recipe: swedish

Stone ship called Tjelvar’s grave on the island of Gotland, Sweden, dating from the late Bronze Age (1100-500 BCE). According to a myth described in the Gutasaga, it is the grave of Tjelvar, the first person on Gotland.

Gotland was first discovered by a man named Tjelvar. At the time the island was so bewitched that it sank by day and rose up by night. That man, however, was the first that brought fire to the island and afterwards it never sank again. (Peel 1999)

Here’s a section from Marian Donnelly's publication Architecture in the Scandinavian Countries, who speaks of such burials:

Another kind of prominent landmark appeared on the coasts of Sweden during the late Bronze Age, the “ship setting” burials. They were especially popular on the island of Gotland, as might be expected from its seafaring people.

The graves are in stone enclosures from 18 to 60 feet long, planned in the outlines of ships. Whether intended for burials or in some cases simply as memorials, they fulfill the latter function admirably, calling attention to the importance of the ship in a visible manner, unlike the later actual ship burials in which the ships were concealed under mounds.

Photo courtesy & taken by Jens Auer.

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a nice holiday.
Are you ready for some more Swedish? I am. So… Nu kör vi! (This literally translates to “now we’re driving”, but it is often used as an expression for something along the lines of “let’s go!/let’s get started!”.)

Week 6: Dates and Ordinal Numbers

Singular Obestämd
En: A week
Sv: En vecka
En: There are seven days in a week.
Sv: Det finns sju dagar i en vecka.

Singular Bestämd
En: The week
Sv: Veckan
En: The week begins on Monday.
Sv: Veckan börjar på måndag.

Plural Obestämd
En: Weeks
Sv: Veckor
En: I have a test in two weeks.
Sv: Jag har ett prov om två veckor.

Plural Bestämd
En: The weeks
Sv: Veckorna
En: The weeks between now and then are going to be stressful.
Sv: Veckorna mellan nu och då kommer att vara stressiga.

En - Sv
This current week - I veckan (or den här veckan)
I baked a cake this week. - Jag bakade en tårta i veckan.
I am going to bake a cake this week. - Jag kommer att baka en tårta i veckan.

Last week (the week before this current week, in the past) - Förra veckan
I baked a cake last week. - Jag bakade en tårta förra veckan.

Two weeks ago (two weeks before now, in the past) - För två veckor sedan
I baked a cake two weeks ago. - Jag bakade en tårta för två veckor sedan.

In two weeks (two weeks from now, in the future) - Om två veckor
I am going to bake a cake in two weeks. - Jag kommer att baka en tårta om två veckor.

For two weeks (a total timespan of two weeks) - I två veckor
I baked a cake every day for two weeks. - Jag bakade en tårta varje dag i två veckor.

Within two weeks (something will happen within a deadline of two weeks) - På två veckor
I can bake a cake within two weeks. - Jag kan baka en tårta på två veckor.



When translating one language into another, sometimes it can be a bit tricky. This is especially true when dealing with things that have to do with differing cultures, folklore, and mythology. Why is it so hard? Well, sometimes things just don’t exist in some cultures so it ends up being translated into the next closest thing.
As you’ve probably already noticed, “jul” literally translates to “Yule” and not “Christmas”. Yule and Christmas, themselves, are two separate celebrations. But with the introduction of Christianity into many of these countries (often times by force), the holidays became mixed together with each picking up traits of the other. Nowadays, people use “Yule” and “Christmas” interchangeably as if they were one holiday. And it’s the same for “jul” in Sweden.
 
When addressing “jultomte”, first of all, what is a tomte? Tomtar are mythological creatures that sort of look like garden gnomes. They’re small, usually with beards and pointed hats.
These creatures live in people’s houses or in the forests and do various things like do chores, bring luck, or play tricks on people.
Tomtar are often times associated with Yule time, but are not limited to it. They began bringing gifts to children and replaced the julbock as the primary gift-givers. You’re supposed to leave out a bowl of porridge with butter for the tomtar (like how you’re supposed to leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus). With the growing popularity of Father Christmas and Santa Claus, the figures associated with Christmas in Sweden have become more and more like Santa.
There are many small tomtar still associated with Christmas…but now there’s also the full-sized, human-like Santa Claus which people call “jultomte” but he still retains many characteristics of other tomtar.  

en jultomte - jultomten - jultomtar - jultomtarna

Like I said earlier this week, I’ll be going away for the holidays tomorrow and won’t be back until sometime next week after Christmas.
So, I want to leave you with three little Swedish songs for the holidays. Have a nice week and god jul!

