Swedish is a beautiful sounding language, with a sort of sing-song element that makes it a real joy to hear – even if you don’t understand anything that’s being said.
So to go along with this, learning some of the more beautiful Swedish words out there can really help to take your love of Swedish to the next level.
Some of them may simply sound pretty but others are just great concepts, like the various Swedish nature words on this list or other Swedish words with beautiful meanings.
Most beautiful Swedish words and sayings
The concept of “lagom” is pretty great and not really something that we have in English. It essentially means just enough of something and can be applied to almost anything you can think of.
Whether you’re referring to food, drink or happiness, this word is great for summarizing that you got just what you needed. Be aware though that it can also be used in a slightly negative way, like when something is “meh, just fine”.
The Danish word “hygge” is pretty well-known at this stage for encapsulating an overall concept of coziness. We always hear that it can’t be translated into other languages, but the Swedes definitely have something to say about that.
That is, the word “mysa” essentially means the same thing (with “mysig” being the adjective). It’s that warm, comforting feeling you get from having a hot chocolate when it’s raining outside, snuggling under the blankets with your favorite movie or being in a cute little café with candles flickering around you.
So very mysig!
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When it comes to beautiful Swedish words, “sambo” doesn’t sound particularly pretty. But the idea of having a single word to describe a live-in partner is, you could probably agree, fairly beautiful in itself.
The Swedes are very good at creating words to describe different types of relationships. For example, a similar one is “särbo”, basically meaning someone with whom you’re in a long distance relationship.
I just mentioned the word “sambo” but you can also build on that to make some other beautiful Swedish words.
(In fact, while Swedish can be hard to learn, a lot of words are formed simply by putting two or more words together, which can definitely make the learning process easier!)
Specifically, the word “sambovikt” is a combination of “sambo” and “vikt” which is Swedish for “weight”. “Sambovikt” refers to the weight you gain when you’re comfortable with a partner – and while you may be divided on whether or not that in itself is beautiful, there’s no question that the feeling of comfort suddenly is.
No list of the most beautiful Swedish words would be complete without the Swedish word for love. “Älskar” is just that – and to use it in a sentence, “jag alskar dig” is “I love you”. Awww!
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To continue along the love theme, “förälskad” fits perfectly into that category. Specifically, it’s used when you want to describe someone as being in love.
This isn’t one of those concepts that doesn’t have a word in English, as we definitely have words like “enamored”. However, that doesn’t mean that the Swedish equivalent can’t be beautiful too!
“Kärleksförklaring” is basically a word for a “declaration of love”.
While that is, of course, very nice on its own, in my opinion, what really makes it worthy of being on a list of the most beautiful Swedish words is the fact that it can actually also be used in a platonic sense. Because who doesn’t want to express their love to their friends?
That said, it definitely can be used in a romantic context as well. For example, it’s often used to describe a marriage proposal, although the declaration doesn’t have to be as formal as that for this word to be used.
Did you know that the Nordic countries (including Sweden) consume the most coffee per capita of any country on Earth? Safe to say that it’s a pretty established trait of Swedish people to have a strong coffee and food culture.
So to encompass this, there’s a word in the Swedish language that refers to the coffee break that many people take throughout their work day: “fika”. It’s a special time for people to take a step back and allow themselves to relax a little from the stresses of the day.
Many choose to combine their coffee with a food treat. In particular, it’s common to add a cinnamon roll (kanelbullar) to the experience.
While Hans Christian Andersen may be from fellow Scandinavian country Denmark, Sweden definitely doesn’t miss out on all the fairytale fun.
That is, “sagolikt” is used when you want to describe something as being “like a fairytale”. That doesn’t mean that there has to be some sort of mystical element or a troll under a bridge, but it essentially refers to when something is so lovely that it belongs in a story book.
And if that isn’t one of the most beautiful Swedish words, then I don’t know what it is.
“Ro”, simply put, means “peace. But the concept of peace here doesn’t only mean, say, a lack of war.
Instead, it’s used more when something is peaceful – like when you’re sitting next to a still Swedish lake with no other sign of civilization around or when you’re lying in a park, accompanied only by the sounds of birds tweeting nearby.
Of course, it doesn’t only have to relate to nature, but it’s such a big part of Sweden that this word, “ro”, fits perfectly in this context.
