Published on February 18, 2021

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Courtesy of IKEA

Not only does IKEA solve those trickier small-space challenges and keep your pantry stocked with elderberry syrup, the retailer now truly does it all—think: teaching your kids Swedish. 

With the help of a friendly employee named Amanda and a bouncing meatball to follow pronunciation, you can tune in and hear all about nature, family, and geography through a series of short Youtube lessons. Each installment covers a few phrases on the subject, followed by a “counting challenge” involving IKEA products. The tutorials also explain the until-now-mysterious titles of some popular items. (Did you know that “Vessla”—a plastic storage bin—is also the word for weasel, or that the “Kolja” mirror recalls its fishy namesake’s shiny skin? Fish being a big part of Swedish cuisine, the three classes also walk through terms like lake and island—”sjö,” and “ö.”) Whether the company was looking to help “barn” (children) learn during quarantine, or if they’re attempting to train the next generation to think their names aren’t funny, remains unclear.

Until the brand releases more videos to further expand mini viewers’ vocabularies, here are a few ways you might use that Swedish lingo from the first few lessons.

I keep dropping my tiny screw like it’s a wet “kolja.”

Assembling a Malm is so stressful, I just want to throw it into the “sjö.”

“Hej,” I’m calling to hire a Taskrabbit to build a bookcase for me.

I spread the small pieces out on the kitchen “ö,” where my “barn” couldn’t reach them.

My pet “vessla” escaped from its crate, so now I’m panic-eating meatballs.

 

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