Exploring Swedish uncovers fascinating parallels

A happy freelance copywriter and word geek

I’m always thrilled when I spot a connection between languages. I’ve just discovered Wallander, the Swedish crime thriller series. The subtitles are a revelation. It’s amazing how familiar so many Swedish words sound.

Some words span multiple languages. Although they’re spelled differently they mean the same thing and have a common origin. Which brings visions of ancient peoples migrating vast, dusty distances over millennia. Leaving words behind them as they pass through new territories. Adopting words from tribes they meet, mix and merge with along the way. War, climate change and famine drove populations from their homelands. Adventurous types, mavericks and splinter groups set off to explore new continents. And they took their languages with them. You can find evidence of these ancient migrations in your DNA. But it’s much easier to spot in real life, through the spoken and written word.

If you love words as much as I do, you’ll enjoy the fact that Saturday’s episode of Wallander contained at least fifty that you’d have understood instantly. If you don’t care you’ll be really bored by now. Whoops.  But if you every need a freelance copywriter, at least you’ll know where to find someone who’s genuinely fascinated by their stock in trade.