Absolute beginner #4 - Swedish greetings

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god kväll
good evening
  
god morgon
good morning
  
god natt
good night
  
hallå
hello
  
hej
hello
  
hej då
good bye

The phrase hej allihopa has become somewhat like a catch-phrase throughout the years. It means hello everybody, consisting of the greeting hej – which should be familiar to you by now – and the word allihopa. We talked about hej in our very first lesson. It can be used with anyone, no matter if it’s your friend answering the door in his underwears, a store clerk, your daughter, your boss, or the king of Sweden. It is equivalent to the English hello and NOT, as you would perhaps expect, the more casual hey. If we want to be more laid-back, you can use the word hallå. It’s not always seen as colloquial though, since its standard use is not as a greeting but calling out for attention.

Hallå! Du tappade din plånbok!
Hello! You dropped your wallet!

As with other languages, there are also Swedish greetings used during different times of day. God morgon means good morning and is unfortunately pronounced somewhat like “good moron”. I know, you’re probably chuckling right now. I can almost smell it. Another simple one is god natt which means – I think you can guess it – good night.

If we want to part ways during the day, and not only when going to bed, we usually just say hej då. It is possible to use hej when bidding someone farewell, this does however not work both ways.