Spotifiera & Other Swedish New Words

The Swedish Language Council issues new words for the official entry into the Swedish language every year. Until now, I had no idea there was such a council since they are not as in your face as L’Academie Francaise (the French version). L’Academie Francaise is strict about accepting words into the French language. They are so strict that when the personal computer was made in the early 80s, there had to be a proper translation. English words were not going to muck up the French language.

Back to Sweden. Språkvård as The Swedish Language Institute is called, does a similar thing; it ensure the continuation of the Swedish language and maintains purity. Every year they release the list of new Swedish words and this year’s really made me laugh.

I translated these words myself with the help of google translate and my husband. If you have example sentences, parts of speech, or better translations, let me know and I will update.

First, spotifiera. It means to become a member/user of Spotify. Spotify is a great service to stream music for free. The downside: crappy ads and their nonexistance in the world’s largest market, America. This made me giggle; Swedes are listening to music on Spotify until oblivion and no one else in the world cares. I’ve spotifierat myself so I won’t complain too much (though I hated those Basshunter ads!).

Second, volcanolyspe 2010 created several words in Swedish. Who knew the volcanic eruption in Iceland by Ejyafjallajökull could create so many new words. These words are:
askbränd – “ash burned” – economic damage by the flight cancellations.
askstoppad – “stopped ash” – adj – to be stopped by the ash from volcanic eruption in Iceland.
asktåg – “ash trains” – noun – extra trains that took stranded passengers because of the cancellations.
askänka, askänkling, även vulkanänka, vulkanänkling – “ash widower/ash window” – noun – a person who is waiting for their ash stranded partner to come home.
inaskad – “ash covered” – adj – someone who couldn’t make it home because of Iceland.
vulkanresa – “volcano trip” -noun – new meaning: travel by modes of transportation other than air when flights were cancelled.

Last, the group of funniest new words in Swedish. These are:
bloppis – (I have no idea what this means…anyone)
kaffeflicka – “coffee girl” – a young woman who is invited to “something sweet with your coffee” at a men’s dinner. This was mentioned in the book about the King’s scandals.
tobleronepolitik – “Toblerone policy” – overbidding policy. It relates to the affair in 1995, where Mona Sahlin was accused of abusing parliamentary credit card for personal use, including buying Toblerone. That’s not so lagom.
morotsaktivism – “carrot activism” – favoring stores that invest more environmentally friendly and fair trade products.

And of course, the vuvuzula is now in the Swedish dictionary.

God I love svengelska!

4 thoughts on “Spotifiera & Other Swedish New Words”

  1. Man I need to keep looking up these new Swedish words – I thought spotifiera was just a play on spotify – as in the same part of speech but in Swedish – I didn’t think it meant anything.

    There was the year ‘att messa’ became popular and my friend kept telling me she ‘messade’ a guy all night, I had a completely different idea of what she meant – turns out it was SMSing.

  2. Truthiness is awesome!

    @survivinginsweden – I had no idea that att messa was a word too. I probably would have thought of something else…

    And in English, the new words added by Oxford English Dictionary are hilarious –

    chillax – calm down and relax
    turducken – a roast dish consisting of a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey
    bargainous – costing less than is usual or than might be expected; cheap or relatively cheap
    staycation – holiday spent in one’s home country
    bromance – a close but non-sexual relationship between two men
    wardrobe malfunction – an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as a result of an article of clothing slipping out of position — my note: that makes sense
    defriend – another term for unfriend (remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site)
    Interweb – the Internet — my note: awesome!!!!

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