Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Swedish Phrases to Use in Your Everyday Personal Finance Conversations

The last time I was here on Aspiring Millionaire, we talked about language families and a bunch of cool German words to integrate into our everyday personal finance conversation.  Today, I thought we'd do the same thing with Swedish.

Why Swedish?  Because they're both in the Germanic language tree, but recent linguistic studies show that English itself is more closely related to Swedish than German, moving it over a branch in the same tree.

Also, Swedish can be funny for English speakers.  For example, "fart" means speed, and "slut" means end.  But it's not just the accidental homonyms that are giggle worthy.  They've also got some fun phrases and idioms that will totally work when you're talking about ever-serious personal finance matters.

1. Is i magen

Literally means "ice in the stomach."  Actually means you stay cool under pressure, or a good investor.  For example:

Everyone was selling their shares in 2008, but not him.  He ignored the pandemonium because he has is i magen.

2. Glida in på en räkmacka

Literally means "to slide in on a shrimp sandwich."  Actually means you've got it real easy.

Sure, she has a college degree, and a nice job, and mini mansion, and she's not even 30.  But in her case, I know it's because her parents paid for school, used their friends to get her in at that company, and gave her money for a down payment. She glida in på en räkmacka, but I'm still secretly jealous.

3. Fingertoppskänsla

Literally means "fingertips feeling."  Actually means you have a pretty good gut feeling, or intuition.  For our concerns, can be applied to people skills or investing.

She was negotiating a deal when her fingertoppskänsla told her they were uncomfortable with some of the terms.  Though they weren't yet voicing it, they were about to back out.  She reassured them of the value and saved the sale.

4.  At köppa grisen i sacken

Literally means "to buy the pig in the sack."  Actually means to buy something sight unseen.

She ordered her wedding dress online.  When it got there, it looked nothing like the picture, and she had hundreds in additional charges added to her credit card bill for shipping, taxes, and customs across multiple countries.  That's why you don't at köppa grisen i sacken.

5. Åsnan mellan två höttapar

Literally means "a donkey between two stacks of hay." Actually means you're indecisive to the point where the lack of decision causes a negative consequence.

He was planning his trip, but was åsnan mellan två höttapar when it came to booking his hotel.  He couldn't decide whether he wanted the amenities or the lower priced room.  He waited too long, and a result, lost both of them.  

6.  Kissa i byxan för att hålla värmen

Literally means "to pee in the pants to stay warm." Actually means making a short-term decision that turns out to be horrible in the long-run.  

She kissa i byxan för att hålla värmen when she bought the bargain brand dishwasher; it had to be replaced in six months.  She ended up spending $200 more than if she had gone with the nicer model in the first place, which would have lasted for a decade or more.

Do you have any experience with Swedish and want to add to the list?  Leave some more in the comments below!

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