How to say hello in Swedish

Hej = Hello in Swedish - the right way to greet and say goodbye in Sweden

Hey is in all likelihood the first word you will hear in Sweden. Your stewardess, the cashier at the gas station or your receptionist will almost certainly all give you a very friendly and slightly bright-sounding hey! welcome.

If you're in a good mood (or at least want to pretend), you can double this word: hey, hey!

Simply learn Swedish - 10 tips

The best way to learn the correct pronunciation of Swedish hejs is to go to a makeup or fashion store, where often a slightly overzealous young Swedish woman in her forties will give you a slightly exaggerated hey, heyy! will be welcomed.

Like you in Sweden "Goodbye”Say

Up to now the Swedes have not yet come up with a very correct sentence with which to say goodbye. When someone leaves, just say hejdå.

The lazier Swedes just choose instead hey, instead of hejdå. This is common practice, especially with highly efficient store salespeople. The advantage: if a customer leaves the shop while another goes in at the same time, the seller only has to do it once hey say. Very clever.

How you can greet a Swede

In addition to hej, you can also say the following phrases and words, depending on your relationship with the welcomed Swede.

  • Formally: God morgon / dag / kväll - Good morning / day / evening
  • Formal, if you want to be a little funny: Goddagens - Good day hello
  • Normal: Hey - Hello
  • Alternatively: Hallå - Hello
  • Buddy: Tjenare - Hi
  • Close buddy (or colleague who just had a few beers):Well (Short form of tjenare) - Jo
  • Buddy who wants to flaunt his casualness and is fed up with saying tjenare or well too often: Tjabba - Jooo

So, get ready to say the word hej many times a day. And if you don't understand what a Swede says to you afterwards, just answer with: Jag pratar inte svenska - I do not speak Swedish. Then you can just continue in English.

In my book "Sweden for Beginners: How to Become Swedish in 55 Steps“You will learn more about the Swedes and their entertaining quirks. Check it out here, on Amazon.

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How do you like Swedish greetings and farewells? Nice or weird? Write your comment!

PS
The word “Hej” has been around in Sweden since the 13th century. At that time, however, primarily to call dogs over. It was not until the 19th century that it became more common in everyday life when people started talking on the phone.

Categories Learn Swedish LanguageTags Speak Swedish, Swedish Culture, How to Become a Swede