11. Vad fin du är
While there’s no question that Swedes are very nice people in general, they aren’t usually super forthcoming with emotional expressions. But this is why when you do get one, you know it’s something really special.
This term, which basically means “how lovely you are”, is definitely that. You could even turn it around and use it on a sweet in your life to really let them know how much they mean to you.
Find out more: Do Swedish People Speak English (So You Can Live There)?
In a country renowned for its spectacular nature, sometimes looking up for inspiration can be the most beautiful thing of all.
And that’s why “stjärna”, which means “star”, should be on any list of the most beautiful Swedish words. Go camping in a Swedish forest with a sea of stars above your head and you’ll see what I mean.
You may see a running trend here but if you’re confused, you may not have spent any time yet hiking or camping in any one of Sweden’s spectacularly peaceful areas.
And that’s why “tystnad “, which means silence, is definitely a beautiful Swedish word to know. When the only sound you hear is your feet crunching beneath you on a hike through a Swedish forest or on one of its remote islands, you’ll know what I mean.
No a list of the most beautiful Swedish words is complete without “skönt”, the word that literally means “beautiful”
Just keep an eye on the pronunciation if you plan to use this on someone beautiful in your life. That is, it’s not a hard K sound, so maybe take the time to practice it before pulling your best moves.
A smile can brighten any day, which is why the word “leende”, which means “smile”, firmly belongs on this list.
And while the pronunciation may not be exactly what you think when first reading this (it’s more “lee-end-eh”), I actually think that it makes it even prettier. That is, there’s almost a sing-song element to how this word is pronounced, which is sure to bring a smile to your face.
I may be biased, but I’m convinced that a bright summer’s day in any of the Scandinavian countries is one of the best things on earth.
Perhaps it’s because sunny days aren’t always guaranteed in this part of the world, but a picture perfect summer morning in Sweden or any of its neighbors is basically the dream.
This is why “sommarmorgon”, meaning “summer morning”, should be on any list of the most beautiful Swedish words. If you don’t believe me, try to come in July for a sunny day when people are riding around, having picnics in parks and generally enjoying the great outdoors until the sun sets at 11pm – or beyond.
… and while a summer’s day may be great, being able to relax on the summer’s days is even better.
The literal meaning of “dega” is pretty funny, as while it means “to relax”, it translates directly to “dough”. You can probably see exactly why when you imagine a lump of dough just sitting on the bench, slowly growing over time but not doing much else.
Now, just picture yourself lying on a picnic blanket or, say, on your couch scrolling through your phone for hours on end and you’ll quickly see the similarities.
If you find your relaxing starting before the day even begins, I’ve got another word that will suit you perfectly.
“Sovmorgon” basically means “to sleep in”, like when you have a long sleep where you wake up naturally without any alarm. However, literally, it translates to “sleep morning” – and I think we can all agree that any morning dedicated to sleep is a good one.
While anything relating to anxiety doesn’t sound like a particularly beautiful Swedish word, I think you’ll find this one fits the bill.
Specifically, “angestdämpande”, meaning “anxiety reducing” refers to anything that works to, well, reduce your anxiety.
This could be going for a walk, patting your dog or simply reading in bed after a particularly stressful day at work. Whatever works for you, finding something that’s “angestdämpande” in your life is certainly a good thing.
In case you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a fan of Sweden’s natural beauty. And it’s hard to go past the sheer wonder and peacefulness offered by Sweden’s many forests.
It’s for this reason that a forest glade, or “skogsglänta” in Swedish, is going to be similarly beautiful no matter which language you’re speaking.
While Sweden’s forests are definitely things of beauty, its thousands of lakes can also be similarly jaw-dropping.
Well, “mångata” means “the reflection of moonlight on water”. And if you see the moon reflect off one of these bodies of water, especially on a still night with not a breath of wind around you, you can see why this has become a movie trope for romance.
It’s sort of clichéd to say that “morgonrodnad”, meaning “sunrise”, is a beautiful word in Swedish, but I think the literal translation here really gives it an edge.
That is, this word directly translates as a “morning reddening”, perfectly describing the sky as it warms up for a new day. The poets weren’t wrong when they were inspired by the sun coming out for the day, no matter which language they’re writing in.
Looking at something in a state of wonderment or in essence is something we all wish to capture showing why “barnasinne”, meaning “a childlike state of mind”, is definitely a beautiful concept.
