On Location Swedish – 30 Nov 2012

121130-ailieHej! This weekend a friend and I decided to take a day trip away from Uppsala and Stockholm, and head over west, to Karlstad in the Värmland region (you may remember me saying I am a member of Värmlands nation, and so felt it would be appropriate to go and see the region I associate myself with here in Uppsala!) Despite some less than lovely weather, I really liked Karlstad, and it was whilst walking along the water that is such a feature of the town that my inspiration for this week’s article came from. Do you ever have those days or weeks when, after never having heard a word before, suddenly you see it all around you? Well, for me, that is what happened this week, with the verb bryr, and more specifically, its reflexive form bryr sig.

Bryr sig translates into English as “to mind” or “to care about” – “to bother oneself over” to use an English reflexive example. I had heard it most often used in the phrase “Vem bryr sig?”, meaning “Who cares?”, which you can imagine gets fairly regular usage in everyday speech. However, the example from Karlstad was rather more emphatic – we came across it on a warning sign next to the water telling us, “Vi bryr oss om dig!” (“We care about you!”), and not to go in the water because of the strong currents. I found this rather a nice touch – at home I feel it would have simply read “Warning”, but here in Sweden the approach seems to be more, “We care about you, please don’t do this and make us worry about you”, which seems to me to be a rather nice touch.

One last phrase to sign off with for today, because I feel it’s something we all need a little bit of as we head towards the time for Christmas shopping, exams, and deadlines – “bry dig inte om det!” (“Don’t worry about it!”) Until next time, hej då!

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