Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Don't be Swede-like

Working with a couple of Spanish people today, I heard an interesting comment about Swedes.

Apparently in Spanish, they have a common saying - 'Don't be Swede-like' or 'Don't do the Swedish thing'. I asked the two Spaniards what this saying means.

In Spain, they use this expression when somebody is pretending to listen but doesn't really care about what you have to say. They are going to do their own thing anyway, regardliess of what you think.

Interesting perspective, wouldn't you say?


  1. Hmm, I wonder how true this is? I'm an expat and it seems like my true friends don't do that. What do you think?

  2. the true saying is "hacerse el sueco" which would mean "don't play Swede" "don't play dumb/deaf". Of course, it doesn't imply that the Swedish people are dumb or deaf. the saying relates to the swedish vacationers in Spain in the 60's and 70's. Spaniards would try to communicate with them but they wouldn't understand, so it seemed like they were playing "dumb". The saying is very much alive and of course if you tell someone not to play "swede" you're telling the person that you know that he/she knows exactly what you mean. Just as you said :)