When Google follows you around and gives you helpful articles

Is it creepy when looking up something in one service, and then you see that same related search in another service? Yeah, in a way. But it’s also a bit helpful.

Here’s what happened with me looking up phrases in Swedish on Google Translate.

My six-year-old daughter is reading a book about a girl who moves to America from Sweden in 1854. (“Meet Kirsten: An American Girl“)

I read her a chapter before putting her to bed. Then I thought it would be fun to speak some Swedish phrases to her. I opened up Google Translate and typed in something I would normally say in English, but in 1854.

It is now the proper time to retire to your bed now, my dear child.
Swedish: Det är nu rätt tid att dra sig tillbaka till din säng nu, mitt kära barn.

(play audio)

That was fun, so I did another phrase:

Draw yourself snugly beneath the sheets and cuddle with your stuffed animals.
Swedish: Rita dig bekvämt under lakanen och mysa med dina gosedjur.

(play audio)

Then I must have needed some clarification on something, so I blurted out…

What do you mean?
Swedish: Vad menar du?

(play audio)

The great thing about the Google Translate app on the iPhone is that you can play the phrases out loud. I didn’t have to guess how to speak these phrases. Instead, I could play them out loud for my daughter to hear. Many giggles abound.

The following morning, my Google personalized news listed this article: “Here is the full list of new Swedish words which defined a difficult 2022” from “The Local Sweden”.

The privacy person would find it unsettling that Google is following me around. But I am using their translation app. And their news site. Sure, the two could cross over. In this case, it’s providing something of interest. I have a recent curiosity about Swedish phrases. Yes, give me some contemporary Swedish phrases from 2022.

What are some of these phrases? Sorry. I can’t read the article, because it’s behind a paywall. However, in the preview, the article’s photo lists a couple of the phrases/words:

  • Putinpriser (Putin prices)
  • energifattigdom/energikrig (energy poverty/energy war)
  • Kamikazedrönare (kamikaze droves)
  • Hungersten (hunger stone)

To find the full article, I googled some of those words. (Yes, I’m aware that I’m further telling Google that I’m interested in Swedish words). The full list came up on an article at a different site: Here is the full list of new Swedish words which defined a difficult 2022

The words that stood out to me are:

  • Edgelord: a provocateur who deliberately seeks attention and creates conflicts through controversial statements.  
  • Ha dagen: “have the day” – hit top form at the right time, to enter a flow-state.
  • Sporttvätt: “sports washing” – use of sports to improve or repair a damaged reputation.
  • Väntesorg“anticipatory grief” (literally, “wait sorrow”): grief before the impending loss of a loved one.

Too bad there aren’t any new Swedish words for ignoring privacy concerns and instead appreciating the custom recommendations an overlord like Google can provide. How about Hjälpsamstorteknik? (Literal English: Helpful big tech)

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