13 Swedish Words Every Visitor Needs

Memorize these ten important words for your trip to Sweden

A windmill in Sweden
  © Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images 

When traveling, it is a wise idea to familiarize yourself with customs and words that are used by locals. You just never know when you may be in need of something, and the only people around don't understand English. These are important Swedish words that you should know before your trip to beautiful Sweden:

  1. Toalett: When the restroom is calling you, it is imperative that you know the word for toilet. As you can see, the words are quite similar. It is pronounced in much the same way it looks....toawlet.
  2. Polisstation: Safety is always important when traveling. Knowing how to get help in an emergency is wise. The words are similar to ours, and it means police station, or you can just use polis. The only difference is the s instead of the c pronunciation.
  3. Ambassaden: Pronounced just as it looks, ambassaden means embassy. In difficult times, it would be best to find the embassy where others of your nationality can guide you through proper procedures.
  4. Marknaden: When you need food or drink you may want a grocery store, or as this word means, a market. When you use marknaden, the locals will happily point you to the nearest market so you can purchase needed supplies.
  5. Bussen: In some cases, public transportation is your best bet. Pronounced boosen, this word means bus.
  6. Spårvagnen: You will speak this word much like sporevagnen. This word also is about public transportation and means a tram.
  7. Ja: When you want to say yes to someone you will use this word. Many foreigners actually use this word all the time, even in their native language. Keep in mind that it is pronounced ya.
  8. Nej: Sometimes the answer is no and you will pronounce it like nay. That's all there is to it.
  9. Hjälp: If an emergency happens, and the only word you can think of is "help", this is the Swedish pronunciation. Just say yelp. Memorize it by thinking of a dog that yelps when it is in pain, perhaps.
  10. Doktor: If you look closely you will probably determine what the meaning of this word is. It means "doctor", and is pronounced very similar to our version in English. Shouldn't be too hard to memorize.
  11. Tack: Um, yes, you'll need this word a lot. Swedes basically do not have a word for "please". Tack (pronounced just like it looks) actually means "thank you", and is used even in situations when we would say "please". Just use it a lot and you'll be treated in a friendly manner.
  12. Mitt Hotell: These two words mean my hotel. If you seem to be lost you could just carry a brochure or name of your hotel. By using these words, a local will point you in the right direction. It is pronounced just like it looks so it sounds like "mit hotel". A good one to remember for sure!
  13. Förlåt: There are those moments when we need to apologize. Maybe you bumped someone, or spilled a drink. Förlåt means sorry, and it is pronounced "fuhrlot".

These important Swedish words should help you when you visit the great country of Sweden.

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