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What Do Swedes Think of the Swedish Chef?

Swedish Chef

Zee Svedeesh Cheff frum zee Mooppet Shoo speeks a geebberish furm ooff Ingleesh–nut Svedeesh. Vhet du neteefe-a Svedeesh speekers theenk ooff heem? Slete’s Jeremy Stehl infesteegeted. Bork Bork Bork!

I know this because it was one of the first questions I asked my Swedish wife when we were introduced. “I don’t see how it’s funny,” she responded in a tone that I took at the time to be an endearingly sarcastic deadpan, but would soon learn was actually an endearingly sincere deadpan.

The Swedish Chef does not speak any known language, and the fact that his nonsense words are so widely interpreted as Swedish-sounding is bewildering and annoying to Swedes.

“What has always struck me is that the Chef is probably based on a Norwegiansing-songish accent rather than a Swedish one,” Maaret Koskinen, a film studies professor at Stockholm University, wrote in an email when I asked her about the Swedish Chef’s cultural influence in Sweden.

Link | Photo: Disney

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August 28th, 2012

Stranger to the World


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