Loan words in Swedish

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Loan words

This lesson is going to show us some of the words that the Swedish language has loaned from languages. Är ni redo?

Most of languages have loan words from other languages. It is very common to loan words from English nowadays. Most of these words are related to new technologies, computer science and computer-based things in general. However there are many traditional words that came to language in the past as well.

Have you ever wondered where some of the Swedish words originally come from? Most of the loan words in Swedish are from German, Arabic, English, French and Greek (Latin).

Loan words from German

Do you know any Swedish words loaned from the German language? Here is a short list of some of these words.

betala — pay
billig — cheap
fru — wife
herr — Mr.
möjlig — possible
summa — amount

Loan words from Arabic

These words have their origin in Arabic and one can find them in other languages as well.

alkohol — alcohol
kaffe — coffee
kemi — chemistry
madrass — mattress
magasin — magazine
siffra — figure
soffa — couch

Loan words from French

French is a nice and in my point of view complicated language. It may be surprising that even Swedish has been influenced by French. Which words have their origin in French then?

butik — store
familj — family
kritik — criticism
fåtölj — armchair
hotell — hotel
mamma — mother
pappa — father
toalett — toilet
trafik — traffic

Loan words from Greek (Latin)

Words from Latin always sound so classy and if you know them and use them you can look very sophisticated. These are some of the words from Greek (Latin).

bacill — bacillus
brev — mail
doktor — doctor
frukt — fruit
harmoni — harmony
mytologi — mythology
penna — pen
skola — school
skriva — write
termin — term
universitet — university

Loan words from English

Last but not least there is English and its influence on many other languages. Here come some of many loan words from English.

baby — baby
bank — bank
biff — beef (steak)
cykel — bicycle
film — film
fotboll — football
jobb — job
lunch — lunch
match — match
polis — police
rekord — record
sport — sport
start — start
strejk — strike
taxi — taxi
telefon — phone
tennis — tennis
träna — train
turist — tourist

Languages are evolving and adapting to the present society. The trend is to shorten words, to loan many words from English and use English words even though there are equivalents in the original language. Can you see this trend in your mother tongue as well and what do you think about it? Is it a good way to make the language more international or is it better to fight for your language and prevent its richness and purity?

That is all for today’s lesson. I hope that you have found it interesting and helpful. Feel free to discuss the topic below the article. Thank you for your attention and see you very soon. Bye bye!

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