Absolute beginner #5 - Talking about yourself in Swedish

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Jag heter Joakim.
My name is Joakim.
Jag är 33 år gammal.
I'm 33 years old.
Jag är musiker.
I'm a musician.
Jag är svensk.
I'm a Swede.
be named
(en) musiker
(en) svensk
(ett) år

When introducing and talking about yourself, you need only a few building blocks – tools which can be super powerful to kickstart your Swedish. We already talked about constructing simple sentences in an earlier lesson and if you’re still unsure on how to do that, check out the very first lesson first. You should also already know how to properly great someone in Swedish. We talked about that in lesson #4.


The big new thing we’re learning in this lesson is the verb heta. It’s used in conjunction with a name, to express that someone or something is named something.

Jag heter Markus.
My name is Markus.
Affären heter "Anderssons mat & diverse".
The store is called "Andersson's food & miscellaneous".
Using the construction I am + [name] is considered unidiomatic in Swedish, but is of course understood and might not, due to Swedes’ exposure to English, be something your Swedish friends would see as wrong at first and correct. Use Jag heter.

Talking about age

Talking about one’s age is done in the exact same way in Swedish as in English. This means we can also leave out the same words.

In Swedish, gammal or år (or both!) can be omitted, and most people would just state their age without any extra words.

Jag är 33 år gammal.
I'm 33 years old.
Jag är 33 år.
I'm 33 years old.
Jag är 33.
I'm 33.

When Swedes reply to the question of how old they are, it is extremely common that they answer with the year they were born in the following manner: Jag är 89:a. (I'm an 89.)

Naked nouns

Swedish is a Germanic language that uses articles and endings to determine if a noun is definite or indefinite. This isn’t supposed to be covered in this lesson, but it’s important to know here, especially if your native language need to use an article in this context, that when we speak about something general in Swedish, we omit the indefinite article. We thus say that we are “Swede” instead of “a Swede”. The article can still be used, but would then emphasize that we are one of many.

Jag är lastbilschaufför.
I'm a truck driver.
Jag är dansare.
I'm a dancer.

More examples

Pjq ebp otmelh.
Pf lkyji grfskdwv.
Jlr piq elnddm.
Pf yfwwc eaklrumv.
Ptv wla ryhctw.
Ie gxjfl pybxnkhs.
kr gzu ijfgge.
Ii fxcmy xajupetz.
jz xxb astttr.
Di zxlaf rdhpakel.
Yqv vwn kxbijm.
Yr rpzeo yzfjrwdq.
Dtz zna motsgg.
Vj rnboc aransqei.
Lfo tce dtcmvw.
Vv xpihq pfaqasjy.
Ykl bas znehpt.
Fz wnqdp szyvcmoo.
Mlc nnm rvinuf.
Vb dpnep xwumlbtg.
Zvk fxp fmxsdu.
Yl qcvbe ogtdqgnb.
Gju hmk dpjapy.
Lp cdvic lpzfqhvp.
Qhe jzt dunaea.
Om vimgv epgnaaii.
Iyw rya atznec.
Ty zeorr iwvemlpj.
Ixm dci vufkgq.
Bd mkgap wmufykpz.
Mdr wyf ouigjp.
Nc kdlwv shoqyjdq.
Rqu hxm qkjdxd.
Fr uvpto seyvprak.
Yjr lgd jnbfyf.
Bt ggmxl dngjkvtd.
um tyk chehip.
Vc jbyjn zpqrkbux.
Xhc bgv ecjzks.
Hd akwbd xtwnujzo.