“Fresh, fun, and insightful!”
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, Author of international bestseller Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well
“If you are looking to dive deeper into the Swedes and their language, this is essential reading.”
Michael Booth, Author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People
“Essential reading for anyone with an interest in Sweden, and a fun, fascinating read for linguists and language geeks alike!”
Linnea Dunne, Author of Lagom: The Swedish art of balanced living
“A clever and witty insight into Swedish. It even made me feel more intelligent.”
Al Pitcher, Comedian
Villa Volvo Vovve
The Local’s Word Guide to Swedish Life
Emma Löfgren & Catherine Edwards
Forewords by Shigeyuki Hiroki, Ambassador of Japan to Sweden
Villa Volvo Vovve will be published 28 October 2021. If you place a pre-order, your book will be shipped on that date.
Words shape and redefine reality, a constantly evolving and fluid interpretation of social rules and ideas. Foreign words expose us to other realities, unfamiliar practices and exotic beliefs. They can help us discover feelings that are not expressible in our native language. They can inspire us to adopt a new lifestyle, or question the way we live. They may seem obvious, obscure, quirky, unnecessary, universal, or remarkably niche.
Swedish has enriched the English language with moped, ombudsman, and smorgasbord. While culturally, Abba, Ikea, Spotify, and Volvo have become part of the global lexicon and in many ways transcend their Swedish origins. But it is more recent words like lagom (moderation) and fika (coffee breaks) which have pushed Swedish language and culture deeper into the global consciousness.
But Sweden is more than lifestyle trends and technical solutions. It is the country of fredagsmys (cosy Friday), kosläpp (release of the cows), lillördag (little Saturday, Wednesday), and where the average citizen dreams of a villa, Volvo and a vovve.
- Explore the Swedish lifestyle beyond the cliches, with the help of more than 100 Swedish words, translated into English.
- Learn more about the country where yes is just another word for no, where the word for poison is the same as for married, and where words without meaning are described as mashed snow.
- Listen to three different Swedish dialects with complementary audio files, and wrap your tongue around the pronunciation tricks you need to master to sound like a local.
- Be challenged with language quizzes, word games and crossword puzzles.
- Enjoy the silliness of direct translations, false friends and other quirky features of the Swedish language — and learn more about the origins of those words we think of as Swedish today.
Villa Volvo Vovve is inspired by The Local’s popular ‘Word of the day’ column which continues to explore Swedish language and culture beyond global stereotypes and buzz words.
Click here for audio files for all words in three different Swedish dialects
Catherine Edwards is an award-winning writer and editor, formerly Europe Editor at The Local. She speaks five languages and is fascinated by words, how we use them, and what they tell us about the world and ourselves.
Emma Löfgren is a senior digital news editor who believes journalism, language and words can help people find their place in the world. She has been writing about Swedish news in English for The Local since moving back to her native Sweden from Scotland in 2015.