Glossary of Swedish Words

A few words simply cannot be translated accurately into English. The following is a short guide to help understand some Swedish words – and maybe you will impress fellow travelers you meet on your way..!

Short Swedish Glossary

Fjäll

(Pronounced: FELL, silent “J”) The high lying, mountainous regions, dominant on the west of Jämtland and Härjedalen, affects everything from weather, to outdoor activities. (Can be snowed in all year and hold a holy place in every local’s heart.) Alternative: Fell/Fjell.

Sjö

Meaning lake, or large body of water, for example “Storsjö”  (Stor = great; sjö = lake).

Älv

Meaning river, or larger stream. Such as in “Indalsälven” (Indals-river).

Fäbod

A or collection of cabins/cottages, located in or near the mountains, used primarily in summer for the grazing of livestock. Can be translated into the Gaelic word “shieling”.

Fika

(Pronounced “FEE-kha) The fundamental element of Swedish society, a coffee/tea break, usually complimented with a cake, cookie, fruit or something to eat with the coffee/tea.