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.

Lagom

Maybe the swedish expression “lagom” – comes from thinking about your fellow man and not use more than you have to, to be moderate. 

Artut

When an occasion is really nice in the province Jämtland Härjedalen it is reffered to as “artut” in local dialect. More words in local dialect with english translation.