Sex in Swedish
I am so sorry if I happen to disappoint you, dear reader, but there is a risk that you may find the headline somewhat misleading: this blog post is going to deal with so called 'false friends' in a linguistic context, and I merely wanted to catch your attention. The word 'sex' in Swedish actually means the innocent little number six (well, it means sex as an activity as well, just as it does in English, but there may be many other places where you can read about that kind of thing!).
A false friend is a word in a foreign language that looks or sounds deceptively familiar to you, but means something completely different. This may lead to various misunderstandings and perhaps even some hilarious situations, like that time a Swede was visiting Norway and told a taxi-driver in Oslo that he 'ville ha lite roligt', which in Swedish means that he wanted a bit of fun. The Swedish and Norwegian languages are indeed quite similar, but there are exceptions, and the word 'roligt' happens to be one of them. The taxi-driver stared suspiciously at his Swedish passenger and took him to the nearest churchyard. The surprised, party-minded Swede thus learnt the hard way that the word 'roligt' means 'quiet' in Norwegian, and not 'fun' as in Swedish ...
Well, learning a new language can indeed be challenging, but it also opens for new perspectives and insights. It may even give you a few laughs. Here follow (just as the headline suggested) sex - no, six! - false friends in Swedish:
|Full||drunk (as well as full)|
|Spy||to throw up|