Essential Swedish 2

Asking “Where is…? questions in Swedish.

Metro tracks to old town, Stockholm

If you’ve already learned and practiced Essential Swedish 1 you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. 
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks French, German, Spanish, Italian, or English – that is, one of the languages you may speak as well.

The Next 12 Swedish Phrases: “Var är…?”

Pronunciation Tips for Swedish:

In the following group of phrases, you can practice a few typical Swedish sounds:
r – is a rolled tongue-tip “r” (like a Spanish “r”).
u – say “ee” but round your lips.
s before ä – has a “sh” sound: “ursäkta”
-tion ending – in the phrases below, it’s pronounced “hon”, with a very breathy “h”.

Traveling in Sweden…

A few years ago – after taking a Hurtigruten trip along the Norwegian coast – we spent a week in Stockholm . We learned a lot about the history of Norway and Sweden and wrote about it in A Cruise and Norwegian Language Politics…
When you arrive at the Stockholm Arlanda airport, which is located about 25 miles north of Stockholm, you are immediately impressed by the Arlanda Express train, both by its fare (+/- $40) and its speed.
You can catch the train right below the terminal. It has WiFi, runs every 15 minutes and takes about 20 minutes to Stockholm Central Station.
A less expensive option (about $13) are the Flygbussarna airport shuttle buses, or the Flix Bus, starting at about $6. Both take close to an hour, depending on traffic.
While we were in Stockholm, we took a train ride to Uppsala, which takes about 40 minutes. Exploring the fourth-largest Swedish city with the oldest Scandinavian University (founded in 1477) turned out to be a very pleasant day trip.
Now, that we have also been to Denmark, we can really appreciate the similarities between the Nordic languages.

“Var är…?”-Questions Answered…

Asking “Var är…?” questions could let the person you are asking assume that you speak Swedish.
The result will often be an answer and a stream of Swedish words you may not understand.
It would therefore be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Swedish – left, right, straight ahead, etc.
Check back with us for next 13 Swedish phrases in a few weeks.

Author: Peter Rettig

Peter F. Rettig's interest in languages began while working in Switzerland, where he became fluent in French. In his third career, he started and - as a language lover and traveler later in life - Lingo-Late with his wife, Ulrike.

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