dagis, socialen, personnummer

We had a discussion in class today about what the proper English word is for the following

dagis, daghem, socialbidrag, personnummer.

The answer is – there is no one word which works in all situations.


– in Sweden you would call it dagis if you were speaking to an English speaker living in Sweden who knows the system

– in Sweden you would call it pre-school in a formal or correct context. This I would use as the preferred term.

– talking to Americans you would say kindergarten

– talking to Brits or similar you can say nursery school or creche


other countries use benefit, welfare, social welfare in informal contexts but it tends to be perjorative so be careful with this one

– in Sweden it is now called försörjningsstöd  so the translation is  income support  or financial assistance


– good translations are

  • ID number
  • identity number
  • personal identity number (PIN)
  • civil registration number

If you are talking to an American, the closest equivalent is Social Security Number

If you are talking to someone from the UK the closes equivalent is the National Insurance (NI) Number

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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