March 2, 2015



du gamla, du fria!


Fun etymology fact: the name Sverige is composed of two parts; Sve- and -rige. The first part refers to the Germanic tribe of the Swedes, who lived around lake Mälaren. This people is known as svear in Swedish (archaic sg. svee), from where the Sve- part comes. The country is named for them due to their significance in the consolidation of Sweden. (Which is a really complicated story that I won't get into here.)

The second part is originally the word rike, meaning "realm". Over time, the K sound became a voiced G instead, and the soft vowel E made the G a soft /j/ as well (Y as in yellow in English). Thus, we have the name Sverige being spelled the way it is but pronounced as if it were spelled sverje.

The English name Sweden was originally just a plural form meaning "Swedes", but came to refer to the country. In old English, Sweden was called Sweorice, bearing obvious resemblance to Sverige.


Nice summary. And for the people who prefer The Onion to actual news, I'd like to offer the hilarious revisionist history approach called göticism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothicism :D


Then there was that time at the council of Basel in 1434 when Swedish and Spanish diplomats argued over who were the best Goths. Swedish diplomats argued that since the Geats and Goths are the same people (which is disputed), and the Geats are Swedes now, and the Goths brought down the Roman Empire, ergo the not at all biased conclusion that Sweden is mightier than the Roman Empire. The Spanish diplomats on the other hand argued that the Geats were the cowardly stay-at-home Goths while the Spanish were descended from the courageous warring Visigoths.

Diplomacy is serious.


To be fair, though, the argument was used in order to try to get more influence in the council - kind of like presenting an argument as to why you should be in the UNSC. But a more idiotic one. :D


Jag älskar Sverige !!!


The pronunciation here makes the first e sound more like an a, and so do the pronunciations on Forvo. Is there any reason for this, any kind of rule? Or is it just a one-off?


Seconded, I want to know too.


I think it's more like an ä, and an e before an r sounds like an ä, I think.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.