Sv - En  >Listen here on Youtube<
As we discussed previously, “gubbe” is slang for an old man so “tomtegubbar” are like…little old men tomtar, or something along that line.
Hej tomtegubbar, kom och dansa - Hey, tomtegubbar, come and dance
och låt oss lustiga vara! - and let’s be jolly!
Hej tomtegubbar, kom och dansa - Hey, tomtegubbar, come and dance
och låt oss lustiga vara! - and let’s be jolly!
En liten tid vi leva här - We live here for a short time
med mycken möda och stort besvär - with a lot of struggles and big troubles
Hej tomtegubbar, kom och dansa - Hey, tomtegubbar, come and dance
och låt oss lustiga vara! - and let’s be jolly!

Hej tomtegubbar, slå i glasen - Hey, tomtegubbar, fill the glasses
och låt oss lustiga vara! - and let’s be jolly!
Hej tomtegubbar, slå i glasen - Hey, tomtegubbar, fill the glasses
och låt oss lustiga vara! - and let’s be jolly!
En liten tid vi leva här - We live here for a short time
med mycken möda och stort besvär - with a lot of struggles and big troubles
Hej tomtegubbar, slå i glasen - Hey, tomtegubbar, fill the glasses
och låt oss lustiga vara! - and let’s be jolly!

Sv - En >Listen here on Youtube<
Nu är det jul igen och nu är det jul igen - Now it’s Christmas again and now it’s Christmas again
och julen varar väl till påska. - and Christmas lasts well until Easter.
Nu är det jul igen och nu är det jul igen - Now it’s Christmas again and now it’s Christmas again
och julen varar väl till påska. - and Christmas lasts well until Easter.

Det var inte sant och det var inte sant, - It was not true and it was not true,
för där emellan kommer fasta. - for in between, there comes fasting. (fasting for Lent, maybe)
Det var inte sant och det var inte sant, - It was not true and it was not true,
för där emellan kommer fasta. - for in between, there comes fasting.

Sv - En >Listen here on Youtube.<
Nu ha vi ljus här i vårt hus, - Now, we have light here in our house,
julen är kommen, hopp tra-la-la-la! - Christmas has come, hop tra-la-la-la!
Barnen i ring dansa omkring, dansa omkring. - The children dance about in a ring, dance about.
Granen står så grön och grann i stugan, - The spruce stands so green and splendid in the cottage,
granen står så grön och grann i stugan. - the spruce stands so green and splendid in the cottage.
Tra-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la, la-la!

Kom lilla vän, kom nu igen, - Come, little friend, come now again,
dansa kring granen, hopp tra-la-la-la! - dance around the spruce, hop tra-la-la-la!
Glädjen är stor, syster och bror, syster och bror, - The joy is big, sister and brother, sister and brother,
pappa, mamma, alla gå i dansen. - father, mother, everyone joins the dance.
Pappa, mamma, alla gå i dansen. - Father, mother, everyone joins the dance.
Tra-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la, ra-la-la-la-la, la-la!

Kom tag en sväng, klappar i mängd, - Come take a round, presents in multitude,
julbocken hämtat, hopp traa-la-la-la! - the Yule goat has fetched, hop traa-la-la-la!
Lutfisk och gröt, tårta så söt, tårta så söt, - Lutfisk and porridge, cake so sweet, cake so sweet,
få vi sedan när vi slutat dansa. - We can have them later when we’ve stopped dancing.
Få vi sedan när vi slutat dansa. - We can have them later when we’ve stopped dancing.
Tra-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la, ra-la-la-la-la, la-la!

Singular Obestämd
En: A month
Sv: En månad
En: A new month begins tomorrow.
Sv: En ny månad börjar i morgon.

Singular Bestämd
En: The month
Sv: Månaden
En: December is the last month in the calendar.
Sv: December är sista månaden i kalendern.

Plural Obestämd
En: Months
Sv: Månader
En: I began learning Swedish about ten months ago.
Sv: Jag började att lära mig svenska för cirka tio månader sedan.

Plural Bestämd
En: The months
Sv: Månaderna
En: The past few months have been unusually warm in Stockholm.
Sv: De senaste månaderna har varit ovanligt varma i Stockholm.

En - Sv
This current month - Den här månaden
We saw a movie this month. - Vi såg en film den här månaden.
We are going to see a movie later this month. - Vi kommer att se en film senare den här månaden.

Last month (the month before this current month, in the past) - Förra månaden
We saw a movie last month. - Vi såg en film förra månaden.

Two months ago (two months before now, in the past) - För två månader sedan
We saw a movie two months ago. - Vi såg en film för två månader sedan.

In two months (two months from now, in the future) - Om två månader
We are going to see a movie in two months. - Vi kommer att se en film om två månader.

For two months (a total timespan of two months) - I två månader
We watched a new movie every day for two months. - Vi såg en ny film varje dag i två månader.

Within two months (something will happen within a deadline of two months) - På två månader
We will see twelve movies within two months. - Vi ska se tolv filmer två månader.