Swedish for Indonesian

Reading Andrés’ post makes me nostalgic. It takes me back to the time when I was very eager to study Swedish (I did some SFI classes) before the dark winter came and took all my spirit. Coming from a country that is ten thousand kilometers far away from this beautiful country in the north, you can imagine what a big difference Indonesian and Swedish language has. Then reading this post ignites your worry of not being able to communicate in Sweden. Haha. Fear not dear fellow Indonesians, turns out there are some Swedish words which you can understand right away when you arrive here. No learning needed.

Let’s start the list!

1. Skola = Sekolah

Pronounce as sk’o:la – this word means school, and it has the similar spelling and writing with Indonesian. You will not get lost to school! How fun is that.

2. Samma = Sama

Pronounce as s’am:a – it means same, or similar. How come it has the similar pronunciation and we are miles apart? Why the Swedes put an extra M in the middle, don’t they feel enough with one?

3. Blomkål = Kembang Kol

Guess what, the Swedish word is the literal translation of the Indonesian word which I found very funny. Oh, this means cauliflower. The kind of flower that you won’t ever see in a bouquet.

4. Handduk = Handuk

Hooray! Indonesians won’t get a hard time at Ikea shopping for towels because it is the same pronunciations with our mother tongue. What a privilege! Again, why do you put an extra D? Please use your letters wisely.

 5. Gratis = Gratis

Gratis means free, but remember ‘grattis‘ is congratulations. So the next time you see a postcard written grattis in a supermarket, don’t just slip it into your bag because you think it’s free. Otherwise, you might be in charge for stealing.

Now you know what to do when you were asked the question above, respond with “yes, I know Swedish words”. Time and motivation are the greatest assets you need to study Swedish. Let me correct that, when you have the motivation then you will have the time to learn Swedish. Gather all that motivation and keep it safe when the cold dark winter is seeping to your soul. I would like to thank Aryani for the help in composing the list above.

Do you know more words in Swedish that is similar with Indonesian? If there some Swedish words that similar with your mother tongue, share it in the comment below!

[GIF sourced from GIPHY]

Sania

From Indonesia to Sweden. From a product designer to studying Master in Sustainable Development at Uppsala University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Reach me through e-mail at sania.studyinsweden(at)gmail.com
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