people would say sjuksyster/syster.


Yes, the elderly might do that. But in any case it's relatively rare and shouldn't be used in talking to a nurse, since they will often prefer to be called their actual professional title.

According to a friend of mine who works as a nurse, they use syster or syrra (slang) internally among themselves, but that's another thing.


Even regardless of actual gender?


Very hard to Swype sjuksköterska on a mobile! ;)


What is the best way to call "Nurse! Can you come here please?" Sjuksköterska seems such a mouthful!



But honestly, we don't call people by profession in Sweden. I'd just leave that part out entirely and ask the nurse to come like I would any person.


is it okay to use "vårdare" instead of sjuksköterska?


No, they're different professions. A sjuksköterska is a registered nurse, and a vårdare is a caretaker for a handicapped person.

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