Don’t mistake this as meaning something more like naïve, as this word doesn’t have that negative connotation. Instead, it’s more about seeing the world in a beautiful way, without the difficulties it may be plaguing you as an adult.
This word literally translates as “heart room” (but a better translation would be “room in your heart”. It’s most commonly found in the Swedish phrase: “finns det hjärterum så finns det stjärterum” (If there’s room in your heart there’s room for a tail).
A good example of how this can be used is if you’re at a table at a crowded bar and another friend arrives. As you have room in your heart for this person, the people at the table can easily bunch up to make room for this new person – and their tail.
After a long day wandering the winter streets of a Swedish city of your choice, there’s nothing that goes down better than a few warm cups of coffee or tea. However, you’re probably not the only one to have ever found yourself in a position where you want to ask for a second cup but you’re too embarrassed.
Never fear, the Swedes are here! That is, the word “påtår” actually means “to pour a second cup” – and having a word for this goes a long way to avoiding any embarrassment about having to ask for it.
Sweden is great for having plenty of places where you can pick wild berries, with it being very common in the summertime to find people foraging in forests or fields.
It almost seems like an activity that you would equate more with years gone by, but it’s certainly a beautiful sight seeing people enjoying themselves outside, caring little baskets and exclaiming and delight over their fines.
And this is why the Swedes have a word for a place where you can find wild strawberries: “smultronställe”. The first part of the word, “smultron” is itself the word for the small wild strawberries that people can pick – and finding “smultron” definitely means you are in for a great day out.
Marriage is a gift, is it not? Well, perhaps don’t answer that depending on your circumstances, but it is quite funny that the Swedish word for “married” is, simply, “gift”.
Just keep in mind that it’s not a hard G like in English, but more of a Y sound.
Midsommar is a very traditional, widely celebrated day in Sweden and nothing is more symbolic of this day than the floral wreath that many people wear as a crown on Midsummer’s Eve, often along with other examples of Swedish traditional clothing.
Well the celebration overall was originally connected to love and fertility, many celebrate it now simply as an ongoing Swedish tradition. The flower crown remains though, with some truly beautiful ones being available at this time of year.
This Swedish word may not be beautiful in the usual sense, but hear me out. “Språkkänsla” is a word that doesn’t exist in English, but effectively refers to the concept of feeling much more naturally comfortable in your native language.
For example, has a non-native speaker ever asked you why something is said as it is in your native language? And have you replied that it’s just because that’s how it is? That’s what this word is getting at.
I love this word simply because of how many different situations that it can be used in. That is, “orka” is a verb for saying that you have (or don’t have) the energy or will to do something.
This could be having the energy to do some cleaning when you get home, not having the will to go out with your friends on a chilly night, or being too full to eat anymore. Either way, you’re orka-ing or not orka-ing, as the case may be.
While someone who is habitually late may not be the nicest thing, I find the way that this is phrased in Swedish allows this to fit on the list of beautiful Swedish words.
That is, the Swedish word “tidoptimist” literally translates to “time optimist”. It refers to someone who’s always late because they’re overly optimistic about how much time that they have, causing them to never be on time.
32. Mätt som en plätt
OK, this isn’t strictly a word, but the saying is super cute. Said as ““jag är mätt som en plätt”, it’s a polite way to decline any more food and literally translates to “I am as full as a pancake”.
That may sound weird when you think that pancakes aren’t really full, as such, but the phrase actually rhymes when pronounced in Swedish so that tends to make it work better.
This is another super cute concept that’s earned its own word in Swedish. It literally translates to “jump ashore Kalle” (Kalle being a nickname for someone called Karl) and refers to the person who is first to jump out of a boat to tie it up so it doesn’t move.
For whatever reason, there are several Swedish words with male names used in them for similar sort of concepts. Another one with Kalle is “bollkalle”, which refers to the kid who runs off to get a ball when it’s kicked far.
Another less beautiful one is “snuskpelle” with Pelle being a man’s name but with the word referring to someone who is very dirty and kind of gross. Poor Pelle!
Let’s be honest, I basically picked this one to cap off this list of beautiful Swedish words because I like cats. While this directly translated to “sun cat”, the word “solkatt” in Swedish actually has nothing to do with cats
Instead, it refers to the light that appears when the sun reflects off your watch face. Obviously a highly technical concept that’s worthy of its own word!