If you happen to be in Sweden for the winter holidays, you might want to impress your friends by learning how wish them a Merry Christmas, as well as A Happy New Year in Swedish.
Although the majority of Swedes are fluent in English, it would be a pleasant surprise to share your holiday wishes in their native tongue, wouldn’t it?
It sure would, and for that I’m here today to teach how to say Merry Christmas in Swedish, but also how to wish someone a Happy New Year in Swedish, plus other winter-related words and greetings.
How do you say Merry Christmas in Swedish?
It’s quite simple: “God Jul”
Phonetically, it is pronounced /ɡuː(d) jʉːl/ sounding more like “good-yul” when enunciated. In English, it means (what else?) Merry Christmas!
But to be more specific, “god” in Swedish means happy/good/merry while “Yul” is the word for Christmas. You might notice it is quite similar to Christmas greetings in the Nordic region with only slight pronunciation differences.
Swedes are very open-minded and not easily offended. But if you want a general greeting for the holidays, you can always use either:
Varma lyckönskningar – Warm wishes
Trevlig helg – Happy holidays
It can be quite a mouthful, though so many newbies tend to stick to “God Jul.”
Christmas is widely celebrated in Sweden and I haven’t met anyone (yet) who could get offended if you wished them a merry Christmas instead of “happy holidays” or other more politically-correct greetings.
So I don’t think you could go wrong by wishing people a Merry Christmas. The Swedish culture is very open-minded anyway and people don’t get offended as easily – at least not with things like this.
How do you say Happy New Year in Swedish?
Gott Nytt År!
Don’t be overwhelmed – it is pronounced similar to how it is written and it sounds like “Gut-Nittar.”
Remember not to drawl out the vowels -almost not clearly enunciating the “a” in the last syllable so it comes out “Nit-r”.
It’s a lot easier, anyway, than the more guttural and difficult to pronounce winter holiday greetings in Denmark. I’ve already talked about how to say Merry Christmas in Danish – make sure to check that article out if you’re curious!
Other winter greetings & words in the Swedish language
Now that you are familiar with the holiday pleasantries, here are some useful Christmas and winter related words in Swedish to add to your Christmas vocabulary.
Snö – Snow
Snöflinga – Snowflake
Snögubbe – Snowman
Juldagen – Christmas Day
Jultomten – Santa Claus
Pepparkakshus – Gingerbread House
Mistel – Mistletoe
Tomtenisse – Elf
Fyrverkerier – Fireworks
Nyårslöften – Resolutions
Nyårsdagen – New Year’s Day
Nyårsafton – New Year’s Eve
And just so you know, a present or gift in Swedish is also called “Present!”
This was a quick and straight to the point article where you have learned how to wish somebody a Merry Christmas in Swedish, as well as how to say A Happy New Year in Swedish.
The truth is that you can simply go with the English greetings without a problem, as most people (probably all) will understand that anyway.
But if you have somebody special in Sweden, like an amazing Swedish woman or a charming Swedish man, it will be appreciated if you try and learn their language. Even if you don’t get the pronunciation right (it WILL always sound a bit strange to a native), you trying will give you extra points for sure.
And in the end, it’s not too difficult… so practice a little bit and you’ll soon be able to say both God Jul and Gott Nytt År without thinking twice or feeling uncomfortable.
As always, if you want me to share some extra winter-related words or greetings, let me know down in the comment section and I will happily help.