Friendship is vänskap

Trying to live up to my own expectations of producing text without too much thought and careful scrutinization, here is one about the concept of friendship, “vänskap” in Swedish.

In Sweden, a friend is simply “en vän”, or more colloquially “en kompis” (“a buddy”).  If you want to specify the gender of a friend, you say “tjejkompis” (female) or “killkompis” (male).

Hon har mest killkompisar.
She mostly has male friends.

Jag tänkte gå ut och äta middag med några tjejkompisar på fredag.
I’m planning to go out and eat dinner together with some of my girlfriends on Friday.

In Swedish, a partner of someone is either a “pojkvän” (male) or “flickvän”, and “pojkvänner” and “flickvänner” are not words we use to signify people who are “just friends” with us.

I realize that the only way to specify the gender of your friends in a non-colloquial way is to say “kvinnliga/manliga vänner”, since “tjejkompisar/killkompisar” is definitely nothing you would use in a more formal context.

Har du många kvinnliga vänner?
Do you have many female friends?

This way of expressing yourself sounds a bit awkward in my opinion since in Swedish it also means “do you have many feminine friends?” (“kvinnlig” means either “female” or “feminine”). Someone hearing this could easily take advantage of the situation and reply “yes, my friends Michael and Richard are quite feminine”…

Another informal word for friend is “polare”. This words is, for some reason, mostly (exclusively?) used by boys/men when they talk about their buddies.  Or, when female individuals refer to male friends of some man/men they happen to know.

Ingen av mina polare är i stan.
None of my buddies are in town.

Han är på krogen med sina polare.
He is out (clubbing) with his [male] friends.

And finally some more phrases on the current theme:

Jag har ganska lätt för att få vänner.
I make friends quite easily.

Jag som trodde vi var vänner!
And I thought we were friends!

Många av mina vänner gillar U2.
A lot of my friends like U2.

Jag sprang på en gammal klasskompis från gymnasiet igår.
I ran into an old class mate from high school yesterday.

Hur många vänner har du på Facebook?
How many friends do you have on Facebook?

Vi har varit vänner i drygt 20 år.
We have been friends for a little more than 20 years.

And that’s all for this blog post. Hope you learned something new about friendship!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.