Intermediate #1 - Spoken Swedish

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Markus: Tjena Anders, hur är det?
Hey Anders, how's it going?
Anders: Jo tack, det är bra. Själv då?
Yeah, well, it's good, thanks! How about you?
Markus: Jorå, det knallar och går. Lite tråkigt väder bara.
Yeah, well, it's all good. The weather is just a bit dull.
Anders: Jo men vad ska man säga, det är höst.
Yeah, but what is there to say, it's fall.
Markus: Jo det är väl det.
Yeah, I guess so.
Anders: Du, vad hade du för dig igår?
Hey, what were you up to yesterday?
Markus: Jo ser du, jag var hos päronen. De har tjackat ny TV. Med UltraHD. Det måste man ju kolla in, liksom.
Oh yeah, let me tell you, I was at my folks'. They've picked up a new TV. With UltraHD. I just had to check that out, you know.
Anders: Va? Har de köpt en TV med UltraHD? Det skulle jag vilja ha.
What? Did they buy a TV with UltraHD? I would want that.
Markus: Jo, men lite väl när man bor i studentkorridor.
Yeah, but a bit much when you live in a dorm.
Anders: Jo, det är sant.
Yes, that's true.
Markus: Vad gjorde du då?
What did you do, then?
Anders: Nej, men, jag satt här och kollade på ”Die Hard” och tog det lugnt med en öl.
Well, I sat here and watched ”Die Hard” and chilled with a beer.
Markus: Film och bärskväll utan mig?
Movie and beer night without me?
Anders: Ja, vad då då, du var ju hos dina föräldrar.
Yeah, so what, you were at your parents'.
Markus: Ja, jo, det är sant.
Yeah, you're right.
Exercise Download
det knallar och går
it's going well, I'm fine
ha för sig
be up to
kolla in
check, have a look, take a look
sort of, sorta, like, you know
(ett) päron
vara lite väl
to be too much

The dialogue is recorded in talspråk, spoken Swedish, with a focus on the Stockholm area, but written normally.


Tjenare, tjena and tja are all modifications of tjänare* and are common greetings in Sweden. You will also come across these phrases in a formal setting when someone tries to act a bit more causal.

Following a greeting we mostly see a question for the health situation of the conversational partner. Beside the common Hur mår du? you might come across these:

Hur är det?
How is it?

Hur är läget?
How is the situation?

Vad händer?
What is happening?

Tjänare is about 100-150 years old working as a colloquial substitute for hej.

Sörrö and hörrö

or serru and hörru

Sörrö is ser du and hörrö is hör du, you see and you hear. You can translate these expressions with you know.

Jo, serru, jag var tvungen att göra det.
Well, you know, I had to do it.

Jo, hörru, jag var tvungen att göra det.
Well, you know, I had to do it.

Hörrö is also used as an interjection to get the attention of someone or to initiate a conversation:

Hörrö, kom tillbaka!
Hey you, come back here!

Hörru du, har du varit i Sverige någongång?
Can I ask you, have you ever been to Sweden?

Keep in mind that you don’t write this but you say it. Thus the different ways of writing here.


In Swedish, like in English, we have filler words that don’t really mean much in the sentence they are used. For English speakers it’s common to say “like” a lot. In Sweden we use an equivalent to that actually: liksom. A synonym, also used like this, is typ. Another common filler word is ba which is an abbreviation of bara. You’ll hear this mostly among the younger population.

Pronunciation rules

Ending consonants

A lot of words get their endings dropped in spoken Swedish.

Written language Pronunciation Translation
jag ja [ja] [jɑː] I
det de [deː] it
är ä [ɛː], e [eː] am, are, is
var va [va] [vɑː] was, were
vad va [va] [vɑː] what
med me [meː] with


Also the endings of the verb forms preterite and supinum are dropped.

Jag jobbade hårt igår.
Ja jobba hårt igår.
I worked hard yesterday.

Jag har jobbat hårt den här veckan.
Ja har jobba hårt den här veckan.
I’ve worked hard this week.


Words that end on a G or D in particular lose that consonant when the following word begins with a D. This D is then turned into an R. It is of note that this “rule” only works for a couple of words. Particularly we have pronouns (du, dig, “dom”, det) and .

This phenomenon is also turning up with other consonants and unemphasized vowels. In particular when they normally get dropped in spoken language.

Written language Pronunciation Translation
Tog du (…) toru [tuːrɵ] Did you take (…)
(Jag) ser dig serej [seːrɛj] (I) see you
(Han) har det (bra) hare [hɑːrɛ] (He) is doing (well)
(Vad) gör du då? jörurå [jœːrʉːrɔ] (What) are you doing then?
Hade du (kul på festen?) haderu [hadərʉː] Did you have (fun at the party?)
Själv då? självrå [ɧɛlvrɔ] How about you?
Ta det lugnt tare [tɑːrɵ] Take it easy

This contraction occurs where the people roll their R since this is done in the front of the mouth with the teeth similarly to how you construct a D.


The pronouns de and dem are most of the times pronounced like dom and according to our little rule sometimes rom. This even confuses native speakers when they are writing. They sometimes think that dem is the correct spelling also for de.

De är här.
They are here.

Jag ser dem.
I see them.

Spoken Swedish
Dom är här.
They are here.

Jag ser dom.
I see them.