Posts Tagged ‘Swedish’

“A good continuation” for the “in-between days” as Swedish adopts 37 new words

December 28, 2015

In Sweden the days after Christmas Day and up to the New Year are known as the “in-between days” (mellandagarna) and the normal greeting during this time is “a good continuation” (god fortsättning). The “in-between days” is also the period when the The Language Council of Sweden (Språkrådet) produces an official list of “new words ” that have entered the Swedish language during the previous year.

The Language Council of Sweden does not – fortunately – waste its time too much on futile exercises to defend against change (like the French do) but generally acts as an observer of change that has occurred. (I take the view that “defence of a language” and trying to prevent change is a meaningless exercise. The only language that does not change is a dead language and a living language is defined by current usage. Equally there is no such thing as “correct” spelling or grammar – there is only “accepted” usage).

Thirty seven new words are now acknowledged officially as having entered the language during 2015. However, the Language Council is also terminally afflicted by a deep-seated political correctness, especially about gender “equality” (this is Sweden after all). They sometimes try to be exceedingly good and try intentionally to introduce “gender-neutral” words – usually with little success. It is no different this time and this shows up in 3 of the words “officially” recognised (14, 16 and 35).

  1. avinvestera – to divest or disinvest (alternative divestera)
  2. cosplaymasquerade with participants dressed up as fictional characters from TV, films, comics or games (often Japanese)
  3. delningsekonomi – shared economy used for pooled activities where goods and services are shared (e.g. carpools, Airbnb etc.)
  4. douche – a douchebag
  5. dumpstra – to recover and reuse what others have dumped (from dumpster dive)
  6. EU-migrant – An EU citizen in another EU country for the better welfare and benefits (a euphemism often for Roma people)
  7. faktaresistens – resisting facts (and preferring conspiracy theories for example)
  8. funkis- – used as an adjective or a prefix and to do with people having functional disabilities
  9. geoblockering – geographic blocking of internet content
  10. groupie – a group selfie
  11. haffa – to hit on
  12. halmdocka – a strawman argument or position
  13. klickokrati – a society dominated by internet views(likes) from clickocracy
  14. klittra – verb for female masturbation (hardly used but a politically correct word introduced after a competition)
  15. kulturell appropriering – cultural appropriation
  16. mansplaining – (of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing (a politically correct word)
  17. naturvin – ecologic wine (usually not very good)
  18. nyhetsundvikare – a news avoider
  19. obror – ”unbrotherly”, unfriendly
  20. plattfilm – a flat film with no 3-D or VR effects
  21. rattsurfa – to surf while at the wheel (while driving)
  22. robotjournalistik  – news journalism with computer generated articles
  23. självradikalisering – self radicalisation
  24. skuldkvotstak – income based borrowing limit
  25. ståpaddling – stand-up paddling
  26. svajpa – to swipe
  27. svischa – to Swish (use an App for transfer of funds)
  28. talepunkt – talking point
  29. terrorresa – a journey for the purpose of participating in ”terror” activities
  30. transitflykting – a refugee in transit
  31. triggervarning – advance warning that something unpleasant is to be published
  32. trollfabrik – troll factory
  33. vejpa – to ”vape”, smoke an e-cigarette
  34. vithetsnorm – a standard where ”white-skin” is the norm
  35. värdgraviditet – politically correct alternative to surrogate motherhood
  36. youtuber – a ”professional” video uploader
  37. ögonkramp – eye pain due to excessive looking at a mobile screen

Many of the “new words” recorded every year by the Language Council do not stand the test of time.

Actual usage always wins.

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Greetings for the In-between days

December 27, 2013

A God Fortsättning, a God Slut and a Gott Nytt År to you all!

In most instances English has a much richer vocabulary than Swedish does – but when it comes to greetings during the festive season, Swedish wins hands down. The nuances of available greetings are just not available in English. Perhaps because there was a greater need for nuance during the long and cold and dark winters.

In Sweden the days between Christmas and the New Year are called the In-between days (mellandagarna) and immediately after Christmas it is no longer appropriate to use Merry Christmas (God Jul) as the greeting. It shifts to God Fortsättning which can only be translated as A Good Continuation. But it is also quite common to wish people a God Slut during this time. But this is also a nuance of greeting that Swedish has which does not appear in English. The literal translation of God Slut in English would be Have a good ending which may be taken to be somewhat morbid or an invitation to take hemlock!  Have a good ending to the Year is a little too long and doesn’t trip of the tongue as well and as succinctly as God Slut. Of course it is perfectly permissible to use Gott Nytt ÅrGood New Year – during the In-between days.

The In-between days run from December 26th to December 30th.

Clearly God Jul cannot be used after 25th December and God Slut cannot be used after 31st December but God fortsättning can. In theory God fortsättning can be used at any time. I have even heard it used at Advent and during the vacation period in July (when Sweden is closed). But I have heard it most often during the In-between days and then for the first 2 or 3 weeks of January. Gott Nytt År can be used well into February – especially if it is the first meeting of the Year.

And so during these In-between days,

God fortsättning! followed by a

God Slut! and a

Gott Nytt År!


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